Small in Size
A small country in comparison to many others in Europe — both in terms of geographical size and population — the Republic of Ireland possesses some excellent universities for students wishing to pursue studies in quantum mechanics.
One of them, Trinity College Dublin, conducts cutting-edge research which helps students and graduates in their respective career prospects going forward, especially in emerging fields like quantum computing.
Recently, John Goold — an Associate Professor at the School of Physics at Trinity — was interviewed by Edvoy, an ed-tech company with an innovative platform that assists students throughout their study abroad journey from selecting universities to enrolment
Tapping into Demand
“Last year here in the School of Physics we started a taught MSc program in quantum science and technology,” said Goold, “and so far this has been very successful.”
Goold explained it is important that Trinity has an MSc in quantum science and technology because currently there is a lot of interest in the technological community, which is generating many jobs, in particular in the quantum computing space.
“We’re tapping in basically to that demand in the industry by producing very high-quality graduates in a course which is specifically focusing on the interface between quantum mechanics and technology,” Goold continued.
In 2022, the first year of operation, the course graduated ten students. Already half of those students, Goold reported, were offered permanent positions in the tech sector before graduation while the other half chose to go on for further studies in physics.
So, what we would say is, in the course,” said Goold, “we’re not only training people to work in the quantum tech industry specifically, but we also want to allow the course to be a very good springboard for further studies with respect to industrial engagements we have. The other very nice feature about the MSc degree,” he went on, “is that we have one entire module which is solely dedicated to engaging with the industry. Now, what do I mean by that? It means that actually, we get industrial speakers to come in to discuss with our students on real-world problems that they’re actually working on and also to discuss a little bit about the internship possibilities in the company etc.”
Goold—who obtained his Ph.D. from University College Cork and, following postdoctoral positions in NUS Singapore, University of Oxford and ICTP Trieste, returned as faculty with a Royal Society URF in Ireland and founded the QuSys group at Trinity in 2018—also stated that Ireland and Dublin are very fortunate to have a significant footprint of the large multinational companies that are interested in quantum computing.
“For example, Microsoft and IBM are here in Dublin and we have research collaborations in my group with them,” said Goold. “In terms of support of the MSc, both Microsoft and IBM were involved in the design of some modules, and Microsoft has a scholarship program for the best female applicants who get a Microsoft Scholarship, which will basically pay their fees and also give them a living stipend. They’re very interested in the MSc degree because they have ambitions to grow a quantum tech ecosystem here in Ireland’s capital.”
It’s clear that though small, the Republic of Ireland shows promise in the emerging field of quantum tech.
Feature image: John Goold. Credit: Edvoy