Professor Andrew White at the launch
Professor Andrew White at the launch
16 November 2017

A seven-year Australian government investment in quantum engineering has been launched at The University of Queensland. 

The $31.9 million Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS) will focus on harnessing the quantum world for practical applications.

Centre Director Professor Andrew White said EQUS would drive the development of an innovative and advanced quantum economy in Australia.

He said the Centre’s research would enable “utterly transformative” new capabilities.

"EQUS will focus on building quantum machines for practical applications that use all of the weird effects of quantum physics," Professor White said.

“We don’t know the technologies we will need in future decades, any more than the folk who worked on semiconductors in the 1950s could have foreseen iPhones or compact lasers.

At work in the quantum lab“Current technologies -- used in smartphones and solar cells for example -- use only a very limited subset of quantum effects.

"But we know that using all the properties of quantum mechanics enables compelling capabilities in areas from imaging to computing.

“The future of our technologies will be incredibly exciting.”

Federal Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the government’s investment in the centre would ensure Australian researchers could compete in an emerging industry on the world stage.

“This facility will help Australia continue to lead the way producing new quantum technologies,” he said.

“Australian researchers will be at the forefront of developing real-life practical applications using quantum engineering such as improving medical imaging technology.”

Professor White said the Centre would focus on three research themes: quantum-enabled diagnostics and imaging, quantum engines and instruments, and designer quantum systems.

“Building any machine requires identifying the optimal materials for the machine’s functions, designing its eyes and ears to best sense the world around it, then correctly combining these components and tuning the engine that drives the machine,” he said.

“Our three research programs will do this for quantum machines.

“The centre unites the efforts of researchers from five Australian universities in building machines that harness the full spectrum of quantum physics.”

EQUS is a collaboration between The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, Macquarie University, The University of Western Australia, and The Australian National University.

Media: Professor Andrew White, Director,; Tara Roberson, EQUS Communications,, +61 404 516 635.