Rob is an experimental physicist with a passion for developing practical applications of quantum technologies. The last decade saw the beginning of another new generation of technology, one that is underpinned by the quantum nature of the devices. This technology will have a huge impact on our lives in many ways; the first being to enable truly secure communications. Rob’s contribution in this exciting new field was seeded by a Master’s degree in physics from Oxford University (2002), before moving to Cambridge to complete a PhD in experimental quantum information processing. Here he was part of the world-leading Semiconductor Physics Group, led by Prof. Sir Michael Pepper. For his PhD he won two awards, from the Institute of Physics and an EU network, for the development of the first simple device capable of emitting entangled photons, a cornerstone of quantum physics. In 2005 he joined Toshiba Research Europe Ltd as a research scientist, developing another crucial element for quantum technologies, a memory element for quantum states. In 2008 he moved to Tyndall National Institute in Cork, Ireland, creating next-generation light sources and a technique to distribute quantum information on standard fibre networks, a vital development for the mass-adoption of this technology.

Rob then returned to the UK, taking an academic position at Lancaster University. In 2012 he was awarded a prestigious Royal Society Research Fellowship, investigating novel practical systems for quantum information processing. He currently heads a group focused on this nascent field, with support from numerous funding agencies. To date, he has authored 70 publications (papers and patents), garnering over 2,000 citations and attracting the attention of numerous news outlets and international newspapers, an exceptional achievement in his relatively short career.

Prof. Robert Young