Quantum Computing Research Group

Quantum Computing Research Group

The Quantum Computing Research Group (QCRG) is a multi-disciplinary research effort into the theory and the practical development of quantum computers and their innovative technological applications.

Quantum computers are machines that explicitly use quantum physical phenomenon to produce computational speed ups beyond the capabilities of traditional computers.

Current state-of-the-art quantum computers have been shown to perform 100,000,000 times faster than traditional computers. Theoretically, universal quantum computers would possess the computational power to break public key encryption systems, a feat beyond the capabilities of even the fastest traditional super computers in existence.

Technologies derived from applications of quantum computing include communication protocols which offer secure communication, efficient big data analytics, enhanced imaging, machine learning and artificial intelligence, materials science, and efficient energy harvesting. Members of the QCRG are involved in both theoretical and applied research in these areas.

The QCRG looks to actively engage with academia and the industry to establish an internationally recognized research effort in the UAE in the area of quantum computing and its innovative applications.

Industrial entities and student interested in exploring collaboration in the areas of quantum computing and its application are welcome to contact Faisal.Khan@ku.ac.ae

Lead researchers

Faisal Shah Khan 
PhD, Department of Applied Mathematics & Sciences

Dr. Khan has a PhD in Mathematical Sciences from Portland State University, Oregon. His primary research interest is in identifying optimal performance of quantum information processes under constraints using non-cooperative game models. He is also interested in postquantum cryptography, quantum computation, and its impact on big data analytics, quantum computational models for chemistry, and more esoterically, categorical reasoning in quantum mechanics and information processing.

Dr. Khan also serves as an undergraduate advisor and has been involved in the development of the undergraduate degree program in applied mathematics at Khalifa University.

Dr. Khan is a Visiting Researcher at the Quantum Computing Institute of Oak Ridge National Labs, Tennessee, USA.

Simon Phoenix
PHD, Department of Applied Mathematics and Sciences

Dr. Phoenix joined Khalifa University in 2010, after an extensive career with British Telecom (BT). He joined BT’s Research Laboratories in 1989, helping to develop the quantum theory of light in fibre, and its application to the non-linear interactions in a Kerr medium. Later, he was a member of the team that demonstrated the world’s first quantum key distribution (QKD) in optical fibre. Other roles at British Telecom included work in the Cryptography Research group, Technical Design Authority and Security Research group.

Dr. Phoenix completed his Ph.D. in Theoretical Quantum Optics at Imperial College, London, under the supervision of noted British physicist, Prof. Sir Peter Knight, FRS.


Abdel Isakovic
PhD, Applied Mathematics & Sciences

Professor Abdel F. Isakovic (PhD, University of Minnesota, 2003), worked on early design, fabrication and testing of spin-sensitive diodes based on ferromagnet-semiconductor heterostructures. He was a postdoctoral research associate at Cornell University from 2003 to 2006, focusing on meso- and nanoscale scopic transport and the use of combined structural, spectroscopic and transport techniques in such studies. From 2006 to 2009, he was a postdoctoral research scientist at US DOE Brookhaven National Laboratory, where his focus was on design, nanofabrication and testing of novel nanofocusing X-ray optics elements and their applications in nanoscience.

In January 2010, Prof. Isakovic joined Khalifa University, where he leads Spintronics, Nanophotonics and Complex Systems Laboratory and the university wide effort in developing and managing its nascent Core Nanocharacterization Facilities.

Ernesto Damiani
PhD, Information Security Research Center

Professor Ernesto Damiani joined KUSTAR as Chair of the Information Security Group and Program, and EBTIC as Research Professor. He is on extended leave from the Department of Computer Science, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy, where he leads the SESAR research lab and is the Head of the Ph.D. Program in Computer Science. Ernesto’s research interests include secure service-oriented architectures, privacy-preserving Big Data analytics and Cyber-Physical Systems security.

Dr. Damiani holds/has held visiting positions at a number of international institutions, including George Mason University in Virginia, US, Tokyo Denki University, Japan, LaTrobe University in Melbourne, Australia, and the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA) at Lyon, France. He is a Fellow of the Japanese Society for the Progress of Science. He has been Principal Investigator in a number of large-scale research projects funded by the European Commission, the Italian Ministry of Research and by private companies such as British Telecom, Cisco Systems, SAP, Telecom Italia, Siemens Networks (now Nokia Siemens) and many others.

Harish Bhaskar
PhD, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Harish Bhaskar received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Loughborough University U.K., in 2007. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor affiliated to the Visual Signal Analysis and Processing (VSAP) research center at Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Prior to this, he was a Research Associate at the University of Manchester and Lancaster University U.K. His research interests are in the field of computer vision, image processing, visual data mining, medical imaging, quantum imaging and signal processing, and machine vision.

The team are currently working on the following projects:

FinTech and Quantum Computing: Financial Portfolio Optimization on the D-wave 2000Q Quantum Computer

The Quantum Computing Research Group programmed the world’s first commercially available quantum computer, the D-wave 2000Q, through a research collaboration with D-wave Systems and the Quantum Computing Institute at Oak Ridge National Lab, USA. The project optimized financial portfolio for data collected from Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange. Code for programming the quantum computer can be found at https://code.ornl.gov/qci/markowitz.

Results of the project appear in the proceedings of, the IEEE conference on Extreme High Performance Computing: http://www.ieee-hpec.org/copy/agendatext.html.

We will provide updates as the project develops further.

An article about this project can be found on the University News

Website: https://news.masdar.ac.ae/explore-news/stories-by-type/innovation/item/10013-financial-portfolio-optimization-problem-solved-in-less-than-one-second-with-quantum-computing.html

Towards A Quantum Safe Security Infrastructure (in the UAE)

Governments worldwide are beginning to recognize that security infrastructures must be made quantum safe by 2020. A central component in the construction of quantum safe solutions is the technology of quantum key distribution (QKD).

Whilst QKD is a commercially available technology that can protect single communication links, from which network solutions can be developed, there remains much work to be done to fully exploit and develop the potential of this relatively new security technique. The aims of this project are threefold:

  1. To experimentally demonstrate the viability of the new QKD network solutions developed at Khalifa University and to investigate alternative QKD protocol implementations;
  2. To develop and experimentally demonstrate the utility of QKD in existing commercial security applications, particularly with regard to multi-party security applications such as secret sharing and key escrow;
  3. To investigate how QKD would be implemented in a quantum safe infrastructure, particularly in the UAE, and how this would impact the implementation of technical security policies

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