What drew you to PME?
I was drawn by the unwavering institutional support for novel sciences, the people who work seamlessly together despite vastly different backgrounds, the sciences which are extremely future-oriented, and the overall environment that makes all of that happen.
What are you most proud of accomplishing in your time at PME?
I am most proud of the futuristic Yang Lab which coherently integrates layer-by-layer materials synthesis and advanced photoemission spectroscopy to probe materials within less than 35 millionths of a billionth of a second. This is made possible by my hard-working group members who have achieved this ambitious goal within one and a half years. Building a world class infrastructure is key to enabling novel materials and novel quantum sciences. I am deeply grateful for the institutional support, staff support, and my colleagues’ support, without which we would not have been able to accomplish this goal.
Where do you see PME in 10 years?
In 10 years, PME should be a role model for all engineering schools in the U.S. and around the globe. Engineering at molecular and atomic levels will not only be a cool idea, but an important cross-disciplinary area which will have changed people’s perception of traditional engineering. We will expand beyond quantum engineering, immunoengineering, and materials engineering for sustainability and heath, and establish new themes and new cross-disciplinary areas.
In addition, PME will be a powerhouse for innovation. One way to envision the role of PME is to think about the relationship between famous universities in the San Francisco bay area and Silicon Valley. PME will be able to facilitate the next wave of industrial revolution based on advanced engineering at molecular levels. The recent launch of the quantum startup accelerator is a substantial milestone towards that direction.
What breakthroughs do you anticipate will happen in your field in 10 years?
It is a bit difficult to estimate the exact magnitude of the breakthroughs, since the development of quantum sciences and engineering has been growing an exponential pace. Nonetheless I will point out a few important areas. In 10 years, we will most likely have commercial quantum computers successfully integrating thousands of qubits, available to everyone in the society just like the launch of PC’s in the 1980’s. Quantum sensors based on new materials and new physics will be implemented in various industries. Difficult problems in natural sciences such as the high temperature superconductivity problem will be successfully simulated or solved by quantum computers. A nation-scale or even global-scale quantum internet will be established based on quantum communication. Quantum key distribution will replace the current protocols for secure communications over the internet and other channels.