State Research Center OPTIMAS


Professor Artur Widera (left) and Professor Herwig Ott, together with colleagues from the Department of Physics, have acquired three projects in quantum technology. Photo: Koziel/TUK

Quantum physics is not just basic research: more and more technologies from the quantum world are finding their way into applications, for example in new types of computers, atomic sensors or tap-proof communication. In this key area, the Technical University of Kaiserslautern (TUK) has decisively deepened its profile in research and teaching and successfully acquired large-scale projects on quantum technologies through three nationwide or European funding programmes. The overall package includes: The Rymax research project to build a quantum computer, the establishment of a transnational Erasmus Mundus study programme "Quantum Technologies and Engineering" and a part-time distance learning course in quantum technologies.

The Rymax project is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) with 25 million euros for five years to develop a quantum processor for industrially relevant optimisation problems. Around seven million euros of this will go to TUK, where physicists Prof. Herwig Ott, Dr. Thomas Niederprüm and Prof. Artur Widera are driving the project forward. In addition to the TUK, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM) in Kaiserslautern is also involved, as are researchers from the University of Hamburg and industrial partners from the fields of laser technology, optical technologies, electronics, software development and logistics.

In addition, the European Commission is funding the implementation of the international Erasmus Mundus course on "Quantum Technology and Engineering", which is coordinated by the University of Dijon. In addition to the TUK, the universities of Aarhus and Moscow are also involved as study locations. More than five million euros are available for six years to enable talented students from all over the world - financed by scholarships - to study at at least two of the participating locations.

Finally, as part of the QuanTUK project, which is also funded by the BMBF, the departments of physics, mathematics, computer science and electrical engineering are designing an interdisciplinary and part-time master's degree programme in "Quantum Technologies" in order to establish it as a distance learning programme at the TUK's Distance and Independent Studies Center (DISC). To this end, the TUK will receive around two million euros for three years. The project is supported by an industry advisory board in order to align the courses with the needs of industry. A subject-didactic evaluation and optimisation will ensure the quality of the teaching content.

"Each of these projects in itself is a great success for quantum technologies at the Department of Physics," says a pleased Ott, Dean of the Department of Physics, who is involved in all the projects himself. "In this combination, it reflects the research strength and teaching excellence that TUK has built up over the past decade in the field of quantum research." Widera, who heads the two projects on teaching, adds "This will enable TUK to decisively expand its activities in the field of quantum research - both in terms of excellent international higher education and in terms of application-oriented training and research."

Dr. Stefan Löhrke, TUK Vice-President for Studies and Teaching, congratulates the physicists, especially with regard to the new teaching offers: "With this success, we can show ourselves to be a first-class address in the field of quantum technologies in terms of in-service training. This will significantly increase the visibility of the TUK and draw the attention of talented young professionals to the Kaiserslautern knowledge region. This is also a milestone for the internationalisation of our teaching."

Prof. Dr. Werner R. Thiel, TUK Vice President for Research and Technology, adds in conclusion: "The three projects demonstrate the comprehensive and deep expertise we have built up in quantum technologies in recent years. We benefit from existing structures such as the OPTIMAS research centre - Optics and Materials Sciences - which we have established as a profile area at TUK within the framework of the state's research initiative and in which the three new projects are embedded."

The President of TUK, Werner R. Thiel, adds: "The three projects demonstrate the comprehensive and deep expertise we have built up in quantum technologies in recent years.

The President of TUK, Prof. Dr. Arnd Poetzsch-Heffter, praises the triple success with regard to the overall strategy of TUK: "Especially in combination, the projects will advance our university and the research location as a whole enormously. On the one hand, their interdisciplinary breadth connects several of the TUK's central strategic research fields; on the other hand, they strengthen cooperation at the location, here in particular with the Fraunhofer ITWM and the DFKI, and will enable new opportunities for our visibility in this highly topical field of research with the new study programmes."


Questions to:
Professor Dr. Herwig Ott
Teaching area: Quantenatomoptik
E-Mail: ott[at]
Tel.: 0631 205-2817

Professor Dr. Artur Widera
Teaching area: Individual Quantum Systems
E-Mail: widera[at]
Tel.: 0631 205-4130

Dr. Thomas Niederprüm
Teaching area: Quantenatomoptik
E-Mail: niederp[at]
Tel.: 0631 205-4307

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