The new quantum revolution

Government April 26, 2019

An article written by George Tuckwell, RSK’s divisional director for geosciences and engineering, appeared in the April edition of the New Statesman.

As the project lead for the Gravity Pioneer project, George was invited to write for the publication’s ‘Quantum technologies’ supplement. He comments, “RSK was selected by Innovate UK, the government’s industry research and development funding body, as the exemplar project in the government’s industry strategy funding portfolio. It was a further high accolade to be asked for our vision to be published alongside that of the government’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance”.

In the article, George detailed the potential applications of the new quantum technologies. He told the New Statesman, “Quantum technologies are a cross-sector revelation”.

The Gravity Pioneer project aims to develop a new industry of quantum cold-atom sensors that will detect and monitor objects beneath the ground better than any current technology. As detailed in the article, there is the potential for a multitude of applications across countless industries.

“Principal designers, project managers and quantity surveyors, for example, will be able to see sub-surface hazards such as pipes, cables and other buried obstructions long before they become expensive problems to solve,” writes George. “Road networks will not be dug up so often, brownfield land will not be left undeveloped and users will be able to locate forgotten mineshafts, determine the extent of sinkholes and assess the quality of infrastructure without huge economic and societal costs. The project team is already exploring how this technology can be applied in the civil engineering, aerospace, oil and gas, rail and defence sectors.”

Furthermore, George concludes, research is ongoing, so we are likely to see “even more sectors tapping into the advantages of quantum technology” in the near future. Quantum technology is an exciting innovation and RSK is at its centre.

You can read the article on the New Statesman website (pg.7).