Graduate secures high-profile role in quantum physics
A University of Wolverhampton graduate has secured a research role at a high-profile institution in Germany – making infinite use of her Physics degree.
Chloë Allen-Ede, 24 from Albrighton, near Wolverhampton, was one of the first students to study for the University’s Physics degree course which was re-introduced in the School of Science and Engineering in September 2017. She is also one of the first to graduate from the course.
The Bachelor of Science (BSc) Honours degree is taught by the Director of Studies, Fabrice Laussy, who has a distinguished research career, having graduated with a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the Université Blaise Pascal in Clermont-Ferrand where he was born.
Chloë has secured a job as a Research Assistant in Trapped-Ion Quantum Computing at Leibniz Universität Hannover in Germany.
She said: “I chose the University of Wolverhampton after taking a gap year because I wanted to be closer to home and the new course at Wolverhampton looked really exciting and interesting. Being close to home also allowed me to maintain my current commitments at the time such as keeping my job and it also meant that I could save money for accommodation.
“When I first joined University, my main aim was just to get a degree and then perhaps work for a big company. It is not until I got more involved in University life that I realised there was so much more to do than just pass an exam to get a piece of paper at the end. I was doing really interesting modules in my course that raised loads of questions with me and outside of the course I was heavily involved in lots of societies and outreach events which made the experience of University that much more enjoyable for me.
“I had the opportunity to do a year in industry which was great because I got to actually apply some of the skills I learnt in my degree to a real world setting as well as learn lots of new things. My programming skills greatly improved and it was my first glimpse into what 'office life' was like. I really enjoyed my experience at the company and am so grateful that I had the experience when I did.
“Before finishing my final year, I had a few job opportunities that I could have pursued but I knew I wanted to get more experience in research, so I started to look at different academic routes. My course felt a lot more personalised and I felt like I could make an impact with my degree. The modules and staff were very supportive and amazing in delivering the course - especially while dealing with a global pandemic!
“I particularly enjoyed my Quantum Physics modules at university and started looking into Quantum Computing and its application early in my third year. When I entered my final year, I had firmly decided that I wanted to stay in academia for a little while longer and face new challenges/areas of work. In the end I chose my current position.
“Currently, I am working on the existing quantum computing set up with the eventual goal of implementing quantum gates. Quantum Computing, although still very much a buzzword at the moment, has potential to have amazing applications and research is very interesting. The main idea of a Quantum computer is how we can use quantum mechanics to solve difficult problems.
“I use theory from all different aspects of my first degree: from optics, quantum physics and electrodynamics. Lab skills are also particularly important in my current role as this is where I spend most of my day. As well as this, I have to use some of the soft skills which developed with my degree such as time management, teamwork and communication- I learnt all this from organising society events while managing my course load! Even the process of moving to Germany during a pandemic and straight after Brexit created challenges which the University gave me a lot of support on in terms of providing transcripts, for example. I absolutely love my new job and it is so crazy to me that I get paid to learn and play with stuff in the lab while also contributing to amazing science!
“I am still not yet certain what my long-term plans are. Maybe I will stay in Germany after I finish my PhD or maybe I will go on a new adventure. I know that my degree in physics gave me a very diverse set of skills which makes me highly employable and can open many doors. For now, I am trying to stay focused on the most up to date research in my field and work hard to be able to do well and enjoy the experience.”
Fabrice said: “Physics is the most multi-faceted discipline of Science – it is a subject about everything. You can go anywhere with it and in Wolverhampton this is a great opportunity for students to be part of a unique adventure. It is an opportunity to learn about limitless possibilities, meaning that students are unlimited in terms of their choice of career.
“The course involves exploring, experimenting and theorising with all the scientific topics as its playground and the classroom environment is very interactive. A Physicist is someone who wants to figure things out and our course allows students to discover where their best potential lies.
“Physics hadn’t been taught as a degree course at the University for over 25 years. Its reintroduction shows our commitment to offering a complementary range of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses which will help to address skills gaps in related industries.”
Anyone looking to study at the University of Wolverhampton should register for one of our forthcoming Open Days.
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