Heidi Shyu, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering at the U.S. Department of Defense, visited JILA and the University of Colorado Boulder on Monday to glimpse the future of cutting-edge research.
From the university’s proximity to national laboratories and quantum-intensive companies to the high volume of pioneering alumni, CU Boulder has long been a leader in the quantum space. This legacy has led to a push in innovation and technology, including as it pertains to national security—a goal also shared by Shyu and the Department of Defense.
During this visit, Shyu toured labs, listened to short lectures by CU Boulder researchers, and participated in a spirited roundtable discussion with CU President Todd Saliman, CU Boulder Provost Russ Moore, CU Boulder Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation and Dean of the Institutes Massimo Ruzzene, Physicist Jun Ye and other experts.
“All of the excellent research that we saw, seeing everything that’s being done here … It’s really impressive,” said Shyu at the end of the day. “It’s been a fantastic visit.”
Shyu began at the Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences building to get an overview of one of CU Boulder’s traditional strengths: aerospace. She took a walking tour of labs, listened to research briefs, and was introduced to the many collaborations CU Boulder has with national laboratories, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and JILA, a joint institute of CU Boulder and NIST.
From there she traveled to the top of the JILA tower where, with a backdrop of the Flatirons and campus below, the topic of conversation switched to another of CU Boulder’s strengths: quantum.
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Written by Cay Leytham-Powell