UCL Quantum Science and Technology Institute


Alumni Matters: Dr Michael Vasmer

1 October 2020

Catching-up with alumni of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Delivering Quantum Technologies.

Photo of Michael Vasmer


CDT COHORT 2: 2015-19

Postdoctoral Researcher at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and Institute for Quantum Computing, Canada

Research interest: Quantum Error Correction

Q. Was there one particular CDT experience that stands out in your memory?

It was the first time I had done group work and it had been genuinely fun. I had done group projects before and they were always a complete nightmare, but in the CDT we had a year of working closely together and so when we did our group projects it was really fun. Now I do most of my research work collaboratively.

Q. What was the focus of your PhD?

I did my final year undergraduate project in high energy physics, but I didn’t want to continue in that field. I had done a short course on quantum computing, which I really enjoyed so the CDT was perfect for me because it was an opportunity to explore the different research options in quantum technologies before committing. I actually hadn’t heard of my research topic, which is quantum error correcting, before I started the CDT.

Q. What is the focus of your current research?

My PhD research was about a specific topological error correcting code, but since I moved to Canada, I’ve started expanding my horizons and I’ve been looking into the topic more generally. One surprising development is the interesting connection between error correction and black-hole physics. If you interpret things in the right way, error correcting codes actually turn up in nature. I’m getting more interested in this and I’m hoping to expand the research past topological code research.

After completing his PhD at UCL, Dr Michael Vasmer, moved to Canada to be a postdoctoral researcher at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and Institute for Quantum Computing.

This article was featured in UCLQ’s 2019/20 annual report.