UCL Quantum Science and Technology Institute


Riverlane supports quantum research at UCLQ

27 May 2021

EPSRC and industry co-funded PhD student Sam Griffiths talks about his experience working with leading quantum software start-up.

Sam Griffiths photo

Sam Griffiths is a first-year PhD student in the UCL’s EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Delivering Quantum Technologies, and is researching quantum error correction. Riverlane, the quantum start-up that co-funds Sam's PhD, have highlighted his work and interviewed Sam for their blog.

Quantum error correction is crucial to the challenge of scaling up in quantum computation.  Currently, the volatility of qubits means that information is lost when qubits are interacted with, so we need to find new ways of making quantum computers fault-tolerant.

Sam said in Riverlane’s blog post: “There is a lot of hype around quantum, it seems to have a sci-fi quality to it which can bring both enthusiastic attention but also many misconceptions.  I think the main deployment in the near-term will be the ability to access large scale cloud-based quantum processors to conduct big computational projects, for areas like scientific simulation, drug discovery and machine learning.”

Sam’s PhD project focusses on using topological codes. These codes perform error correction by mapping qubits onto surfaces and applying classical graph algorithms. He is simulating and benchmarking how a wide range of possible approaches on real near-term hardware. 

Since 2014, UCLQ’s quantum CDT has had 14 co-funded PhD projects from across industry, including BT, Cambridge Quantum Computing, Quantum Motion and Toshiba.  As part of his co-funded PhD, Sam has regular catch-up and support contact with James Cruise, Principal Quantum Scientist at Riverlane, and can’t wait to meet the Riverlane team in person saying, “Despite lockdown affecting my ability to visit Riverlane’s offices in Cambridge, it’s been a great experience collaborating with Riverlane so far on my project.”



Photo of Sam Griffiths (Credit: S. Griffiths)