DSU gets $7.5 million grant to bolster quantum sensing research

DOVER, Del. – Quantum sensing is a science that most folks have probably never heard of before. But professors here at Delaware State University say it’s incredibly important. Now they’ll be able to strengthen their research thanks to a grant from the United States Department of Defense. “You have to ask for this kind of infrastructure that would allow you to do these kinds of experiments,” said DSU professor Dr. Gour Pati.

The five year $7.5 million research grant won’t just help pay for equipment. It’ll also establish a Center of Excellence in Advanced Quantum Sensing. Quantum sensing is a type of technology that can measure things like velocity, rotation, magnetic field with a high degree of precision by observing atoms.

DSU professors say it can be used for things in our every day lives, like predicting when a volcano might explode or using it in healthcare to detect diseases early on. “You’re looking at the process happening in singular atoms. So you can use them for navigation – like in your cell phone you have a GPS,” said DSU professor Dr. Renu Tripathi.

Senators Tom Caprer, Chris Coons, and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester were on hand to announce the grant Thursday. Congresswoman Blunt Rochester says that this is a perfect opportunity to make advancements in technology and support HBCUs. “It’s also an equity issue for the Department of Defense. They have said there’s a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and this is an opportunity for them to put their money where their mouth is,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester.

Senator Carper adds that this kind of research could give a boost to Delaware’s economy, and possibly even the nation’s. The senator says that’s because DSU students who participate in this research will be better prepared when they enter the job market. “One of the things we hope we’re doing is providing an opportunity to monetize the federally funded research to turn that into employment – opportunities for jobs and businesses in that are successful,” said Senator Carper.

At the end of this five year project, the professors say that they’ll have to submit a report to the Department of Defense. DSU and the Department of Defense will also be working with the Army Research Laboratory and the Naval Research Laboratory. Meanwhile, DSU says that the Department of Defense will be periodically checking on the progress of their research.

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