On Wednesday 26th November 2014, Greg Clark, the Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities, visited the university to announce a national investment totalling £270 million for research into quantum technology across four hubs of scientists.

One consortium is led by physicists from Birmingham with project partners from Glasgow, Nottingham, Southampton, Strathclyde and Sussex. Dr Nicole Metje from the School of Civil Engineering is delighted to be part of the team from Birmingham. The Hub started in the 1st December and will run for 5 years.

Nicole will look at applications for quantum technology sensors for civil engineering and geophysics with an initial focus on gravity gradient sensors. Her work will develop an operational framework for the sensors taking cognisance of existing geophysical sensors such as Ground Penetrating Radar. Nicole will engage with end users of the technology, who supported the QT-Hub application ensuring that the technology moves from the laboratory to real applications.

The QT sensors have the potential to locate and identify buried pipelines, mine shafts, sinkholes and mineral resources in challenging conditions where traditional geophysical sensors would not work. This, together with the array of sensors co-located on the Mapping the Underworld mobile laboratory has the potential to make street works more sustainable by providing an accurate picture of the shallow sub-surface, ultimately reducing road user delays and benefitting us