Quantum Engineering Initiative at Washington University in St. Louis 

Quantum engineering is an emerging field that fuses physics, engineering, and computer science. It incorporates radical new ideas for computing, materials, devices and sensors. Advances in quantum sensing, encryption, and computing will transform science and engineering and have a far-reaching impact on the industry, the economy, and other aspects of our society.

The McKelvey School of Engineering and the College of Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis (WU) are offering one of the nation’s first Quantum Engineering initiatives, an interdisciplinary and inter-departmental curriculum that offers an undergraduate minor (*) and a graduate certificate. The new Quantum Engineering Curriculum integrates quantum knowledge – quantum physics, quantum information science, and quantum technologies – into the engineering education at Washington University, and is open to all WU students. 

The curriculum encompasses both fundamental physics and the broad engineering skill-set necessary to meet the practical challenges of the future. The basic core courses are designed to equip the participating students with essential quantum knowledge and achieve quantum proficiency early in their education. The interdisciplinary elective courses provide further opportunities to apply quantum knowledge in a wide range of areas wherein WU researchers are active, including nano-devices, materials, computation and communication, chemistry, and sensing and imaging. 

For questions about the programs, contact the program director, Jung-Tsung Shen, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering. For program requirements, see the Bulletin pages for the Undergraduate Minor and the Graduate Certificate. The 15-unit undergraduate minor in Quantum Engineering requires the completion of five courses. The 12-unit graduate certificate requires the completion of four courses.

 (*) Pending final approval by the Faculty Assembly

NEW course – ESE 4301 Quantum Mechanics for Engineers

The course ESE 4301 Quantum Mechanics for Engineers is designed to be the entry course for the quantum engineering curriculum, which provides the foundations — that is, the mathematical and physical knowledge — required for all subsequent core courses. By design, this course is made to be accessible to second-year engineering undergraduates with knowledge of linear algebra and calculus at the level of ESE 318/ESE 319 Engineering Mathematics A/B or the equivalent.

This course provides an accessible introduction to quantum mechanics and quantum engineering for undergraduate students. Examples are drawn from practical areas of applications of quantum engineering. This course covers the following topics and examples: quantum mechanics and nano-technology, Schrodinger’s equation, electrons transport in various potential profiles, quantum dots and defects, harmonic oscillator, nano-mechanical oscillator and quantum LC circuit, Stark effect in semiconductors, Bloch theorem, crystal and band structures, Kronig-Penney and tight-binding models, semiclassical and quantum descriptions of light-atom interactions, spontaneous and stimulated emissions, quantum flip-flops, approximate methods in quantum mechanics, spin, quantum gyroscope, spin transistor, and many-particle quantum mechanics for bosons and fermions.

Prerequisites: Simple differential equations and matrix algebra, at the level of ESE 318/319 Engineering Mathematics A/B or equivalent. Familiarity with a modern scientific computing software package (e.g., Matlab, Mathematica, or any of your favorites)

Credit 3 units. EN: BME T, TU