(DailyRecord) Dr James McGilligan, based at the University of Strathclyde, has received a Research Fellowship worth £500,000 from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) to develop quantum navigation. He is one of only 16 recipients of Research Fellowships given by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) to mark the programme’s 20th anniversary.
His project will investigate microfabricating chip-scale atomic platforms for quantum navigators. These have potential applications in areas such as navigations, land surveyance and critical life systems.
It will also explore the development of highly accurate atomic clocks.
And the research, taking place over five years, will allow technology to be so advanced it will have an industrial and social impact, says the Blantyre scientist. He said: “The research environment we have at Strathclyde, and the Glasgow City Innovation District, will enable our work to have an industrial and social impact.”
The future quantum sensors can be put on satellites, in computers or in cars; the positions they identify you as being in can be the difference between being on the right side of the road and the wrong side.
“Accurate timing is also important in the financial sector, as well as in land surveying and civil engineering. If, for example, a bridge is sagging, an accurate device at small scale can be placed on a bridge and pick up how much sagging is taking place before it’s too late.”
Research Fellowships are the Academy’s flagship scheme, supporting outstanding early-career researchers to become future research leaders in engineering. The fellowships are designed to advance excellence in engineering by providing funding for five years to allow awardees the freedom to concentrate on basic research in any field of engineering.