Energy Looks for Additional Ways to Prepare the Future Quantum Workforce
The Department of Energy has asked higher education to weigh in on how the agency can help prepare students to work in quantum information science.
The Energy Department is looking for information about where it can best help to prepare the future quantum workforce, according to a request for information scheduled to be published on Monday in the Federal Register.
According to the RFI, the emerging field of quantum information science could lead to innovations in quantum computing, simulation, communication, sensing and other critical technologies. The RFI noted that “as a new and strongly technology-oriented field, QIS requires a well-trained workforce to fill positions ranging from research and development to design and manufacturing.”
As a result, the Energy Department is asking higher education institutions—including public and private universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, minority serving institutions, community colleges and emerging research institutions—to comment on how to prepare students to work in quantum information science fields. The agency is also looking for opportunities where its national laboratory network could help train students.
The RFI noted that, as part of the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Congress asked Energy to establish a working group to “assess how to assist institutions of higher education in developing curricula to promote the next generation of scientists working in QIS at all levels, ranging from the manufacture and troubleshooting of quantum information devices, to the design, research and development of novel QIS technologies and fundamental science.”
Energy’s Office of Science is therefore asking higher education institutions how the agency’s resources—such as its national labs—can help prepare the future workforce in partnership with educational institutions. Specifically, Energy is seeking information on the state and needs of current educational and training programs, while also investigating which skills necessary to train the workforce are likely to be taught at educational institutions and which skills should be taught through training opportunities.
The agency will use feedback to form a plan that will complement higher education workforce development training.
Responses are due 45 days after publication in the Federal Register and should be submitted through the formal comment link on regulations.gov.