April 27, 2022
Staff Accomplishment

Kai-Mei Fu Joins PNNL as Dual Appointee

Fu brings expertise in quantum defects to PNNL

Kai-Mei Fu headshot

Kai-Mei Fu joins PNNL as a joint appointee from the University of Washington.

(Composite image by Cortland Johnson | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Kai-Mei Fu recently joined the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) as a dual appointee from the Department of Physics and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Washington (UW).

Fu will supplement the quantum information science research conducted at PNNL by identifying and controlling quantum properties of point defects in crystals. These materials have potential applications in quantum sensing. “PNNL has particular strengths in materials spectroscopy, imaging, and analysis,” said Fu. “I am thrilled to join PNNL and utilize the capabilities and expertise the Lab has to offer.”

“Kai-Mei brings an exciting new perspective to PNNL’s quantum materials research,” said Nathan Baker, Laboratory Fellow in the Computing & Analytics Division at PNNL. “Their expertise in materials for quantum computing and quantum communication complements existing capabilities at PNNL and can help advance the development of quantum applications.”

At UW, Fu leads the Quantum Defect Laboratory, where they explore new capabilities of materials through solid-state device integration of defects. Fu also co-chairs the UW QuantumX Steering Committee and is the Deputy Director of the Co-design Center for Quantum Advantage, a Department of Energy Quantum Information Science Research Center.

In addition to their research expertise, PNNL also gains Fu’s dedication to mentorship and training of next generation of scientists with this joint appointment. As one of the organizers of the Northwest Quantum Nexus and Director of the Accelerating Quantum-Enabled Technologies, a National Science Foundation National Research Traineeship program, Fu is committed to educating and developing a quantum information science-trained workforce.

“Professor Fu’s dual appointment with PNNL enables the development of new capabilities in quantum materials and quantum information sciences domains at PNNL and helps to elevate PNNL’s impact in these fields,” said PNNL’s Director of Research Partnerships Suresh Baskaran. “Furthermore, this appointment also helps PNNL develop a pipeline of students from the University of Washington in this research area.”

Fu received an undergraduate degree in Physics from Princeton University and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Physics from Stanford University. Their work has been granted multiple awards including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Cottrell Scholar Award, and the UW College of Engineering Junior Faculty Award.