Joseph Salfi

Joseph Salfi

Assistant Professor

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

What is your educational and professional background?

I was awarded a PhD from the University of Toronto in 2011.
I was a postdoc at the Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) in Sydney, Australia from 2011 to 2015.
I was a Lecturer and prestigious Discovery Early Career Research Fellow at CQC2T from 2016 to 2018.

Why engineering? 

I am half electrical engineer, half quantum physicist. I am inspired by problems where advances in fundamental science allow for transformative technological developments.

Why UBC?

Vancouver is becoming a world-recognized hub of quantum research and technology. UBC is very strong in quantum physics research and Vancouver hosts the most successful quantum technologies startup in the world that was founded by UBC graduates.

What are your research/teaching interests and current projects?

Quantum information science and technology has the potential to transform society by solving computational problems that are impossible even on today’s supercomputers. I am building a laboratory for the physical realization of quantum computers: I address specific but important problems with special purpose quantum computers, and I make robust building blocks that are tolerant to imperfections for universal quantum computers. I am distinguished by my demonstration of “proof of principle” quantum simulators for solving hard problems in condensed matter physics, and for developing a new approach to quantum computing that exploits a fundamental property called intrinsic spin-orbit coupling. My approach is industrially relevant because it is based on silicon materials that underpin classical computer technologies.

How do you hope your work will impact society/students?  

Quantum information technologies are coming and it is up to scientists and engineers to make them work and to find the best uses for them.   

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in engineering?

Follow your interests because you will excel at solving problems you are passionate about. Think big and never give up.

What are you passionate about outside work?  

Reading, cycling and squash. I am adapting to living in Vancouver, which offers so many opportunities for outdoor activities.