FORT PIERCE — Indian River State College (IRSC) is developing a three-course curriculum to assist incumbent photonics technicians in acquiring new quantum-related competencies. Funding for the project comes from a three-year National Science Foundation grant totaling $485,842 (NSF2055061).
“Recent advances in quantum research have created a significant mismatch between quantum scientists and industry, as there is no sizable trained workforce in this field,” states Mo Hasanovic, IRSC assistant professor and principal investigator on the grant. “The proposed curriculum is expected to help American businesses maintain their world leadership in advanced laser and quantum technologies in an era of accelerated change and disruption.”
IRSC will develop, test and disseminate a three-course hybrid curriculum in quantum research-enabled technologies. It will begin by assessing the industry demand for quantum-related skills, continuing with the curriculum development and course content creation, and ending with establishing a sustainable, open-access educational platform.
“The open-access platform will reduce geographical barriers between colleges, students and industry and help academic institutions with recruitment, retention and completion,” continues Hasanovic. “More diversity will be added to this high-tech workforce, thus removing social barriers and fostering equal economic growth across our nation.”
The National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program focuses on the education of technicians for the advanced technology fields that drive the nation’s economy. The program involves partnerships between academic institutions like IRSC and industry to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary institution school levels. IRSC’s “Develop Curriculum in Advanced Optics and Quantum Research-Enabled Technologies” project contributes toward new quantum STEM workforce development goals.