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Quantum systems engineering

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posted on 20.07.2020, 08:00 by Kieran Bjergstrom
With the aim of defining a Quantum Systems Engineering paradigm, we show that the systems engineering of quantum technologies is materially different from systems engineering in general. The thesis is based upon a two pronged mixed-methods research approach considering: (a) a comprehensive theoretical analysis of the difficulties in deriving systems engineering modelling tools; (b) identifying systems engineering challenges in practical quantum technology development through direct observation and case-study methods. We show a modified systems approach should benefit early stage quantum technologies design and development, a stage characterised by a low Technology Readiness Level (TRL), with the aim of accelerating capitalisation. The research showed that systems engineering applied to quantum technologies will require processes that are both more complex, and different from, those used for conventional systems technology development. This is fundamentally caused by the quantum properties of the system. Furthermore, the research evidenced that applying systems methods, tools, and approaches to low Technology Readiness Level development, both quantum and classical, is very likely to accelerate development, increase the quality of deliverables, and improve the alignment of early research to end-user needs and natural technology pull. Based on these results we have developed a series of recommendations, and a selection of systems tools, which together constitute a light-weight systems approach for low Technology Readiness Level development (some of which also apply to non-quantum domains). These are contained within the concluding chapter of the report. Findings are presented both as a verbal narrative and with full mathematical derivations.





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Loughborough University

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© Kieran Niels Bjergstrom

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A doctoral thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.




Mark Everitt ; Vincent Dwyer

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