ECE@NUS
ECE@NUS

Dr. Charles Lim is awarded the 2019 NRF Fellowship

Dr. Charles Lim is awarded the 2019 NRF Fellowship

 

 

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty member Dr Charles Lim has been awarded the National Research Foundation (NRF) Fellowship (Class of 2019). The fellowship, which carries a research grant of up to SGD $3 million, provides opportunities for early career researchers to carry out independent research locally over a five-year period. The title of his NRF Fellowship proposal is “Framework for practical quantum communication using untrustworthy devices”.

Dr. Lim’s research is centred on quantum information and communication, with particular emphasis on the development of secure and robust quantum cryptographic systems. His research in this field has led to some of the world’s first provably-secure commercial quantum key distribution and quantum random number generation systems.

It is well known that quantum computers, if successfully implemented, can break today's most prevalent encryption techniques in seconds. To mitigate the future threat of quantum computers, physicists have invented quantum cryptography, a unique form of communication that uses the bizarre properties of quantum theory to encrypt information. Today, many of the state-of-the-art quantum cryptosystems perform reasonably well in practice, but these are mostly implemented using near-perfect quantum devices, which are costly and often not easily scalable. This naturally raise the question of whether one can design an alternative quantum communication framework that is cost-effective and scalable.

Dr. Lim aims to answer the above question by developing a fast and scalable quantum communication framework that can withstand noisy and lossy quantum devices. In his NRF fellowship project, he proposes to combine mathematical techniques from computer science and quantum information theory to characterise communication protocols unique to quantum systems, without restrictions on how the underlying quantum devices should behave. His work in this direction, if successful, will open a new path towards quantum secure communication using untrustworthy devices, thereby making the technology much more viable than before.

The NRF Fellowship grant will also allow Dr. Lim to develop a world-class quantum information and engineering team, and to make progress on developing quantum technologies for cybersecurity and computing.