Campus and Community

Técnico student wins “Best Student Paper Award”

The work of José Jesus was recognised at the 13th Congress of the Portuguese Committee of the International Union of Radio Science (URSI).

José Jesus, Integrated MSc student in Engineering Physics and scholar of the Gulbenkian Programme New Talents in Quantum Technologies, was one of the leaders of the first experiment of wireless quantum communications in Portugal, held at Técnico, on 8th July. A few months later, José Jesus won the “Best Student Paper Award”, at the 13th Congress of the Portuguese Committee of the International Union of Radio Science (URSI).

“I felt a mixture of surprise and enthusiasm when I received this award”, says José Jesus. Although he had a great will to win this award, the Técnico student did not expect it “so it was a very pleasant surprise when they called me on stage”.

The award-winning article entitled “Quantum key distribution through free Space” is based on the first experiment of wireless quantum communications that took place at Técnico on 8th July and all the work involved.

This paper highlights “this technology is essential and strategic for a country’s sovereignty, which is why the European Union, the United States of America and China are heavily investing in quantum technologies”, says José Jesus.

The students who competed for this award had to present a 5-minute pitch. “I tried to simplify and to give the audience all the quantum concepts needed to understand the implementation and operation of the quantum link”, recalls the Técnico student. “Then the system itself was explained and the link between theoretical concepts and their practical implementation was established”, he adds. Finally, José Jesus ended his pitch stressing “the success of the implementation of the quantum link as proof of concept and reinforced the importance of this technology for future space missions”, he recalls.

“I believe that my work was recognised for being the first experiment of wireless quantum communications in Portugal and for being a project in the Quantum Technologies field, a very recent field that is at the forefront of Science”, he stresses. José Jesus highlighted the essential support of Gulbenkian Programme New Talents in Quantum Technologies and professors Manfred Niehus and Yasser Omar.