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A&S Physicist Britton Plourde Named Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

The designation of Fellow is the IEEE’s highest level of membership and recognizes Plourde’s contributions to the field of quantum computing.

Dec. 2, 2022, by Dan Bernardi

Britton Plourde
Physicist Britton Plourde has been recognized as a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Britton Plourde, professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) - an honor conferred to less than 0.1% of IEEE members annually. Plourde’s elevation to Fellow comes in recognition of his contributions to integration of qubits into future practical quantum computing systems. The highest grade of membership, IEEE Fellow is attained through nomination by peers and approval by the IEEE Board of Directors.

A professor at Syracuse University since 2005, Plourde is a leading expert in quantum computing, the field in which researchers are working to develop new computers capable of generating solutions to complex problems that are impossible to solve on the best conventional computers today. While classic computers store and process information using bits, quantum computers use qubits, which allows researchers to explore myriad solutions to a problem simultaneously instead of one at a time. Plourde’s recent work has focused on improving superconducting quantum circuits, which are critical to the future of quantum computing.

During his nearly two decades at Syracuse University, Plourde has authored or co-authored nearly 50 research publications and served as principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on over 15 federally funded grants. He has been awarded over $10 million in research funding at Syracuse University from institutions including the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army Research Office and the Department of Energy. Most recently, Plourde and his collaborators received a $5.6 million grant from the Army Research Office to support their work on solid-state qubits. The team is investigating processes that deposit energy in solid-state qubits and lead to correlated errors in quantum computers.

In addition to Plourde, two other Syracuse University professors from the College of Engineering and Computer Science were also elevated to IEEE Fellow in the latest class: Kevin Du, for contributions to cybersecurity education and research; and Vir Phoha, for development of attack-averse active authentication using behavioral patterns.

IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. There are over 409,000 IEEE members in over 160 countries. IEEE members are engineers, scientists, and allied professionals whose technical interests are rooted in electrical and computer sciences, engineering and related disciplines.


Britton Plourde Professor

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Dan Bernardi