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Below you can find a list of Hub investigators whom you may contact for further information or comment on a particular technical topic. For each investigator their subject areas of expertise are given, along with their contact details. If you require information or comment on a quantum technology matter which is not listed next to any expert, please contact our communications officer, Ruth Hardy ( directly in the first instance.

Tim Spiller

Hub Director, Professor of Quantum Information Technologies


Professor Tim Spiller moved to York in 2014 as founding Director of the York Centre for Quantum Technologies and he is now also Director of the UK Quantum Communications Hub. Prior to this he was at the University of Leeds in the roles of Head of the Quantum Information Group and Director of Research for the School of Physics and Astronomy.  Prior to 2009 Spiller was Director of Quantum Information Processing (QIP) Research at HP Labs Bristol – an activity that he established in 1995 – and a Hewlett-Packard Distinguished Scientist. He has spent 40 years researching quantum theory, superconducting systems and quantum hardware and technologies. He led HP’s strategy on the commercialisation of QIP research, is an inventor on 25 patents linked to quantum technologies and applications, and was additionally a consultant inside HP on networking, communications and nanotechnology.  

Areas of expertise:

  • the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme;
  • the Hub R&D portfolio;
  • general quantum communications and underpinning quantum science.

Roger Colbeck

Professor of Mathematics


Roger Colbeck is a researcher in theoretical quantum cryptography and the foundations of quantum mechanics with over 15 years of experience. He pioneered the device-independent approach to quantum random number generation (QRNG), and was recently part of a collaboration that experimentally demonstrated this for the first time. He gave the first proof that device-independent quantum key distribution (QKD) can in principle be performed with only two measurement devices and invented an entropic uncertainty relation, developments of which have become a standard technique for security proofs in QKD.

Areas of expertise:

  • device-independence (in particular randomness expansion or key distribution);
  • Bell inequalities;
  • and other certificates of quantum mechanics.

Ross Donaldson

Research Fellow


I am a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow at Heriot-Watt University. I lead an experimental research lab focused on free-space and satellite quantum communications, investigating new and novel technology.

Areas of expertise:

  • satellite and free-space quantum communications
  • and experimental quantum communications.

Jon Heffernan

Professor of Semiconductor Materials and Devices


Professor of Semiconductor Materials and Devices at the University of Sheffield. Also Director of the National Epitaxy Facility and Co-Director of the Future Photonics Manufacturing Hub

I Spent 20 years working in industrial R&D for a Sharp Electronics, a multinational electronics company working in the field or lasers, nanotechnology, solar cells, displays, and quantum devices. I have extensive experience of developing research from the lab to mass manufacturing.

I have been a Professor in the University of Sheffield since 2013, where my research is focussed on semiconductor epitaxy and devices. This includes quantum devices and applications, photonics integration, and manufacture of photonic materials.

I am concurrently the Director of the National Epitaxy Facility, a national centre of excellence supplying academic and industrial researchers with bespoke semiconductor materials and devices to further world leading research and its application.

Areas of expertise:

  • epitaxy of semiconductors (layer by layer deposition of materials to form complex structures from which devices such as lasers are made);
  • new materials development;
  • semiconductor devices such as quantum devices, lasers, LEDs, solar cells, sensors;
  • applications for semiconductor devices;
  • nanotechnology, including quantum dots and nanowires;
  • photonics;
  • the development of research through to technology and commercialisation;
  • and the relationship between academic research and industry

Adrian Kent

Professor of Quantum Physics


Theorist with broad interest in quantum information and quantum physics.   Inventor of relativistic classical and quantum cryptography; co-author of first works on device-independent quantum cryptography and quantum randomness expansion.

Areas of expertise:

  • relativistic quantum cryptography;
  • mistrustful quantum cryptography;
  • Bell inequalities and quantum nonlocality;
  • foundational questions in quantum physics, quantum information theory and quantum cryptography.

Pieter Kok

Professor of Theoretical Physics


I study the quantum properties of the photon. In particular, I study how we can use photons for quantum computation, quantum communication, and enhanced precision measurement using quantum entanglement in photons. I am also interested in the interpretation of quantum theory.

Areas of expertise:

  • quantum computing;
  • quantum communication;
  • quantum mechanics;
  • the interpretation of quantum theory;
  • and time travel.

Daniel Oi

Senior Lecturer of Physics


Daniel Oi is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Physics, University of Strathclyde, specialising in quantum information technologies. His major research area is space quantum communication, in particular satellite quantum key distribution (SatQKD). He leads the Quantum Research CubeSat (QUARC) programme that is developing miniaturised quantum space systems for the in-orbit demonstration of enabling SatQKD technologies. His expertise includes quantum communication system architectures, quantum optics, space quantum technology development, and quantum communication applications.

Areas of expertise:

  • space quantum technology development, particularly nanosatellite (CubeSat) approaches;
  • the future of Satellite/Free-Space QKD;
  • beyond QKD, quantum communications and the quantum internet.

Douglas Paul

Professor of Semiconductor Devices


Douglas Paul has an MA degree in Physics and Theoretical Physics and a PhD from the Cavendish LaboratoryUniversity of Cambridge.

He presently holds an EPSRC Quantum Technology Fellowship awarded to provide leadership for the UK Quantum Technology Programme and he previously held an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. He was the first Director of the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Institute of Physics, a chartered physicist, a chartered engineer and a Senior Member of the IEEE.

He was the recipient of the Institute of Physics President’s Medal in 2014.

His research interests include silicon nanowires, quantum technologies (MEMS gravimetersmicro cold atom systemsGe on Si single photon avalanche detectors), integrated mid-infrared sensorsand SiGe THz quantum cascade lasers.

He frequently gives outreach talks to the public at a range of events around the UK and annually gives invited presentations at many international conferences.

Prof Paul presently sits on a number of government department committees including SAGE and previously sat on the Home Office CBRN Scientific Advisory Committee. He was the U.K. representative to the NATO CBP Science Panel.

Areas of expertise:

  • micro- and nano-fabrication;
  • single photon avalanche detectors (SPADs)
  • and national security uses of quantum technology.

Richard Penty

Professor of Photonics


Richard Penty has had over 30 years of experience in photonics, starting with optical nonlinearities in glass and semiconductor materials, through photonic devices and integration to optical systems.  He has had over 10 years experience in quantum communications and leads the Quantum Network activities in the QComm hub.

Areas of expertise:

  • quantum key distribution;
  • quantum communications networks;
  • and co-existence of quantum and classical channels.

Maurice Skolnick

Professor of Condensed Matter Physics


Professor of Condensed Matter Physics, University of Sheffield with a focus on semiconductor opto-electronics, III-V semiconductors, quantum optics in the solid state

Areas of expertise:

  • single photon sources;
  • integrated quantum photonics;
  • and III-V semiconductor technologies.