Northrop Grumman pledges $12.5 million to Innovation Campus for quantum tech

Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus in Alexandria is getting a big boost.

Falls Church-based aerospace and defense giant Northrop Grumman is making a $12.5 million commitment to support research and teaching in areas related to quantum computing and other quantum technologies at the campus.

The money will be used to establish an endowed faculty position and five to 10 graduate fellowship positions. Programs will also be built to connect Northrop Grumman experts with Virginia Tech faculty members and to engage K-12 students who are interested in STEM careers.

In a statement, Dan Sui, the university’s vice president for research and innovation, cited “the game-changing nature of quantum information science and engineering.”

Quantum computers can perform at exponentially faster computing speeds. The University also says harnessing the quantum properties of individual atoms allows them to be used as precision sensors, and that it could be possible to construct quantum networks with theoretically unbreakable security.

“The emergence of quantum computing will affect all industries and alter the landscape for national defense,” Lance Collins, vice president and executive director of the Innovation Campus, said in the statement.

In making the announcement, Virginia Tech touted its longstanding relationship with Northrop Grumman. The university said the company employs dozens of directors and eight vice presidents who are Virginia Tech graduates, and more than 700 university alumni work at the company.

Virginia Tech broke ground on the Alexandria campus in September. Its first building is set to open in 2024.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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