University of New Mexico Physics and Astronomy Research Professor Andrew Landahl visited the U.S. Capitol to receive the 2021 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) most prestigious honors for mid-career scientists.
Landahl is also a Distinguished Research & Development Scientist at Sandia National Labs, where he has led multiple Big Science projects and mentored several UNM students to graduation as Sandia Interns. He was chosen for his landmark contributions to quantum computing while at Sandia Labs, inventing critical new methods for quantum error correction and open access quantum computing. Landahl also helped lead multiple Sandia Lab teams in developing two new quantum computers from scratch, and in creating an award-winning project focused on disseminating quantum knowledge. External users could gain access to Sandia’s quantum computers to program and explore.
"It’s a tremendous honor to receive this award,” Landahl said. “It recognizes not only me, but the dozens of scientists and engineers at Sandia and UNM with whom I have collaborated over a twenty-plus year career to advance the field of quantum computing.”
Landahl also serves as a member of UNM's Center for Quantum Information and Control, a fellow of the American Physical Society, and was within the chair line of the largest quantum information science professional societies.
The Lawrence Award was started to honor the memory of groundbreaking Ernest Orlando Lawrence, who invented the cyclotron, an accelerator of subatomic particles that helps us understand the structure of matter. It has benefited humanity in numerous ways, including the development of nuclear medicine.
As a Lawrence Award recipient, Landahl is one of 10 scientists and engineers in the U.S. this year to receive a citation signed by Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, a gold-plated medal, and a portion of a $20,000 honorarium.
That hybrid award ceremony was Thursday, Sept. 22, in Washington, D.C. Read more about the award or watch the ceremony after at DOE's website.