Professor Winfried Hensinger heads the Sussex Ion Quantum Technology Group and he is the director of the Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies. Hensinger is also co-founder, chairman and chief scientist of Universal Quantum, a full stack quantum computing company.
Prof Hensinger obtained his PhD at the University of Queensland demonstrating new and strange quantum effects with ultracold atoms. During his PhD, he spent an extended period at NIST in Gaithersburg in the group of Nobel laureate William Phillips where he managed to observe a new quantum effect for the first time where an atom moves both forward and backwards simultaneously. He then spent three years at the University of Michigan developing ways to scale ion trap quantum computing. In 2005, he moved to the University of Sussex where his group works on constructing a practical trapped-ion quantum computer as well developing portable quantum sensors.
Hensinger produced the first ion trap microchip in the world and more recently, his group developed a new generation of quantum microchips featuring world record specifications. In 2016, Hensinger and his group invented a ground-breaking new approach to quantum computing with trapped ions where voltages applied to a quantum computer microchip can replace billions of laser beams which would have been required in previous proposals on how to build a quantum computer. Hensinger recently announced the first practical blueprint for building a quantum computer in a paper published in Science Advances (http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/2/e1601540.full) giving rise to the assertion that is now possible to construct a large scale quantum computer. His group is currently assembling a quantum computer prototype based on this technology.