University News

WIU Hosting CQE Workshop July 11

July 9, 2024

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MACOMB, IL - - Regional leaders will gather at Western Illinois University in the hopes of securing funding to explore advanced technology.

The workshop, held Thursday, July 11, in Stipes Hall, is designed to help the Chicago Quantum Exchange (CQE) apply for a $160 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. The event is being organized by Chris Merrett, Director of the Illinois
Institute for Rural Affairs and Kishor Kapale, Chair of the WIU Physics Department.

The CQE is part of the State of Illinois's effort to make Chicago and Illinois the center for Quantum Technologies research, manufacturing innovation, education, workforce development and economic development. It is led by the University of Chicago, in partnership with Northwestern University, the University of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin, Purdue, Argonne National Lab, Fermilab and additional public and private sector partners.

Uses for quantum technology include:
Creating quantum networks to secure communications, protecting consumers from financial fraud.
Using quantum computing to create more accurate climate models.
Increasing the pace of life-saving medicines is created.
Creating a more resilient energy grid.
Enable cities to optimize construction schedules and develop better traffic systems.
Improve underground navigation and environmental monitoring.

Of the 40 people registered to attend, seven colleges and universities will be represented, as well as multiple cities, organizations and companies in the region.

For more information on CQE, visit At WIU, please contact Chris Merrett at or Kishor Kapale at

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