Mack Kira receives CoE Monroe-Brown Foundation Service Excellence Award

Prof. Kira’s efforts led directly to the establishment of the University of Michigan Quantum Research Institute.
Mack Kira

Prof. Mack Kira received the 2023-2024 Monroe-Brown Foundation Service Excellence Award from the College of Engineering for his impactful leadership in service of quantum science and technology.

“Professor Kira has changed the entire landscape for students and faculty in the quantum area, and his enthusiasm and vision has inspired work and collaborations with and between other faculty, as well as the generation of several major collaborative proposals,” said Duncan Steel, the Robert J Hiller Professor Emeritus of Engineering.

Kira arrived at Michigan in 2016 as a senior faculty member and immediately went to work to expand Michigan’s opportunities in quantum information science and technology. In collaboration with Prof. Steven Cundiff, he formed the Michigan Quantum Science Working Group. The Group’s 2019 workshop attracted more than 175 individuals from 12 departments across the university, as well as representatives of startup companies and large corporations.

In 2021, Kira and Cundiff were leaders in establishing the Midwest Quantum Collaboratory. This partnership with Michigan State University and Purdue University facilitated further collaborations in quantum science and technology.

And most significantly, in 2023, the University of Michigan established the Quantum Research Institute; Kira and Cundiff are the founding co-directors. At least eight new faculty members will be recruited into this interdisciplinary research area.

New faculty often introduce new courses as they bring a wealth of unique experience to Michigan’s students. Kira introduced the new courses Quantum Optoelectronics and Quantum Optics in Many Body Systems to the curriculum. He is also teaching several existing courses with homes in EECS, Applied Physics, and Physics. Kira currently serves as the area director for Optics and Photonics, and also serves on the U-M Quantum Computing Task Force and the national QuSTEAM initiative. He was General Chair of the 2019 Conference on Fundamental Optical Processes in Semiconductors, held in Banff, Canada, and Co-chair of the 2022 Midwest Quantum Collaboratory Entanglement Conference, held in Ann Arbor. He is a Fellow of Optica and APS.