Two of CQT's founding members, Professor Oh Choo Hiap and Professor Berge Englert, have been elected Fellows of the American Physical Society (APS).
The society has some 51,000 members around the world, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry, but far fewer Fellows. Fellowship is limited to no more than one half of one percent of the society's membership.
"Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one's professional peers," according to the Society's website. "The criterion for election is exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise; e.g., outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education." The awards are decided by a system of nomination followed by extensive review by APS committees.
Oh Choo Hiap, who says he was "pleasantly surprised" on his election to Fellowship, is cited "For vital contributions to the development of physics teaching and research in Singapore, especially establishing its leading position in research in quantum technology, and for important personal contributions to this field."
Choo Hiap has been at NUS since 1983, and as head of the Physics Department from 2000 to 2006, recruited a number of researchers in the field of quantum information. This seeded the ground for CQT to be established in December 2007. Choo Hiap retired from being a CQT Principal Investigator (PI) at the end of 2014 but continues his research on quantum information, quantum computation and fundamental issues in quantum theory as a CQT Fellow.
Berge Englert received news of his fellowship by email on 6 October. He says "I was, in fact, completely taken by surprise. I didn't even know that I had been nominated for APS fellowship. I am, of course, honored and pleased by this high-level peer recognition. In my case, this is about life-time achievements rather than one singular contribution."
Berge is cited "For distinctive theoretical contributions to the foundations, interpretation, and applications of quantum mechanics."
Like Choo Hiap, Berge has also been with CQT since its inception. He joined NUS in 2002. He remains a CQT Principal Investigator leading a group with interests in quantum information and cold atoms. He also oversees the CQT PhD Programme.