Rob Thew

  • Position: Group Leader
  • Address:
    Université de Genève
    Chemin de Pinchat 22
    CH-1211 Genève 4
  • Phone: +41 22 379 05 13


I am currently leading the Quantum Photonics and Quantum Communication Group in the Group of Applied Physics at the University of Geneva. My personal research interests can be best described by what I call “Enabling Quantum Communication”. This can be broken down into three key themes:

  • Applied Physics – Development of quantum communication systems and integration of diverse components: sources; detectors; quantum interfaces and testing novel architectures and protocols.
  • Foundational Physics – Testing concepts of nonlocality and entanglement, ranging from Bell tests to exploring Schrödinger cat (macroscopic) states.
  • Technology - Nonlinear photonic interfaces (e.g. parametric down conversion), circuits, single and photon number resolving detection.

Recently the concept of Device Independent Technologies has been put forward. This beautifully combines the first two themes and relies heavily on the last. The related experiments build naturally on our previous work on entanglement and multi-photon experiments (Entanglement Swapping, Real-World Teleportation) but puts even greater demands on all of the component technologies.

I also recently organised the workshop to celebrate the 60th birthday of Nicolas Gisin … and didn't know where to put a link to the web site: The GISIN 60th Workshop.

Scientific Management

In parallel to this, I am (and have been) also involved in several successful EU and Swiss projects: I was the SP leader (sous chef for Nicolas Gisin) for the “Quantum Memories and Interfaces” sub-project in QAP and now again, in my own right for Q-essence - leading the sub-project on “Enabling Technologies for Quantum Communication”. I am also the project manager for QuReP, targeting the development of a quantum repeater, and involved in the CA QUIE2T, working, in part, as a liaison for the QIPC community with industry. Recently, I was also named Executive Secretary for the EU Virtual Institute of Quantum Communication. On the national level, I am involved with both Nicolas Gisin and Hugo Zbinden and their NCCR projects in Quantum Photonics and Quantum Information Science. I am also project manager for the swiss QCRYPT project that aims to develop a next-generation QKD system (>1Mbps one time pad rates) and 100Gbps encryption engines for a complete encryption solution.

Academic Career

2010 –> Collaborateur Scientifique - University of Geneva
2007 - 10 Maître Assistant - University of Geneva
2006 - 07 Postdoctoral Researcher - University of Geneva
2001 - 06 Ph.D. Physics, University of Geneva, Switzerland. Fibre Optic Quantum Communication. Supervisor: Prof. Nicolas Gisin
2001 Research Assistant - University of Queensland, Theoretical research on quantum process tomography, in collaboration with Dr Michael Nielsen & Dr Andrew White
2000 Postgraduate B.Sc. with First Class Honours in Physics, University of Queensland, Australia, Entanglement Manipulation of Polarisation-Entangled Photons. Supervisors: Prof. Gerald J. Milburn & Dr William J. Munro
1996 - 99 B.Sc. Physics, University of Queensland, Australia


Pre-GAP Publications

Publications in Books

R. T. Thew,“Q-ICT: Quantum Cryptography” (Chapter), ICT Shaping the World, ETSI (2008)