WIQD logo

Women in Quantum Development

WIQD (pronounced “wicked”) is a professional network for quantum technology enthusiasts from industry, academia and policy.

Our mission is to bring together women in quantum in the Netherlands, and beyond, for support, networking, and community growth.

Save the date:

November 23, 2020

Mentoring program virtual kick-off meeting

Want to join the discussion?

Join our Slack Channel to view and post announcements, and participate in discussions with other members. To join, please contact Stacey Jeffery at jeffery@cwi.nl

Stay up to date!

Join our mailing list to be kept in the loop about future WIQD events.

A network of women in quantum

We started WIQD to address a simple problem: there are not very many women in the field of quantum computing. Unfortunately, we believe that this condition is somewhat self-sustaining.

With few or no women role models, it may be difficult for some women to imagine themselves in a long-term career in quantum computing.

On the flip side, a support network of women peers could have a positive impact on the retention of women in the field, but for many women from smaller groups, there are few opportunities to form such a network.

Organizing events

In order to achieve our mission, we plan to organize events multiple times per year. These events should be:

Useful: We’re all busy, so let’s take the opportunity to discuss science when we meet.

Interactive: There will always be a networking component to our events to foster new connections.

Inspiring: We will seek to organize events with people from different career stages, including as diverse as possible role models, with built-in opportunities to inspire one another.

November 23, 2020

WIQD mentoring program

We are currently seeking applications to be a mentor and/or a mentee in our WIQD mentoring program. Find out more, including how to apply, here. Applications will be accepted until November 26.

Save the date: We will kick off the mentoring program with a virtual event on Monday November 23 from 2:30 to 4:30pm. The event will feature a brief introduction to the mentoring program, and speed networking sessions. Find out more here, or join our mailing list to receive further information about the event, as well as other updates and announcements.

We hope to see you there!

Information & Registration

Get to know our steering committee

The steering committee for WIQD consists of (in alphabetical order by last name):

  • Jaya Baloo (Avast)
  • Julia Cramer (co-chair; Leiden University)
  • Freeke Heijman (TU Delft)
  • Stacey Jeffery (co-chair; CWI & QuSoft)
  • Victor Land (QuSoft)
  • Tanja Lange (TU/e)
  • Karin Poels (Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties)
  • Barbara Terhal (QuTech/EEMCS Dept TU Delft and FZ Juelich)
Dominic Scott
Leiden University

Julia Cramer

Julia Cramer is a postdoctoral researcher at Leiden University, affiliated both at the Physics Institute (LION) as well as in the Science Communication and Society research group. Julia is interested in the intersection between social science and quantum science:

Can we design effective science-based outreach on quantum science and technology?

Her experimental PhD research focused on quantum error correction with spins in diamond, being the first to show repeated quantum error correction with real-time feedback. For this research she obtained the Minerva prize, for women in physics. Julia enjoys reaching out to diverse groups about quantum science; she gives lectures to kids and talks about quantum on the radio and occasionally on tv. Julia wonders why we physicists are so scientific in our research, while we are so not-scientific in our outreach plans. She thinks we can be much more effective and diverse in outreach if we understand how it really works.

Julia co-founded WIQD because she herself did not want to study physics after high school because she felt this was not for girls. After she did make the right decision she felt very much supported by senior researchers to continue her research. She has (had) many role models over the years and she would like to help others to find theirs too.

Dominic Scott
QuSoft and CWI

Stacey Jeffery

Stacey Jeffery has been a Senior Researcher at CWI, affiliated with QuSoft, since January 2017. Before that, she was an IQIM Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM) at Caltech. She received her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo in 2014, where she was affiliated with the Institute for Quantum Computing.

Stacey’s research is in applications of quantum computers, including quantum algorithms and cryptographic protocols. In particular she has worked on frameworks for facilitating the design of quantum algorithms. She is also interested in the theoretical limits of quantum computers, such as lower bounds on time and space.

Stacey co-founded WIQD because she feels that she has benefited immensely from a professional support network of other women, and wanted to ensure that others have the opportunity to develop a similar network, as well as gain exposure to a variety of role models with diverse approaches to work and life.

Dominic Scott

Victor Land

Victor has been a science-enthusiast for most of his life, culminating in a Masters degree in physics and astrophysics and a PhD, both at Utrecht University. During his PhD, he studied the properties of complex plasma systems, and as a post doctorate and research associate at Baylor University, in Texas, he investigated the very early phases of planet formation in ionized environments around young stars both numerically and in the laboratory for over 4 years. Upon return to the Netherlands, he continued to support science, first as a program coordinator with the Foundation for Research on Matter (FOM, part of NWO), later as a project officer for the department of Applied Physics at TU/e. There, he co-founded the Center for Quantum Materials and Technology (QT/e) and assisted in writing the National Agenda for Quantum Technology, launching him into the quantum technologies arena. Since June 2019, he has been the coordinator of QuSoft, the research center for quantum software in Amsterdam.

Besides being involved in science professionally, Victor is an active amateur astronomer and volunteers at Sonnenborgh, the museum and observatory in Utrecht. He also runs “Sterren Kijken In De Stad”, through which he has brought dozens of people in contact with the wonders of the universe and the fantastic hobby that stargazing provides.

If we do not ensure that women in science get the exact same attention for their work, access to research funding and infrastructure, as well as access to networks of experts, the world is missing out on 50% of its potential. For Victor, that makes it a no-brainer to join an important initiative such as WIQD.

Dominic Scott
Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties

Karin Poels

Karin is a cryptographer with the ambition to help develop highly secure and usable products to protect information. That is one of the reasons she is highly interested in quantum (as a threat to crypto). Karin is also a proud mother of two daughters who loves being a role model not only to them but also to many more young women, with a math/crypto/quantum ambition. She notices that, in general, women in technology tend to be less self-secure than men in technology, and as a female role model she can give them this little bit extra encouragement they need. That is why she was glad to be asked to be a member of the WIQD steering committee.

Dominic Scott
QuTech/EEMCS Delp, TU Delft and FZ Juelich

Barbara Terhal

Barbara Terhal has been a professor at the EEMCS Department at TU Delft and a staff member at QuTech since 2017. She received her PhD degree Cum Laude from the University of Amsterdam in 1999 on “Quantum Algorithms and Quantum Entanglement”, making her the first person to get a PhD in quantum computing in the Netherlands.

During her PhD, Barbara developed the concept of an entanglement witness as opposed to a Bell inequality test for the detection of quantum entanglement. After her PhD, she was a postdoc at IBM Research at Yorktown Heights, NY and at Caltech, before returning to IBM as research staff member in 2001.

In 2010 she left IBM to become professor in theoretical physics at RWTH Aachen University, supplemented by a position at FZ Juelich from 2015 until present. She has been a fellow of the American Physical Society since 2007 and a distinguished visiting research chair at Perimeter Institute since 2014.

Barbara has a long-standing interest and track-record in quantum error correction and fault-tolerance. She views a scalable implementation of quantum error correction as one of the great challenges in physics today.

Barbara got involved in WIQD because she is happy to support activities that strengthen diversity and enhance communication within the scientific community.

Dominic Scott
QuTech and Quantum Delft

Freeke Heijman

Freeke Heijman is director strategic development at QuTech in Delft and special advisor to the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy on Quantum Technologies. In this context she is responsible for the Dutch national policy and investments in Quantum Technology, international partnerships such as the NL participation in the EU flagship and development of the Delft Quantum Campus ecosystem. She is a 50-50 liaison between the Ministry and the QuTech Center and represents The Netherlands in European committees such as the FET Flagship Board of Funders. She has extensive experience in European and national space, industrial and innovation policies including in the role of head of unit. She graduated at the TU Delft Policy Analysis and Systems Engineering department in 1999 and started her career at KPN Research. Her passion is to drive innovation at the crossroad of academia, business and government.