WIQD is run by a steering committee and an organizing committee whose members share the goal of bringing together women in quantum in the Netherlands, and beyond, for support, networking, and community growth.

Steering committee

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

  • Jaya Baloo (Avast)
  • Julia Cramer (co-chair; Leiden University)
  • Freeke Heijman (Quantum Delta NL)
  • 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)
  • Stephanie Wehner (QuTech)
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
Quantum Delta NL 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.

Dominic Scott

Stephanie Wehner

Stephanie Wehner is Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Professor at Delft University of Technology. As Roadmap Leader Quantum Internet and Networked Computing she is responsible for QuTech’s quantum networks objectives. Her passion is quantum communication in all its facets, and she has written numerous scientific articles in both physics and computer science. Stephanie is one the founders of QCRYPT, which has become the largest conference in quantum cryptography, the coordinator of the Quantum Internet Alliance, and has been awarded the KNAW Ammodo Science Award 2019. From 2010 to 2014, her research group was located at the Centre for Quantum Technologies, National University of Singapore, where she was first Assistant and later Associate Professor. Previously, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology in the group of John Preskill. In a former life, she worked as a professional hacker in industry.

Organizing committee

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

  • Vandana Dwarka (TU Delft)
  • Marieke Kootte (TU Delft)
  • Judith Kreukels (UvA)
  • Aletta Meinsma (co-chair; Leiden University/QuTech)
  • Subhasree Patro (QuSoft/CWI)
  • Yvonne Smit (chair; QuSoft/UvA)
  • Jana Sotáková (QuSoft/UvA)

Organizing events

As organizing committee, we aim to organize multiple events per year that are:

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.

Dominic Scott
QuSoft / UvA

Yvonne Smit

Yvonne Smit is the Coordinator Communication and Impact at research institute QuSoft. Before that, she received her PhD in Physical Geography from the Utrecht University in 2019 for which she investigated how coastal dunes grow by aeolian sand transport.

During her work as a scientist she found that next to doing research, her passion also lies with science communication. She always asked herself,

“What is the use of science when nobody is communicating their results in an understandable way?”

Therefore, after her PhD she started working as the editor-in-chief for the online science communication platform – University of the Netherlands.

Nowadays, she is working from a more strategic position at QuSoft, wherein she can make a difference for the researchers working there, and communicates about their research to impact society as much as possible.

By joining WIQD Yvonne hopes to stimulate female scientists in the field of quantum development and empower them to continue their dreams; as an educator, scientist or communicator, whatever their passion is.

Dominic Scott
QuSoft / UvA

Jana Sotáková

Jana has been a PhD student at QuSoft and the University of Amsterdam since September 2019. Before that, she received her masters’ degree in number theory as part of the ALGANT Master program in Leiden and Regensburg.

Jana’s research is in post-quantum cryptography, which deals with security in a world of large-scale quantum computers. Sufficiently large quantum computers will be able to break most of the cryptography on the internet as we know it. Jana’s work focuses on studying new cryptographic protocols that are hard to break even for quantum computers, she studies such constructions using both using classical and quantum algorithms.

Because of her commitment to diversity and equity, Jana is happy to be a part of the WIQD organizing team to help with making the field of quantum development inclusive and welcoming for everyone.

Dominic Scott
QuSoft / CWI

Subhasree Patro

Subhasree joined QuSoft, CWI as a PhD student in October 2018. She holds a master’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from IIIT-Hyderabad, India. She is currently working in the field of quantum computing, algorithms and complexity theory mainly focusing on getting conditional quantum time lower bounds for problems in BQP.

She identifies herself as a woman and she is a mother of a toddler. Subhasree is happy to be part of the WIQD organizing team and would like to contribute in making this field of research more inclusive to women.

Dominic Scott
TU Delft

Marieke Kootte

Marieke Kootte is a PhD Candidate in Numerical Analysis at Delft University of Technology. She received her MSc. Degree in Applied Mathematics from both KTH Stockholm and TU Delft.

She got interested in Quantum Computing after she had been interviewing professor Koen Bertels of Quantum Engineering, TU Delft. During the interview, he made the following thought-provoking statement: “Quantum and female brains fit together in an incredibly efficient way”. She decided to read into the topic and by doing so noticed that most of the contributions in quantum research are merely made by quantum physicists not mathematicians.

Although her PhD research is related to fast and robust solvers for power flow problems, she is sure that in a reasonable amount of time, quantum computing can be found in almost every practical application. By joining WIQD she wants to show other female mathematicians to dive into quantum computing and investigate what it can mean for their field of study.

Dominic Scott
TU Delft

Vandana Dwarka

Vandana has always had a passion and curiosity for various disciplines. She joined the organizing committee of WIQD to stimulate the synergy between mathematics and quantum computing.

She is currently a PhD candidate at the Numerical Analysis department of the Applied Mathematics section at Delft University of Technology. Her work focuses on building robust, fast and accurate algorithms for computational electromagnetics. Due to the large-scale and time consuming simulations used in electromagnetic applications, she is excited to discover the future potential of scientific computing strategies using novel quantum developments.

Having a background ranging from law to mathematics, she is always looking for ways to bring topics, people and stories together. By joining WIQD, she hopes to contribute to the growing and diverse community of scientists in quantum development. Together with the WIQD team, she strives to create a platform where members can share their personal journey and support each other in future academic and professional endeavors.

Dominic Scott
Leiden University / QuTech

Aletta Meinsma

Aletta recently started her PhD at Leiden University and QuTech, with Julia Cramer and Freeke Heijman as her supervisors. She completed her Masters in Applied Physics at the Delft University of Technology, where she searched for robust quantum memories during her experimental thesis at QuTech. When joining the Quantum Vision Team, a team set up by the Delft University of technology to explore the societal impact of quantum technologies, she noticed how her two passions – quantum technology and science communication – perfectly combined. These passions have been the driving factors behind her career choices.

Aletta believes WIQD could create a sense of belonging for women in quantum technology and is specifically looking forward to organizing inspiring networking events.

Dominic Scott
University of Amsterdam

Judith Kreukels

Judith is a Project Manager with 5+ years of experience in the non-profit and public sector with large-scale consortia projects and creating social impact. From her social science background, she looks at people and society with interest. She wants to contribute to a just, sustainable and inclusive society and is convinced of the power of inclusion of (vulnerable) groups in the development and implementation of policy.

Currently, Judith works as a Project Manager at the University of Amsterdam and manages large-scale research projects of the EU and the RVO to obtain new scientific insights in the field of sustainability and technology.

WIQD is one of Judith’s projects that she manages from her position at the University of Amsterdam.