WIQD is run by an organizing committee, steering committee, and an advisory board whose members share the goal of bringing together women in quantum in the Netherlands, and beyond, for support, networking, and community growth.
The WIQD organizing committee consists of (ordered by position):
- Judith Kreukels (Chair & Project Manager; UvA)
- Yvonne Smit (Coordinator Communication & Impact; freelance (previously QuSoft))
- Mathilde Lemang (Secretary; QphoX)
- Garazi Muguruza (Network Officer; QuSoft / UvA)
- Marieke Kootte (PR officer; TU Delft)
- Vandana Dwarka (PR Officer; TU Delft)
- Caiseal Beardow (TU Delft)
- Alicja Dutkiewicz (Leiden University)
- Miriam Lucio (Maastricht University)
- Rima Schüssler (QuSoft/UvA)
- Taryn Stefanski (TU Delft)
University of Amsterdam
Chair & WIQD Project Coordinator
Judith is a Project Manager with 7+ years of experience. Currently, she fulfill two occupations, as Project Leader Diversity and Inclusion at the Dutch Research Institute (NWO-I) and as Project Coordinator for Women in Quantum Development. At WIQD she steers the Organising Committee, manages the budget, oversees overall progress, the diversity and inclusion plan and sets out the strategy for the upcoming years together with the Steering Committee in which she takes part. At NWO-I she coordinates the implementation and further development of the Diversity and Inclusion plan in collaboration with all nine Dutch Research Institutes at NWO-I.
QuSoft / UvA
Coordinator Communication and Impact
Yvonne Smit is a science communicator, speaker, moderator, host and teacher. She was the chair of WIQD for the first two year. And now works freelance as Coordinator Communication and Impact for WIQD.
Before starting as a freelancer she worked for QuSoft as a communication advisor. But she started as a scientist and 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.
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.
University of Amsterdam / QuSoft
Garazi Muguruza is a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam and QuSoft working on the Theory of Quantum Networks. Previously, she did her master’s degree in Applied Mathematics at TU Delft and an internship on Quantum Cryptography at TNO. During these, she developed a fascination for the beautiful interplay between pure mathematics, quantum physics and computer science in the quantum revolution.
Garazi is the network officer of WIQD. She joined WIQD because she believes in the need for equal opportunities in science, for which we need more representation of minorities and diverse role models to inspire new generations of quantum scientists. In particular, she finds networks of women really important for academic, professional and personal support, and essential for making quantum research a more inclusive field.
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.
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.
Caiseal is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering exploring Quantum Human-Computer Interaction and developing new mental models of quantum computing to improve accessibility.
Drawing upon research in the fields of design, computer science and psychology, Caiseal is investigating new practices for interface design in the context of quantum computers. Her work is part of the Quantum Inspire project, a collaboration between IDE, QuTech and TNO (the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research), amongst others. Caiseal’s research is centred around the (re)development of the Quantum Inspire platform: a web-based platform for building and executing quantum algorithms that connects the public with real qubits at QuTech.
Alicja is currently working towards her PhD in quantum estimation at Leiden University, with the focus on quantum simulation for near-term quantum computers. Prior to this, she also completed a research master’s at Leiden with a thesis on Quantum Phase Estimation. Alicja is passionate about inclusivity and intersectional representation. She is excited to be part of WIQD’s work to spread these values and foster support networks in the scientific community.
University of Amsterdam
Rima joined the University of Amsterdam as a Postdoc in 2020. She holds a PhD in Nuclear Physics for which she did research at the Max Planck Institute, Germany.
TU Delft / QuTech
Taryn Stefanski graduated from Michigan State University in 2019 with a BSc in physics. She then received her MSc in physics from the University of Bristol (2020) where she studied coherence properties of quantum dots. She began the Quantum Engineering Centre for Doctoral Training programme at the University of Bristol in 2020 through which she has become a visiting PhD student within Christian Andersen’s lab in QuTech as of October 2021, where she will be investigating high speed and high fidelity readout and implementation of single qubit gates on superconducting fluxonium qubits.
In her spare time, Taryn likes to do crafts, ice skate, play board games, and do puzzles. She is hoping to use her time in the Netherlands to learn Dutch and eat lots of poffertjes alongside her research.
The WIQD steering committee consists of:
- Julia Cramer (co-chair; Leiden University)
- Stacey Jeffery (co-chair; CWI & QuSoft)
- Lisa Kohl (CWI)
- Ingrid Romijn (QuTech & Q*Bird)
- Arghavan Safavi-Naini (University of Amsterdam)
- Romana Schirhagl (University of Groningen)
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.
QuSoft and CWI
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.
QuTech and Q*Bird
Ingrid Romijn holds a PhD in physics and has previously worked at TNO as researcher, project lead and program manager on solar cells technology.
Ingrid joined QuTech (a collaboration between TUDelft and TNO) as program manager in 2018. In 2019, she was part of the team to create and write the Dutch National Agenda for Quantum Technology. From 2020 – 2022 Ingrid worked for the Quantum Delta Foundation as program manager for the National Quantum Network (CAT-2) program.
Ingrid is also one of the co-founders of Q*Bird B.V., a startup (2022) from QuTech. Q*Bird’s mission is to provide equipment for the current, and future quantum internet.
University of Amsterdam
Arghavan works on quantum simulation at IoP at UvA. She studies complex quantum systems using advanced computational techniques and quantum simulation. She has worked in collaboration with both theorists and experimentalists on a broad range of quantum simulation and quantum computation platforms, including trapped-ion architectures.
University of Groningen
Romana Schirhagl received her PhD in chemistry in 2009 from the University of Vienna where she also studies biology as a second subject. She then went on to do postdoc at Stanford and ETH Zurich where she fell in love with quantum sensing. In 2014 she started her group at Groningen University where she applies NV center based sensing to biomedical applications. For more information, see https://www.bioanalysisgroup.com/.
Since October 2020, Lisa Kohl is a researcher in the Cryptology Group at CWI Amsterdam headed by Ronald Cramer. A special focus of her work lies in exploring new directions in secure computation with the goal of developing practical post-quantum secure protocols.
Before coming to CWI, Lisa worked as a postdoctoral researcher with Yuval Ishai at Technion. In 2019, she completed her PhD at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology under the supervision of Dennis Hofheinz. During her PhD, she spent eight months in the FACT center at IDC Herzliya for a research visit with Elette Boyle. Lisa got to know the CWI Cryptology Group already back in 2015, when she wrote her master’s thesis there as a visiting student.
The WIQD steering committee consists of (in alphabetical order by last name)
- Jaya Baloo (Avast)
- Freeke Heijman (Quantum Delta NL)
- Tanja Lange (TU/e)
- Karin Poels (Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties)
- Christian Schaffner (University of Amsterdam/QuSoft)
- Barbara Terhal (QuTech/EEMCS Dept TU Delft and FZ Juelich)
- Stephanie Wehner (QuTech)
Jaya Baloo has been Avast’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) since October 2019. Previously, she held the position of CISO at KPN, the largest telecommunications carrier in the Netherlands, where she established and led its security team whose best practices in strategy and policy are today recognized as world leading. Prior to this, Ms. Baloo also held the position of Practice Lead Lawful Interception at Verizon, and worked at France Telecom as a Technical Security Specialist. Ms. Baloo is formally recognized within the list of top 100 CISOs globally and ranks among the top 100 security influencers worldwide. In 2019, she was also selected as one of the fifty most inspiring women in the Netherlands by Inspiring Fifty, a non–profit aiming to raise diversity in technology by making female role models in technology more visible. Jaya has been working in the field of information security, with a focus on secure network architecture, for over 20 years and sits on the advisory boards of the NL’s National Cyber Security Centre, PQCrypto and the European Quantum Flagship’s Strategic Advisory Board. She serves on the audit committee of TIIN capital, a cybersecurity fund, and is also a member of the IT Committee of Sociale Verzekeringsbank. Jaya is currently a member of EU Quantum having been a memberof the EU High Level Steering Committee for the FET Quantum Flagship from 2016 – 2017. Jaya has spoken widely at high profile conferences such as RSA, TEDx and Codemotion on topics including Lawful Interception, VoIP & Mobile Security, Cryptography, and Quantum Communications Networks. Additionally, Jaya has been a faculty member of the Singularity University since 2017.
Quantum Delta NL and Quantum Delft
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.
Tanja Lange is chair of the Coding Theory and Cryptology group at TU Eindhoven. She is a leading researcher in post-quantum cryptography: a hot field that designs and studies cryptographic systems that are secure even against future attackers equipped with a large-scale quantum computer.Tanja is a prolific academic who has published numerous papers. She is an active member of the cryptographic community: She has served on lots of program committees, including as program chair, organized many conferences and workshops, and is a great lecturer. Moreover, Tanja is active in the standardization of cryptographic systems and works together with the industry to get her systems deployed. You might be using some of her crypto in your phone or laptop!
Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties
University of Amsterdam & QuSoft
Christian Schaffner received a diploma degree in mathematics from ETH Zurich (Switzerland) in 2003 and a PhD degree in computer science from Aarhus University (Denmark) in 2007. After being a postdoctoral scholar at CWI Amsterdam and faculty member at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) at University of Amsterdam, he is now full professor in Theoretical Computer Science and group leader of the Theory of Computer Science (TCS) group at the Informatics Institute at University of Amsterdam. He is a senior researcher at QuSoft, the Dutch research center for quantum software. Christian is a world-leading expert in quantum cryptography, both on post-quantum cryptography and on the design and analysis of protocols that solve cryptographic problems involving quantum data and quantum communication.“As chair of the Talent & Outreach committee of the Quantum Software Consortium (QSC) and the QDNL network hub Quantum.Amsterdam, I care a lot about educating and supporting a diverse quantum workforce on all levels. I believe that WIQD can play an important role towards this goal.”
QuTech/EEMCS Delp, TU Delft and FZ Juelich
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.
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.