Committees

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

Organizing committee

The WIQD organizing committee consists of (ordered by position):

  • Taryn Stefanski (Chair, TU Delft)
  • Judith Kreukels (Project Manager; UvA)
  • Maja Lešković (Student Assistant; UvA)
  • Caiseal Beardow (TU Delft)
  • Alicja Dutkiewicz (Leiden University)
  • Miriam Lucio Martinez (Maastricht University)
  • Rima Schüssler (QuSoft/UvA)
  • Ghazaleh Ghobadi (Medical Physicist and Storyteller)
  • Kendall Behr (Qblox Technical Copywriter)
  • Nina Hefele (AQUA/Leiden University)
  • Yuri van der Werf (TU Eindhoven)
  • Weronika Słominska (Leiden University)
  • Jay Jayesingha (QBlox)

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
TU Delft / QuTech

Taryn Stefanski

Chair

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.

Dominic Scott
University of Amsterdam

Judith Kreukels

Project Manager

Judith is a Project Coordinator 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.

Dominic Scott
University of Amsterdam

Maja Lešković

Communications Manager

Maja Lešković is WIQD‘s communications manager who supports the organizing committee with communication and project-related work. Maja is from Zagreb, Croatia and is currently a Master’s student in Political Science at UvA with experience in communications.

Dominic Scott
TU Delft

Caiseal Beardow

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.

Dominic Scott
Leiden University

Alicja Dutkiewicz

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.

Dominic Scott
University of Amsterdam

Rima Schüssler

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.

Dominic Scott
Medical Physicist and Storyteller

Ghazaleh Ghobadi

Ghazaleh Ghobadi holds a Ph.D. in medical physics and has years of research experience in Dutch academic hospitals. Her path from Iran to the Netherlands ignited a passion for bridging connections through stories. In a bold career shift, Ghazaleh now practices storytelling professionally. This together with her scientific expertise allows her to make complex concepts accessible and engaging. Believing in the power of collective efforts for change, she dares to address political and social issues through her stories and shed light on injustices that demand attention. Ghazaleh also advocates for introducing art, mindfulness, and storytelling into workplaces to nurture well-being and personal growth.

Dominic Scott
Technical Copywriter at Qblox

Kendall Behr

Kendall Behr is a seasoned technical copywriter with a passion for transforming complex concepts into clear and comprehensible language. With over five years of dedicated experience in the field, Kendall’s journey in the world of technical writing began with a deep fascination for technology and an unwavering commitment to bridging the gap between technical experts and the general audience. Her unique talent lies in taking the most convoluted technical jargon and unravelling it into plain, accessible prose that anyone can understand.

Dominic Scott
Leiden University

Nina Hefele

Nina originally comes from the Czech Republic where she studied Economics. She finished her MSc in Finance combined with an MBA in 2014 at Texas Tech University. She worked in the finance industry (KPMG and Lynx broker) in Prague and Amsterdam until she shifted gears into the quantum world by joining the Applied Quantum Algorithms research group of Leiden University as a management assistant. Nina loves being involved in an international community and bringing people together is her passion. The topic of inclusivity and equal rights is current for her as she has a young daughter and a son. She would love her children to grow up in a world where the opportunities are the same for both genders.

Eindhoven University of Technology

Yuri van der Werf

Yuri is a postdoctoral researcher at TU Eindhoven, where she works on a quantum computing platform based on neutral atoms in optical tweezers. She obtained her PhD at the VU Amsterdam, on research with trapped ultracold quantum gases. Her passions, besides research, involve science communication and education, music, and gastronomy.

Leiden University

Weronika Słominska

Originally from Poland, Weronika is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Cybersecurity Governance at Leiden University’s Crisis & Security Management faculty. Her professional experience revolved around supporting the EU research and development field by creating connections, identifying funding sources, and organizing events. She delved into the quantum world while working as an investment analyst within the Qu-Test and Qu-Pilot projects under the Horizon Europe programme. As a woman new to the fascinating field of quantum, she cares a lot about supporting diversity and inclusion in this domain.

Steering committee

The WIQD steering committee ordered alphabetically consist of:

  • Robert Baker (Potentia Talent Consulting)
  • Stacey Jeffery (WIQD founder, CWI & QuSoft)
  • Lisa Kohl (CWI)
  • Mathilde Lemang (QphoX)
  • Evert van Nieuwenburg (Leiden University)
  • Ingrid Romijn (QuTech & Q*Bird)
  • Arghavan Safavi-Naini (University of Amsterdam)
  • Romana Schirhagl (University of Groningen)
  • Yvonne Smit (freelance WIQD Coordinator of Communication and Impact)
  • Iris Vink (QuantWare)
  • Anne-Marije Zwerver (QuTech)
Dominic Scott
Potentia Talent Consulting

Robert Baker

Robert Baker is Founder and CEO of Potentia Talent Consulting which advises organisations on building diverse, equitable and inclusive cultures and workplaces. This enables them to meet the key business challenges of disruption, innovation and growth. Robert also coaches individual leaders to achieve their full potential and is a keen proponent of the growth mindset.

Robert is a thought leader on diversity & inclusion and on engaging men as allies to support gender equality: at work, at home and in all aspects of life. In recognition of his achievements in supporting women in the workplace, he was named a Top 50 Gender Equity Trailblazer for 2023 by WeAreTheCity.

Robert is past Co-President of PWN Global, a major global women’s network. He currently sits on the Board of One Loud Voice For Women and is an Advisory Board Member for the Sister Sister Network.

He was elected as a Companion to the Chartered Management Institute in 2019 and joined an elite group of 500 business leaders working together to advance leadership and management.

Robert has spoken at numerous conferences and has contributed to many podcasts, publications and blogs on the importance of engaging men in gender equity.

You can follow Robert on Linked-In http://linkedin.com/in/robert-baker-potentia-talent-consulting and on Twitter at @robertbkr.

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
CWI

Lisa Kohl

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.

Dominic Scott
QphoX

Mathilde Lemang

Mathilde is a Device Integration Lead in QphoX. Her motivation lies in the challenges that arise in the fabrication and design of scalable quantum architectures. She received her PhD degree in 2018 from Aix-Marseille University while working in the R&D department of STMicroelectronics with an expertise on materials and nano devices fabrication. After obtaining her PhD, she joined DENSsolutions in the Netherlands as a Research Engineer. Mathilde focused on in-situ TEM R&D projects and enjoyed organizing workshops and social events. Then, she shifted her interest to MEMS, nanofabrication and design challenges of quantum devices. Mathilde is proud to join the WIQD organizing and steering committees in order to promote the quantum research field and stimulate women of all ages to work in sciences in general.

Dominic Scott
Leiden University

Evert van Nieuwenburg

Evert is an assistant professor at Leiden University, and is embedded within the applied quantum algorithms group there. He focuses on machine learning and artificial intelligence for quantum physics, with topics including from detecting phase transitions, AI-assisted (quantum) experiments and representation learning of quantum states. In addition, he is actively involved in quantum outreach, and is the creator of the quantum game TiqTaqToe available at tiqtaqtoe.com

Dominic Scott
QuTech and Q*Bird

Ingrid Romijn

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.

Dominic Scott
University of Amsterdam

Arghavan Safavi-Naini

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.

Dominic Scott
University of Groningen

Romana Schirhagl

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/.

Dominic Scott
QuSoft / UvA

Yvonne Smit

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, as well as as serving on its organizing and steering committees.

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.

Dominic Scott
QuantWare

Iris Vink

Iris Vink has been working as a People professional for over 10 years, primarily within tech scale-ups. Earlier this year, she joined QuantWare as Head of People.

Holding a master’s degree in Art History, and working within the field of HR, she’s completely new to the world of physics and is interested to learn as much as she can about quantum from the people around her.

During her studies she explored themes such as gender issues and ethnic bias in western art.

Within her role, she is responsible for People and Culture. She’s passionate about finding ways to increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace and believes all people leaders should do their part to foster a truly inclusive culture where every employee can thrive and do their best work.

Dominic Scott
QuTech

Anne-Marije Zwerver

Ever since she heard about Schrodinger’s cat, Anne-Marije (she/her) is fascinated by the counterintuitive concepts of quantum physics. She studied both ‘Physics’ and ‘System Engineering & Management’ at the Delft University of Technology, with a physics Master thesis focused on the Quantum Internet.

She performed her doctoral research at QuTech. In the group of Lieven Vandersypen, she studied electron spin in semiconductors in order to dive deeper into the quantum world and stretch up the boundaries of what we know nowadays. Currently, she is launching a quantum startup and is the 2023 recipient of the Minerva Prize for her accomplishments as a woman in physics.

Anne-Marije likes to share her fascination of quantum mechanics. To that end, she developed (and taught) courses on Quantum Computing for high school students and shares her quantum passion as a speaker, panelist, or on podcasts. When not in the lab, she loves speed skating, running and wind surfing.

Photo Credit: Graphdude/Casimir

Advisory Board

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)

Strong network

The Advisory Board of WIQD consists of people that have a large network in the Quantum Community. This way, each Advisory Board member uses her or his network to help further the goals of WIQD whenever possible. And they help look for opportunities where  their specific skills, expertise or professional contacts might be able to help WIQD.

Dominic Scott
Avast

Jaya Baloo

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 nonprofit 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.

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
TU Eindhoven

Tanja Lange

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 programcommittees, 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!

Dominic Scott
Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties

Karin Poels

Karin received her degree in applied mathematics in 2004. Her fascination for quantum development started during her master’s thesis on proving the generic security on quantum key exchange. As a cryptographer at the Ministry of Interior, she has 15 years of experience with developing highly secure products for the protection of sensitive information. During these years, the threat of a future large quantum computer that can break crypto became more and more visible and needed to be taken into account. In 2015, she set up a quantum programme at the ministry, giving her a broad knowledge in both quantum technology as a threat and as a solution to information security.
Karin likes to be a role model, not only to the audience at the lectures she gives on the quantum computer threat, but also to her teenage daughters. She notices the added value and that is why she was glad to be asked to be a member of the WIQD advisory board.
Dominic Scott
University of Amsterdam & QuSoft

Christian Schaffner

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.”

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

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.