Tell us about yourself - why did you choose to go into the science and technology field?

My path toward a career in science and technology started in elementary school. I was always ahead of my peers in math and far behind in reading and writing. I've always had a natural inclination toward STEM subjects in school, and because of that I never thought of doing anything else. I got particularly interested once I took programming and physics in high school and realized that one day I could get a job doing something that I simply thought was fun.

Did growing up in Silicon Valley influence your career path?

Yes! Growing up, many of my friends' parents worked at companies such as Apple or Amazon, and seeing their lives made me consider the tech industry as a good option for my future. In school, I had the opportunity to tour famous companies such as Google and Box, and seeing the fun and exciting environment furthered my interest in working in tech. Because of these experiences and my interest in computer science while still in high school, I actually went to college planning to study computer science. During school, I realized I wanted to code, but I also wanted to work with my hands on physical systems, so I found my major: engineering physics.

You attended Cornell University for your bachelor's, can you tell us about your time spent there? Did you have any mentors there that influenced your career path?

l enjoyed my time in Ithaca a lot! Not only is Cornell a great school, but Ithaca is also a very beautiful town to live in. During my time there, I worked in a physics research lab for over 2 years: this experience led me to where I am today. The Nowack Group lab specializes in scanning SQUID microscopy, which has a lot of technical skill that overlap with my job at SEEQC. In fact, the lab had contracted Hypres to fabricate SQUIDs for us to use in our experiments, and my job in the group was testing these SQUIDs for most of my time there, and now I work with the same people who fabricated these devices! The fact that I really enjoyed my time working in that group pushed me to join the field of quantum computing. I knew I would be able to continue doing what I love. Cornell also had a great outdoor education program which I spent most or my time working with when wasn't in the lab or courses.

While in my undergrad. I had a good amount of mentorship from the graduate students I worked with. They taught me the skills that I use every day in my current job and were also fun individuals to work along with for those years. Another important mentor I had was the professor I worked for, Katja Nowack. It was really encouraging to work for a female professor, and Katja in particular gave me a lot of opportunities to grow in her lab. Even though I was only an undergrad, she gave me a complex long-term project and also had me mentor two younger undergraduate students In the lab. Without her mentorship, I likely would have never joined this field.

Can you describe a little bit of what you do as a superconducting test engineer at SEEQC?

My main role is to test digital circuits at low temperature (4 Kelvin to as low as 10 millikelvin). This requires handling lots of small chips and cooling them down and then writing programs for electrical testing of the chips. Between rounds of testing, I code development for future and current test systems. I also do design work for circuit boards and mechanical parts that are used in our low temperature test systems. Overall, I work on a variety of projects outside of my main responsibilities, and this is something I really enjoy about working at SEEQC. Because the company is small, I have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects so I am always learning something new. My daily work has variety, so I never get bored.

What is most exciting to you about the future of quantum computing?

I'm excited to see all of the engineering advances that go into these computers. Of course, the computing capabilities are interesting, but as an engineer, I'm really excited to see all the new technologies made that are needed to make these computers possible. For example, the fridges we use to cool down quantum computers have limited cooling power and limited amount of high frequency lines that can be put into them; these two issues need to be changed for this industry to advance and I think these advances are very exciting and may also help advance other parts of physics research.

Are there any projects you are currently working on that you are excited about? Tell us a little about them.

I'm currently excited by two things that sound very boring; working on instrument code for testing circuits and redesigning the low temperature physical testing setup. As an engineer, I really enjoy creating user-friendly testing systems for myself and the rest or the test engineers at SEEQC to use. These two projects are also slightly out of my coding and design comfort zones, so through them, I get to learn new skills and work with other people in the company to make sure these two tasks are completed and possible to be used by other internal users of these systems.

What advice do you have for women who want to enter the quantum computing industry?

Just do it. I think anyone who has an interest in quantum technologies, no matter their gender identity, should join. This industry is currently male-dominated, but many places want to change that. At SEEQC, the women are all collaborating to recruit more women to the company, and we are very excited about this. I personally believe that as more women join this industry it will become more diversified. For example, when I was choosing what grad school to go to I made the decision to stay out of quantum computing because the quantum computing talks I had gone to had at most two women in a room of 100. Physics was already a male-dominated field, and I didn't think I would be happy moving into an even more male dominated field. After two years or doing research in an unrelated field, I realized that I still wanted to do quantum physics
and joined SEEQC.

This decision has been a very positive one for me; SEEQC is a really welcoming environment and I am getting to do work that I love. As more women join this industry, I think the gendered barrier will go away, and I am excited to see and be a part of this change.

What do you believe sets SEEQC apart as a company?

SEEQC is set apart from other companies building quantum computers by our unique approach. Our method of controlling qubits using single flux quantum technology is very different from approaches being taken by other superconducting qubit computers.

When you're not in the lab, what do you enjoy doing?

I try to spend as much time outside as possible. A typical weekend for me consists of a day or two rock climbing in the Shawangunks, a beautiful area just an hour north of where SEEQC's US office is located. I also go on long distance bike adventures around this area. When the weather is bad I can typically be found inside at the climbing gym or watching TV; anything ranging from educational YouTube to Netflix reality shows.