Olivia Woodman is the 2021 recipient of the Raymond Laflamme and Janice Gregson Graduate Scholarship for Women in Quantum Information Science.
Woodman is the second student to receive the scholarship, an award given annually to an outstanding female graduate student at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) who displays a strong potential for research excellence. It was established last year in recognition of Laflamme and Gregson’s leadership during Laflamme’s 15-year tenure as executive director of IQC.
Woodman applied to the quantum information science program at the University of Waterloo, as she was drawn to its interdisciplinary field and exposure to varied research topics. She is a masters student in the department of Physics and Astronomy supervised by Associate Professor Michal Bajcsy, whose lab focuses on quantum optics and nanophotonics.
“Now is a great time to be studying quantum information science,” Woodman said. “With quantum computing and technology on the rise, and growing public interest in the field, I look forward to the opportunity to do cutting edge research that is relevant to the modern world.”
Woodman feels honoured to have received this scholarship as it will allow her to focus more on her research. Outside of researching quantum, she also has a passion for education and aims to inspire and train the next generation of quantum scientists through outreach opportunities.
“Being successful in this field requires a lot of hard work, but part of what I enjoy about physics is the opportunity to challenge myself,” she said. Motivated and curious students like Woodman are the type of researchers that IQC hopes to continue attracting and supporting through initiatives like the Laflamme and Gregson graduate scholarship.
“Women in science still face challenges, but things are changing for the better, and I’m excited to be seeing more and more women in quantum information science each year,” Woodman said.