Graduate student profiles

Learn more about our graduate students, their research, and how the Institute for Quantum Computing is preparing them for the quantum technology future.

Satchel Armena

Satchel Armena

MSc Student | Physics (Quantum Information)

Satchel Armena’s favourite thing about studying at IQC is the enthusiastic community of researchers and graduate students. She describes IQC as unique from other institutions because there are so many experts spanning many different areas of quantum research all in one place.

“At IQC, there is such a variety of experts and opportunities to learn about quantum information from new perspectives, while at other schools, there might only be one or two researchers studying quantum topics.” 

Satchel’s master’s research explores using different properties of entangled photons to probe fundamental theories in quantum physics, called Bell inequalities. Through her research, she studies which theories best predict experimental results, with a focus on improving our fundamental understanding of nature. By better understanding these fundamental theories of quantum physics, scientists can lay the groundwork for future discoveries and breakthroughs.

Read more about Satchel's journey

Jack deGooyer

Jack deGooyer

MASc Student | Electrical and Computer Engineering (Quantum Information) 

Jack deGooyer describes himself as “an engineer through and through.” He is fascinated by the interconnections between fields and topics, and then looks for practical applications for ideas coming from the physics world. This led him to graduate school at IQC, where he is excited by the collaborative research environment and interdisciplinarity that stems from having multiple disciplines housed within the IQC community.

“IQC is a community of people who are also pursuing their passions and the possibilities that their collaborative research enables. It’s an environment where people cross-pollinate ideas. While often you’re not working on the same project, it may be that you’re still pushing forward someone else’s project with the benefits of your independent research”

Jack’s work leads the development of full-scale cameras with applications in soft tissue imaging and healthcare. His research looks at integrating circuit development with new quantum sensors, in order to create an array of sensors that work together in these imaging applications.

Read more about Jack's journey

Sarah Li

Sarah Meng Li

MMath Student | Combinatorics and Optimization (Quantum Information) 

Sarah Li recognizes the value of learning from inspiring mentors and is enthusiastic about sharing her love for quantum with others. Working with her supervisor, Michele Mosca at IQC has given her the confidence to pursue fundamental research and apply those theories to solve real-life problems. 

“IQC is a hub for quantum computing in Canada. As someone who is just starting their career, I am very grateful to be part of this community! IQC encourages diversity in research interests and backgrounds. The vibrant and diverse research environment here encourages me to become a well-rounded researcher.”

Sarah’s research considers fault-tolerant solutions for future quantum computers by leveraging the power of quantum compilation. In a quantum system, the information storage unit – the qubit – is incredibly sensitive to interference. An optimized compiling process will be more efficient and more robust to quantum noises.

Read more about Sarah's journey

Grant Brassem

Grant Brassem

MSc Student | Physics, Quantum Technology Specialization

Grant Brassem is part of the third cohort of students to embark on the Quantum Technology specialization within the Master of Science in Physics program. This 12-month, course-based degree lets students push the frontiers of knowledge and is offered by the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Transformative Quantum Technologies Program (TQT) at the University of Waterloo.

After completing a BSc at Waterloo and a theoretical master's degree, Grant knew he wanted to delve into the practical side of physics, specifically researching low-temperature physics. When he saw the Quantum Technology program listed on the Waterloo website, he knew it was the perfect fit for him.

“I’d get hands-on experience with the actual software platforms used to run modern laboratory equipment, while simultaneously gaining a strong theoretical background to do the work. The best part of this program is that it gives you a solid foundation to further your career—whether in academia, specialized lab work, or industry.”

The in-person nature of the program means he can utilize the state-of-the-art IQC laboratories for independent projects and make meaningful connections with industry mentors, startups, and a community of over 300 quantum researchers.

Read more about Grant's journey