2022 recipient of Laflamme and Gregson Award for Women in Quantum Information Science announced

Friday, November 4, 2022

Outdoor headshot of Megan Byres.Megan Byres has been chosen as the recipient of the 2022 Raymond Laflamme and Janice Gregson Graduate Scholarship for Women in Quantum Information ScienceByres is the third student to receive this annually awarded scholarship. 

The scholarship recognizes women in Quantum Information Science and Technology and acknowledges their demonstration of strong academic achievement as well as their potential for research excellence. Established in 2020, the award commemorates the leadership demonstrated by Laflamme and Gregson during Laflamme's 15-year tenure as Executive Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) from 2002-2017.

Byres is doing a Master of Physics with a specialization in Quantum Information, and she is excited about the sheer number of applications that quantum research may bring forth. “There are many ways that quantum information science has improved our world, and even more ways in which it can continue to do so, and this is a large part of what inspired me to join the field,” she said.

Byres is supervised by Dr. Alan Jamison, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and IQC faculty member. Her research focuses on using ultracold lithium-cesium molecules to create a new type of qubit and simulate antiferromagnetism. 

When choosing graduate programs, Byres was drawn to IQC's world-class reputation for quantum research. She feels privileged to be a part of a field of science with such enormous potential. Additionally, Byres was attracted to IQC's specialized degree in quantum information compared to the general physics degrees offered at other institutions.

“I am very grateful and honoured to have been chosen for this scholarship as it will help fund my current studies and allow me to pursue a PhD at Waterloo once I have completed my masters,” Byres said. “I am inspired by the work of other researchers already in the field, and I am so excited to be here at Waterloo, in one of the premier centres for quantum information research in the world.”

Byres advises her fellow researchers that it is important to remember the bigger picture. 

“Remember what motivated you to join the field, remember the impact your research can have on the world, and don't let the inevitable struggles you will face overshadow your enthusiasm for quantum information.”