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Under the Hood: Oxford Quantum Circuits

You Can't Read Culture. It's a Feeling.

Date: June 26, 2024

Location: Virtual

Quantum Women's event series Under the Hood is designed to foster professional connections in the quantum tech industry and empower female talent to land their dream jobs with dream teams.

On 26th June, we hosted a virtual session with several members of the Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) team, highlighting their diverse backgrounds and their unified goal of advancing quantum computing technology. It also reflected on the inclusive and encouraging work environment at OQC, which values interdisciplinary skills and continual professional development.

  • Abbie introduced OQC, outlining its history since 2017, its achievements in deploying quantum computers, and its significant milestones, like launching the OQC Toshiko, a 32-qubit system. She emphasised the Company’s success in commercialising quantum technology and moving it from the lab to data centers.

  • Kajsa shared her unconventional journey from aspiring to be a butcher to becoming a software engineer at OQC. She detailed her educational background in Sweden, her initial fascination with electricity, and her eventual interest in quantum computing despite not having a PhD. Kajsa highlighted the importance of continual learning and adaptability in her career.

  • Apoorva narrated her path from a small village in India to becoming a quantum engineer at OQC. She discussed her academic journey in physics, her PhD work with high-powered lasers and optics, and her transition to quantum computing. Apoorva emphasised the interdisciplinary nature of the quantum, specifically about how the quantum engineering team at OQC consists of individuals with diverse backgrounds such as software engineering, microwave engineering, and material science, which are crucial for developing and maintaining quantum systems. Sha also spoke about the practical challenges associated with her role in hardware engineering, particularly the need for physical presence in the lab to handle equipment and conduct experiments, which makes remote work challenging in certain roles.

  • Renuka talked about her background in electronics and communication, her masters in solid state technology, and her PhD in nanophotonics in Italy. She explained her role as a nanofabrication engineer at OQC, detailing her responsibilities in developing quantum processing units and the supportive culture at OQC that fosters learning and growth.

The Q&A session centered around career development, practical challenges in transitioning between fields, and the operational aspects of working within a pioneering technology company like OQC. Attendees were curious about the technical skills sought by OQC and the broader quantum industry. There were inquiries about the transferability of skills from other scientific and engineering disciplines and the kinds of experiences that would be advantageous for a career in quantum technology.

The goal with our Under the Hood series is to spark the creation of long-lasting relationships between employers and future quantum tech talent, introduce potential candidates to a wide range of career opportunities, provide a platform for employers to showcase their technology, people, and culture, and ultimately promote diversity and inclusion in the quantum tech industry.

Make sure you sign up to our mailing list so that you don't miss our next session!

Watch the recording here.

The QW Team.

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