Quantum: Photonic Adds to its Executive Management Team

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VANCOUVER, May 2, 2024—Quantum in silicon company Photonic today announced it is adding to its executive leadership team in the areas of research and development, materials science, quantum technologies, marketing, human resources and legal.
“Photonic has searched extensively for the right talent to help us achieve our ambitious goals. We are confident that, with these roles filled by such high-caliber people, and our ongoing scientific advisory team, we will further accelerate progress on our path to make distributed quantum computing a commercial reality,” said Dr. Paul Terry, Photonic chief executive officer.
“The quantum industry is starting to recognize the need for distributed quantum capabilities. Photonic’s architecture is unique on this front, and it is exciting to have industry veterans and innovators recognize this potential and join the relentless pursuit of scalable, distributed, and fault-tolerant commercial quantum computing,” said Dr. Stephanie Simmons, founder and chief quantum officer of Photonic and co-chair of Canada’s National Quantum Strategy Advisory Board.
In the areas of research and development, materials science, and quantum networks:
  • Dr. Chantal Arena joins as vice president of research, development, and production – devices. Arena has 35 years’ experience in business strategy, materials science, and semiconductor devices fabrication, most recently as co-chief executive and technical officer at Lawrence Semiconductors. She holds a doctorate in material science-physics from the Polytechnic Institute of Grenoble, France.
  • Dr. Klaus Schuegraf joins as vice president of research, development, and production – systems. Schuegraf brings over 30 years of experience driving innovation in semiconductor technology development, and leading large technical teams at companies including PsiQuantum, Intel, SanDisk, Applied Materials, and Cymer/ASML. He holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Quantum networking pioneer Dr. Thomas Jennewein serves as one of Photonic’s scientific fellows. As a Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC), and scientific lead for the Quantum EncrYption and Science Satellite (QEYSSat) – Canada’s first quantum communication satellite – Jennewein informs the company’s quantum networking strategy. He is a professor at Simon Fraser University and the Institute for Quantum Computing. He holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Vienna, Austria.
  • Dr. Michael Thewalt also serves as a scientific fellow at Photonic; he is the world expert on the optical properties of isotopically enriched silicon-28, the material forming Photonic’s scalable quantum technologies architecture. Thewalt, an emeritus professor at Simon Fraser University, cofounded Photonic – along with Stephanie Simmons – and held an NSERC Industrial Research Chair for over 10 years. Thewalt has a doctorate in physics from the University of British Columbia.
  • Also onboard as a scientific fellow at Photonic is Dr. Artem (Art) Cherkasov, a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Precision Cancer Drug Design, senior scientist at the Vancouver Prostate Center and professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences at the University of British Columbia. Cherkasov provides expertise to Photonic in computer-aided drug discovery (CADD) and new cancer therapeutics discovery—with a focus on how quantum technologies will provide value in these areas. He holds a doctorate in chemistry from Kazan State University.
In the areas of marketing, human resources, and legal:
  • Alison Berg, an original executive team member at Photonic, who joined initially as vice president, people and communications, has been appointed to the newly created role of chief marketing officer, to focus on elevating the company’s brand awareness and positioning. She holds an MBA in marketing.
  • Stepping into the human resources leadership role as vice president, people, for Photonic is Jessica Hodgson, who brings nearly two decades of experience in scaling organizations to the task of further building out Photonic’s global workforce.
  • Leading Photonic’s legal strategy is Neysa Finnie, vice president, legal, who brings a wealth of experience and expertise working with Fortune 50 companies and well-funded start-ups. Finnie holds a JD/LL.B and MBA from the University of Ottawa, having started her career in computing from the University of Waterloo.

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