Erika Janitz, PhD

• Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering, SSE Research Chair in Quantum Hardware Engineering (2023), University of Calgary
• NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow in Physics (2021-2023), ETH Zurich
• Postdoctoral Fellow in Medical Physics (2019-2021), McGill University & Montreal Jewish General Hospital
• PhD in Physics (2019), McGill University
• Visiting Research Fellow in Physics (2018-2019), Technical University of Denmark
• MASc in Electrical Engineering with Quantum Information (2013), Institute for Quantum Computing, University of Waterloo
• Visiting Research Fellow in Applied Physics (2012-2013), Harvard University
• BASc in Honours Electrical Engineering (2012), University of Waterloo

A circular picture of myself

Areas of Research

Developing a hybrid atomic-molecular platform for quantum sensing and information
Dr. Janitz explores the use of tiny magnetic moments—known as "spins"—associated with atomic defects in diamonds as memory elements in quantum computing or atom-sized quantum sensors. During her graduate studies at McGill, she characterized a novel diamond defect and explored its application for building quantum networks. Specifically, she developed optical resonators for enhancing fluorescence emission, which can carry quantum information over long distances. As a postdoctoral researcher at ETH, Dr. Janitz used individual spins as magnetic-field sensors to study few-molecule samples of DNA. There, she developed a technique for discriminating between different geometries -- known as conformations -- of otherwise identical molecules by their unique magnetic signatures. This represents a key step towards structural determination, which is critical for understanding molecular interactions and function. Moving forward, Dr. Janitz will combine this expertise to pursue two research objectives in her lab: 1) Develop diamond defects with superior optical and spin properties for building quantum technologies, and 2) Achieve coherent coupling between a diamond defect and nuclear spins within a molecule. These ground-breaking developments would greatly impact quantum sensing and quantum networking implementations based on diamond defects.

Supervising degrees

Electrical and Computer Engineering - Doctoral: Seeking Students
Electrical and Computer Engineering - Masters: Seeking Students

Working with this supervisor

My primary goal is to train students with technical and interpersonal skills that prepare them for professional success. Great importance will be placed on developing an open, collaborative, and equitable environment within the group. Technically, lab members will become experts in theory and simulations for diamond defects, experimental quantum optics, quantum communication, and quantum sensing. Specifically, trainees will gain a deep understanding of the state of the art through weekly journal clubs and personalized literature reviews. They will develop valuable skills in numerical modeling using standard programming languages (e.g., Python) by simulating defect systems and target experiments. In addition, students will be trained in experimental optics, electronics, and instrumentation by designing and constructing their experiments. This process will develop technical competencies, critical thinking, and trouble-shooting abilities broadly applicable to any engineering vocation. Some trainees will also develop nanofabrication techniques for diamond-based devices, taking advantage of the state-of-the-art infrastructure in the qLab cleanroom. This broad range of expertise is highly desirable in academia (e.g., diamond labs at Harvard, ETH Zurich, or TU Delft) and industry (e.g., photonics companies or quantum sensing start-ups). They will also be encouraged to pursue commercialization of the technologies developed through this research program.

Beyond the lab, HQP will benefit from activities related to the $23M Quantum City initiative at UCalgary, including “quantum for industry” focused seminars and workshops on entrepreneurship. In addition, they will be exposed to research within UCalgary’s Institute for Quantum Science and Technology and its frequent scientific programming. Finally, all students can present work at international conferences such as the APS March meeting, NanoMRI, and relevant Gordon Research Conferences. They will also be encouraged to initiate institutional, national, and international collaborative activities. 

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