Keeping up with KETS: Giulia
At the beginning of June, Giulia joined KETS for a summer placement in the Tech team as part of her Quantum Engineering Master’s degree at the Technical University of Denmark. Having wrapped up her placement and returned home to Italy, she told us about her reflections on her time at KETS.
‘Coming to KETS as a student, I wanted to learn to do things in the lab but also from a theoretical perspective.’
Over the course of her placement, Giulia worked closely with KETS’ Lead Integrated Photonics Engineer, Francesco. ‘He showed me how to take measurements and identify which ones were important and why – this enabled me to work independently.’
‘I really enjoyed the freedom and trust that I was given. It made it feel like it was my lab!’
Giulia’s interests didn’t stop at photonics. ‘Out of curiosity, I started asking about the electronics which led to Gaetano talking me through the electronic systems. He showed me how to use PCB software and taught me about the different considerations you have to make when creating designs.’
There were several side projects that spun out of Giulia’s interest in the breadth of skills and disciplines needed to develop KETS’ quantum technology. ‘I got to work on some PCB design, packaging of fibres and also developed some software for the photonics.’
‘The team was very positive and supportive of me trying new things. They made it clear that whilst I was at KETS they wanted me to do my best and enhance my capabilities.’
Naturally, there were some technical challenges along the way, ‘but that’s just experimental work’ as Giulia put it; ‘things don’t always work like they do in a textbook!’ Some of the engineering problems ‘were not ones you would have originally anticipated’ but being able to have ‘a back and forth with Francesco to discuss problems and think up solutions really helped.’
Giulia even joked that: ‘Francesco would ask if I could pass him a certain tool and I wouldn’t know what to pick up! I learned my fair share of practical skills with the lab experience.’
For someone undertaking a placement at a quantum company, Giulia offered the advice to be curious and positive. ‘Put yourself in a mindset to learn. It’s important to overcome any doubts you have so don’t be afraid to ask questions.’
Alluding to KETS’ intimate and friendly working culture, she said: ‘It’s so easy to talk to everyone and explore different areas – you can grab a bite here and a bite there and get a taste for everything.
‘Take opportunities when they are offered to you so you can get the most out of the experience. A placement is a great chance for a student to get experience outside of an academic setting, where rather than trying to discover something for a Nobel Prize, it’s much more about collaboration and trying to deliver something collectively.’
Giulia will be finishing her Master’s at DTU this coming academic year. We wish her well and look forward to hearing how she gets on!