Welcome to Pitch Your PhD – Shownotes

Season 1, Episode 11

Quantum with Juliette Soule

In this episode of Pitch Your PhD, Dr Catherine Ball talks in detail – in quantum scale – with Juliette Soule, about her PhD research on protecting quantum computing against errors.

Another really hard part (of doing a PhD) is imposter syndrome … STEM is already a male dominated field … The phrase imposter syndrome makes it sound like it’s something wrong with you, but imposter trauma is putting it on the experiences you’ve had … It’s not like we’re born with imposter syndrome, you acquire it as a result of our societal norms and how people act. 

Juliette first fell in love with physics in high school when she read Brian Greene’s book, The Fabric of the Cosmos, and has been entranced by the workings of the universe ever since. As a strong academic person, Juliette has always known that doing a PhD in physics is her ultimate goal. In this episode, she talks to Catherine about her ups and down of her journey leading to her PhD research, including her take on the concept of imposter trauma.

This is a “kind of, sort of, vaguely close” copy of the words from this episode.

IT IS NOT 100% accurate.  We are very sorry if we have spelt something completely incorrectly.  If it means a lot to you to have it corrected, email us at mel@ramaley.media

Pitch Your PhD – Juliette Soule

[00:00:00] Catherine: Welcome to another great episode of pitch your PhD, a podcast interviewing PhD students from the past and present in the hopes to inspire the future. Our guest today is Juliette Soule. Juliette is one of those extra special ultra rare people who knew very early in life, the path she wanted her life to take and actually followed it.

[00:00:23] Specifically Juliette had the goal to do a PhD in physics. So you’re probably wondering what momentous event could set her on such a path. Well, it was a book you see, when Juliettete read a book called the Fabric of the Cosmos by an American physicist, Brian Greene, she became intrigued. This book opened up the wonders of the universe.

[00:00:43] And by the time she put it down, she knew she was going to be a physicist. Born in South Africa and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, Juliette was very academic growing up. She was even advanced a year in high school. Juliette attended the University of Auckland in New Zealand where she [00:01:00] completed her undergraduate and honors degrees in physics and mathematics and her life path has now led her thankfully to Australia, where we can celebrate her to the University of Sydney, where she’s working on her PhD in quantum error correction. Welcome Juliette.

[00:01:16] Juliette: Thank You It’s good to be here..

[00:01:18] Catherine: Okay, so let’s take you back on your journey. Let’s go back through space and time on a quantum level on a, typical classical level. so how were you at school? Did you enjoy studying, well, how old were you when you read the book?

[00:01:30] Juliette: I’m not a hundred percent sure, but I think I was about 12.

[00:01:33] Catherine: so you’re about 12. Okay.

[00:01:34] You know what I just want to say as a bibliopharm myself and I’ve just finished writing my first science book. The idea that a book could actually be that tipping point in someone’s life, I think is the reason why some authors actually write books. Tell us about who gave you that book? Where did you get it? Did you read it at night by torch that, tell me about your book consumption. Just that book. I want to know.

[00:01:55] Juliette: Yeah, that’s actually a really good question because I can’t [00:02:00] quite remember, I’ve always been like, I’ve always loved literature and reading, and it was a penguin classic. And, you know, or the sort of distinctive orange and white cover. And when I was younger, I, sort of sit myself the task of working through as many of the penguin classics as possible.

[00:02:19] and so there happened to be one that made the cup.

[00:02:22] Catherine: How many did you get through?

[00:02:24] Juliette: I can’t remember, probably about definitely not the whole collection. There are far too many, far, too many for that. but yeah, I didn’t have any prior like interest in physics before then and then once I read that book, I just found it so fascinating. So Brian Green is a, I believe he’s a string theorist. So the book it covers like all the fundamental components of physics from, you know, sort of thermite dynamics, electromagnetism to, quantum mechanics. And then at the end, he sort of delved into a bit of string theory.

[00:02:56] but it’s all, it doesn’t have, [00:03:00] if it has equations, there are very few of them and it’s very much like explaining it to the lay person.

[00:03:07] Catherine: That’s wonderful to hear it. You know, I still remember books that my mum bought me , some amazing futurist concept, you know, fiction books like William Gibson and some of the big, fiction authors around the future. because they opened up the world to me, but books do open up the world to people. They, one of these things it’s like egalitarian doorway. Okay.

[00:03:24] so in high school then, so you read this book, you decided that you wanted to do a physics PhD, which I think is amazing.

[00:03:31] and then you’re in school. How does that translate to a young woman in New Zealand, in a city of 400,000 people in a high school where, you know, you want to do a PhD in physics. Tell me about what your life was like when you were a teenager in school.

[00:03:44] Juliette: So I was, I’ve always been very academic. I’ve always sort of known that’s where my strength lies. And I’m also very much a Type A person. once I knew what I wanted to do, I had set my goal and I was very, very focused on [00:04:00] academics. Put a lot of pressure on myself, arguably too much, given in retrospect, looking back high school was so it’s not the end of the world.

[00:04:09] Like I’m sure I could be where I am. If I had worked slightly less hard. but yeah, I definitely put a huge amount of pressure on myself, to do well academically, I moved up a year, as you mentioned in the intro, which was really good because it challenged me academically, but that had a lot of, repercussions just made it harder for me socially and also the added stress of catching up on all the extra material.

[00:04:32] so high school was a bit of a tough time. but it was all sort of self-inflicted really?

[00:04:37] Catherine: I think as teenagers, everything is just so much more focused on the fail and the this is going to be the end of the world. Whereas those of us that, you know, we do try and to help teenagers and say, look, actually, it’s not the end of the world. You sometimes have to go left to go right. But at the time it can seem like the whole world is on your shoulders.

[00:04:53] I can relate to you in many ways, um, there,

[00:04:55] Catherine: Okay. So when you got to university, you managed to do your undergraduate [00:05:00] and honors degrees in maths and physics, which is like strawberries and cream.

[00:05:03] Of course, maths and physics go together at the University of Auckland. What was it that made you realize then, you know, we’ll find your pathway then to get from Auckland to Sydney. Why did you choose Sydney for your PhD? What was it that attracted you to Australia?

[00:05:15] Juliette: Well, initially I had sort of huge dreams to go and do a PhD in Europe or uh, America. And I applied for a lot of master’s programs in Europe like the Netherlands and the UK, but the issue was funding. I didn’t get any of the big scholarships and it just would have been ridiculously expensive to do that.

[00:05:39] And also I did realize that the master’s programs in Europe, are two years, and it sort of seemed like a lot of time to do a master’s program two years and then to do a PhD So then I start thinking about other options and, Australia came up because it’s close to New Zealand, but it’s also, I definitely want it to move overseas.

[00:05:59] And [00:06:00] obviously, the incredibly high quality of the research, in quantum computing coming out of Australia at that point, I did my honors in quantum optics, which, leads very naturally into quantum computing. and I looked at the program in both Melbourne and Sydney and Sydney, just the city, definitely caught my heart.

[00:06:22] I, am doing my PhD, funded by the SQA, which is the Sydney Quantum Academy. And they’ve sort of identified. It was only recently founded in the past couple of years, I believe. And they’ve identified that Sydney is really such a significant quantum hub. And in particular, quantum computing, many of our universities, Macquarie UNSW USYD where I study and UTS all have significant research focus in quantum comput ing and we’ve have, a few startups as well, focus on quantum computing. So it really is. There’s a [00:07:00] lot happening within one city, to do with quantum computing and within Australia as well.

[00:07:05] And just in terms of the Steven Bartlett, who I meet, and the research that was going on within the group, everything just sort of fell into place.

[00:07:13] Once I found Sydney, it was all, everything was lined up nicely

[00:07:17] Catherine:

[00:07:18] Sydney is the quantum city, some might say,

[00:07:21] Catherine: So for people that are listening now, a lot of us have heard the word quantum. It’s been a James Bond word in a James Bond movie title, right? The word quantum, quantum physics, quantum computing, string theory, all of these things are things we’ve heard about by the TV shows, movies, just common chat or people when they talk about something, when they don’t actually show what it is, but they say it.

[00:07:39] So the word makes them sound clever. Can we break it down? What does quantum have to do? And what does your work particularly have to do with the improvement in society and being the world that we want it to be?

[00:07:49] Juliette: Yeah.

[00:07:50] So quantum physics, it just refers to the physics of things on a very small scale, the well-behaved and one way at a macroscopic level, that’s the sort [00:08:00] of reality governed by Newtonian physics that we use to interacting with an everyday life and mean on the quantum scale which is just sort of atomic subatomic, it behaves quite differently.

[00:08:11] So you get phenomenon such as superposition, which is when a system can be in two states at once and a superposition of two states rather than being in a single well-defined state and also entanglement whereby two systems can be entangled spatially. So their behavior, their properties are interconnected even though they’re, separated spatially.

[00:08:34] So we get all these sort of strange effects happening at the quantum scale. And we can utilize these effects in quantum computers, which are computers, which, work based off the principles of quantum mechanics rather than classical mechanics. So we can utilize these weird quantum effects, such as entanglement in the position to create computers, which, can do things [00:09:00] exponentially faster and can do things which aren’t achievable by a classical computers.

[00:09:05] And that’s where all the rattle a fix for it society come in in terms of what these quantum computers will be able to achieve.

[00:09:13] Catherine: Is this something like the space race or the nuclear arms race. Have we got a global geopolitical race towards who can create the first quantum computer, because the first quantum computer is going to change everything, isn’t it really about? How about everything, about how we operate and live in the world.

[00:09:31] What’s happening geopolitically in the, in the quantum?

[00:09:35] Juliette: Yeah. That’s I mean, it’s a fascinating question. I wish I could answer it. I’m not really sure what’s happening geopolitically, but there are definitely a whole bunch of players. I’d say rather than geopolitically, it’s probably more just to do with a different competing, sort of industry tech giants, such as Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Google. They’re all having their own arms race as to who can, create the [00:10:00] first working quantum computer.

[00:10:03] Catherine: Okay. So we know that we never named the baby till it’s born. And you are only two years into your PhD, but can you tell us what the thesis title is yet?

[00:10:12] Juliette: I would say we have sort of a working title and that would be Fault Tolerant Quantum Computing Using Concatenated Rotation, Symmetric bosonic codes and the Surface Code.

[00:10:23] Catherine: Can you tell me what a bosonic code is

[00:10:26] Juliette: So a bosonic code is a type of encoding for a quantum computer which use s, optical state, so basically uses photons, to design an encoding, which protects their, quantum computer from air.

[00:10:41] Catherine: And so by comparing that to the surface error you’re finding tolerance in terms of statistical significance or.

[00:10:47] Juliette: Yeah. So the surface code is another type of code for protecting quantum computers against errors. And so you have the bosonic enconding at the ground level. So you can encode the physical cubits using the bosonic [00:11:00] enconding and the the whole array of physical and cubits, encoded using a logical encoding, which is the surface code.

[00:11:09] So you have those two levels of, protection against errors. And the aim of that is to suppress the, level of the error right? To such a point that you are below the fault tolerance threshold, and that’s the regime that’s beneficial for quantum computing.

[00:11:26] Catherine: So, this is almost like trying to find out what your signal to noise ratio tolerance would be in terms of communication inside the computer.

[00:11:32] Juliette: Yeah, definitely.

[00:11:33] Catherine: I liked the idea of that, you know, you stood at a rock concert. You’re trying to shout to somebody on the other side of the stadium, isn’t it it’s like you can’t do that.

[00:11:40] Juliette: exactly. You have to get everyone around you to be very

[00:11:44] Catherine: quiet and get Bon Jovi on stage to shush. So you can shout across the stadium, right? There’s my tolerance.

[00:11:52] Catherine: So tell me a bit about where you are now. So where do you sit inside all of this quantum ecosystem, who are the people that have really started molding your [00:12:00] PhD experience for.

[00:12:01] Juliette: Yeah. So I’m, working on the theoretical side of things and I work at USYD in a research group, which is focused on, quantum error correction. and that’s basically looking at because quantum systems are very, they’re very noisy systems, which means they’re subject to, error is induced by the environment, they very delicate, and that’s one of the major challenges in building a quantum computer that we can actually do useful things with is making sure that we minimize errors. And that’s where quantum error correction comes in, which is basically broadly a field which aims to find clever ways to mitigate these errors. And so that’s sort of the field that my research sits in in quantum errors.

[00:12:45] Catherine: And so who are the people that are sitting around you in your ecosystem?

[00:12:48] Juliette: Alright. so I have, well, technically I have a few supervisors, but I’m working quite closely at the moment with, Andrew Doherty, who is actually a fellow [00:13:00] Christchurch. He grew up in Christchurch as well. And Steven Bartlett is the sort of heat of our research group. He’s done some a mazing work. And also, Dr Arne Grimsmo, who has just moved to California to start work with Amazon in the quantum computing division that we still work on my project.

[00:13:19] Catherine: So being theoretical in nature, have you managed to keep working through the pandemic because you’ve not had to do much lab work or is it kind of still stalled because you need to have teamwork

[00:13:27] Juliette: Yeah. So, thankfully, as you mentioned, I don’t do any lab work. All I need is my computer. And a pen and paper. So in principle, I’m able to complete my work unaffected. I have been able to keep working through the pandemic. Obviously it’s much tougher. not being in the office, being able to interact with people as regularly.

[00:13:48] And it sort of also, serves to heighten the effect that I’m sure a lot of people. feel when they do their PhD of being sort of isolated and struggling to know what to do [00:14:00] sometimes doing that in a, you know, at home, by yourself in a pandemic,, it sort of makes it even worse..

[00:14:06] Catherine: Yeah. I worry about all the PhD students that have been stuck at home because it is such a collaborative part of being in a PhD is being in a lab, being with people, having conversations, disagreements, trying to figure things out. and you just can’t do that online, but I’m really glad that you haven’t had any lab work or anything like that. are disrupted. I know so many people at ANU where I’m at that of just, you know, having to get special permission to access campus, to feed the mice or to, you know, to do anything, to sort of be like, you know, critical workers or whatever they’re called, essential work to get onto campus and get some of that research going.

[00:14:37] Do you, as a PhD student now, sort of miss that fact that you’re not in the lab doing something, testing, something, tearing something to pieces.

[00:14:44] How do you feel about doing a purely theoretical PhD?

[00:14:48] Juliette: Yeah, so I have never had too much of an interest in experimental work. so doing a theoretical PhD does sort of fit in with my interests in that’s it. [00:15:00] It’s I don’t think I would ever be an experimentalists. it’s just not my calling personally, but, I definitely, like there is something to be said for having something that’s more hands-on, you know, working purely in your brain the whole day is it’s very, t axing and it’s, it would be nice to have something that’s more concrete

[00:15:20] Catherine: So, what do you do to balance out? What have you found works as a PhD student and someone might be listening to this thinking they’re wanting to embark or getting get involved in a purely theoretical PhD. What do you do to balance that out?

[00:15:30] Juliette: Yeah, so I’m really into, I’m a bit of a fitness nut. I really like working out and I in particular really enjoy long runs. So that’s sort of my form of getting out of my head. I listened to so many podcasts. and I just love nothing more than to put into podcasts and gone and have some run. I also recently got a puppy in locked down, so she has been great to keep my partner and I sane during COVID. and [00:16:00] yeah, just spending time with my partner and FaceTiming my family.

[00:16:03] Catherine: Pandemic puppies. Oh my gosh. I’ve managed to not fall for that. But then I did have a baby at the end of 2019. So I’ve been in.

[00:16:10] Juliette: That’s probably keeping you busy

[00:16:11] Catherine: It’s been keeping me busy enough.

[00:16:13] Catherine: Okay. So let’s have a think about where a PhD sits in your journey Because it is very rare. I don’t know if you have ever met anyone like yourself that just decided yeah. at like 12 years old. Yeah. I’m going to do a PhD in physics. Like that’s what I know what that is. And I, want to do it. so for you and your research journey for me to say to you, how important is a PhD in your research journey and what would you say?

[00:16:37] Juliette: I guess I always saw the PhD is sort of the end goal. And then once I had that, I assumed that I would go onto academia just because my motivation for wanting to pursue physics in the first place was because I wanted to try and understand the universe at a fundamental level, all very idealistic [00:17:00] and the most effective way to do that seemed to me to study physics and to do it from the most rigorous and academic perspective possible.

[00:17:10] And so after PhD, the natural follow on from that would be to go into academia. but now obviously I’m doing my PhD. and I’m not a hundred percent sure that I want to go into academia. in fact, I’m probably more likely to want to go into industry and definitely at least have some experience in the industry. So yeah, once I, started doing my PhD, you’re sort of confronted with the reality of what academia actually is. And I still love my research, but I just don’t know if it’s something I want to do for the rest of my life.

[00:17:40] Catherine: Do you think there is, an easy bridge between industry and academia when it comes to quantum? Are things really deeply siloed because it’s still so new and there are so many facets of it that are as yet, unrisked rankable in terms of business ecosystems, are you seeing it leads still from academia and sort of bleed into these tech companies? Or are they taking more of an [00:18:00] interest in owning it now?

[00:18:01] Juliette: That’s a really good question. obviously I’ve only had experience with the academic side of things, but from my perspective, from what I’ve seen, it does appear that quantum computing is sort of perhaps uniquely, uniquely driven on both sides by industry and academia. And there’s a lot of mixing and matching going on.

[00:18:21] A lot of people will sort of switch between academia and industry, which I think is really cool way and potentially something I’d be interested in doing, for a lot of people in my research group in Sydney, and people who have been in their research group as well have, done work with psych quantum, the quantum computing, startup in Silicon and Pasadena, and particularly my supervisor, Andrew Doherty has just got back from working with them and yeah, there’s a lot of mixing going on. So I think it’s definitely a lot of the research efforts sort of comes most equally from industry and academia.

[00:18:57] Catherine: So taking that bridge between [00:19:00] being trained up in the university and then jumping into the corporate world. That was exactly what I did. I was writing my PhD whilst I was working as a consultant at the same time. that was quite tough. They work at different speeds to me as well.

[00:19:09] When you’re a reductionist in your subject matter to then suddenly take a generalist approach to something is really slow compared to the speed at which you work on an academic subject, but I feel this might be different in your field because I think the lines are blurring between industry and academia when it comes to some of these bleeding edge and emerging technologies in that the theoretical might be taking place in the university, but the applied is definitely taking part in industry. So in your research and your work, who are the biggest players that you think would be interested in what you’re doing?

[00:19:40] Juliette: well, an obvious one that springs to mind is Amazon. as I mentioned earlier, my, I suppose he’s my former supervisor now because he’s working for Amazon, uh Dr Arne Grimsmo. He moved this year to California to start working for Amazon. So Amazon has their initiative to build a quantum computer. And the [00:20:00] approach they’re taking is using something called cat qubits.

[00:20:03] basically, cat qubits are, like superpositions of different states of light. And so that’s one approach to building a quantum computer. And that is something which, ties in very naturally with my research. So I’ve researched using cat qubits as well. And so, you know, potentially that would be an option. Also psych quantum, which is a, quantum computing startup also based in Pasadena, they are developing an optical, quantum computers.

[00:20:32] So that would also be related to my work.using bosonic cubits, which are cubits built off using light states as the cubits..

[00:20:42] Catherine: You have this wonderful research team around you. You’re in the city of quantum, which is Sydney. what do you find most rewarding about that pathway that you’ve taken?[00:21:00]

[00:21:00] Juliette: Yeah. I suppose one of the really rewarding things is. It’s just sort of the fact that I’ve had these goals for so long, I’ve worked really hard to achieve them and hard work pays off. and I’m sort of able to be where I am at now. I also really love living in Sydney, as I mentioned earlier. and obviously in terms of the research itself, I’m really lucky to be in a really high quality research group.

[00:21:25] And just being able to. to interact with my supervisors, to have conversations with them, to work on my project with such experts in the field is extremely rewarding.

[00:21:37] Catherine:  So you obviously had some people who’ve been sort of the big sort of role models or supporters for you on this journey through high school, through undergraduate, through to PhD who have been your lighthouses along the way

[00:21:49] Juliette: definitely would have to be my parents. I’ve always, obviously, always “poor me, always dear me”. And, they were you know, when I was in high school, there were always the ones telling me that it’s not [00:22:00] the end of the world, if you don’t get a hundred percent. and Yeah, and how it may sort of make the right decisions to get to where I am now

[00:22:09] Catherine: Yeah, I think parents are absolutely significant when it comes to choices, especially for girls in STEM. No matter how much we train the teachers up, if the parents don’t back it up at home, it’s just completely wasted energy.

[00:22:20] Catherine: So thinking about things. In terms of where you sit now, is there anyone particularly, I mean, you’ve got great supervisors and people around you, but is there a particular champion or a particular person, or is there a set of people that basically you could not do this without them in terms of your PhD yourself?

[00:22:35] Juliette: Yeah definitely my supervisor, Andrew Doherty at the moment. He just provides essential input. I definitely couldn’t do my project without him. and also, one of my PhD buddies, Felix, obviously I’m not seeing him as much because of COVID, but, it’s really nice to have someone who sort of gets what you’re, what you’re going through and you can sort of compare notes, and [00:23:00] just talk about.

[00:23:01] the, intricacies of doing a PhD.

[00:23:04] Catherine: So what’s been the hardest part so far of your PhD journey?

[00:23:07] Juliette: Yeah. So I’d say one of the major challenges is having to work from home during COVID. Obviously we had a period last year of a few months, and now we’ve having a period this year of quite a few months. And it’s definitely tough. It’s just, heightens the isolation that one can sometimes feel during doing the PhD.

[00:23:25] And it also, makes it even more so that you have to be really self motivated to study. ‘ cause you don’t have the structure of going into the office and interacting with people.

[00:23:36] another really hard part is imposter syndrome. I definitely, feel significant imposter syndrome, you know, just sort of like, like, I don’t know enough to be here or to be doing this. and particularly as a woman, you know, our STEM is already a male dominated field. And you go into theoretical physics, that’s it heightens it even more? as I [00:24:00] mentioned before, my research group is fantastic, but usually I’m like the only woman in a room of like 20 men. and that makes it hard to sort of, yeah, I guess to see people in roles that you would want to be in, who, you know, you can relate to.

[00:24:17] Catherine: I think that’s why you’re probably lucky that you’ve got the giant, that is Michelle Simmons. And I say that because she and I both cracked six feet. So, you know, you’ve at least got her as a particular role model inside your industry, but I can relate so hard to being the only woman in the room. The drone industry is fewer than 1% women.

[00:24:31] Catherine: and so, yeah, it’s been an interesting and challenging thing. Another thing tell, might like to throw you is this idea of imposter syndrome. And we’ll finish on a positive note, but just to, just to look at this a little bit further, I actually recently got challenged with this idea of imposter syndrome.

[00:24:44] And I just wanted to throw this challenge out to you too. So a friend of mine said that she didn’t have imposter syndrome, that she had imposter trauma and that she actually had developed this sense of an imposter in herself through traumatic responses from being an outlier. [00:25:00] From being different in her career from always being the only woman in the room.

[00:25:05] And so now she has this like a trauma response when it comes to the triggers around feeling like that. How do you feel about that concept?

[00:25:13] Juliette: Yeah. I think that concept is really smart actually, because the phrase imposter syndrome makes it sound like it’s something wrong with you, but imposter trauma is sort of, putting it on the experiences you’ve had, which is the reality of what happens. It’s not like we born with imposter syndrome, you acquire as a result of, you know, our societal norms and how people act. So that definitely makes sense to me.

[00:25:38] Catherine: What you just said to me was what I said to her. I was like, why is it that women, especially women in STEM, it’s all about the women and girls STEM pipeline. Like it’s our pipeline. Like it’s our fault that it’s leaky. Like it’s our fault that girls choose girls choose not to go near stem subjects. Really?

[00:25:54] Do they choose not to have these opportunities or is it that the choices are taken away or not actually seemed to be real [00:26:00] and valid choices. And so, yeah, I agree with this idea of impostor trauma rather than syndrome, because there is nothing wrong with us. You deserve to be where you are. You deserve to be a leader in your field.

[00:26:11] You deserve to have an opinion and to disagree with people and to agree with people and do whatever you want. And you have applied and been taken into a PhD student ship, which people wanted you there to have your thoughts and your brains and your voice. I don’t know as many men, as I know, women that suffer from this idea of imposter, um, you know, that they shouldn’t be there, that they’re not good enough.

[00:26:30] And it always, I think comes down to trauma. yeah, so I’m glad that you agree. Oh my gosh. I was just like, you can’t see it from listening to a podcast, but I was just doing a little dance around the microphone there with Juliette with saying those words.

[00:26:42] Catherine: Let’s end on a positive note So if somebody is listening to this and they’re thinking of going into a PhD in physics or maths or astrophysics or quantum physics or quantum computing or quantum health care or anything that you can possibly think of, that’s quite niche or growing in terms of its breadth and depth.

[00:26:59] So far as a field, [00:27:00] quantum is still so very new compared to many other forms of study. What would be your key pieces or piece of advice for them?

[00:27:08] Juliette: Yeah, my first piece of advice would probably just be encouraging them to go for it. I don’t know if that’s the advice?

[00:27:14] but I think particularly as you mentioned, and these fields, which are really rapidly growing, it’s such a, such an exciting time to be a PhD student and be doing research. And there are so many opportunities.

[00:27:28] So I would definitely encourage someone to that. I would also advise people not to give up too soon. I definitely, once I sit down in my PhD had a period of about six months, which was made worse by COVID cause we went into lockdown. but a period of about six months in which I really didn’t know what I was doing, like, I felt really lost and I felt like I didn’t have any direction and I didn’t have any motivation to do project.

[00:27:55] but inevitably I’m not sure quite what happened, but something finally [00:28:00] clicked. And I found that, that passion and that understanding. So I would say, even though when you’re doing a PhD, you’ll face times where you feel really unmotivated and you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, but I’d say just keep pushing through it, even though it’s tough.

[00:28:16] Catherine: Thanks so much for your time today, Juliette and It’s been great chatting today. Thank you.

[00:28:20] Juliette: Thanks very much.