In celebration of the International Day of LGBT+ people in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), we are profiling scientists from the LGBT+ community across the province. Have your own of story? Share it with us in the comments below.
What is your name?
How do you identify?
What is your preferred pronoun?
Where did you go to school/university? What did you study?
I did my BSc at UBC (graduated in 2000) and my PhD at the University of California, Berkeley (graduated in 2006). I studied physics.
Where do you work now? What is your job title?
I work at D-Wave Systems where I am a principal scientist.
What is your field of expertise? What kind of research/work do you do?
My background is in astrophysics instrumentation and device physics. I currently work on a team at D-Wave that is focused on developing quantum annealing processors for commercial use.
What sparked your interest in science or engineering?
I was always fascinated with inventing when I was a kid and I have always been drawn to science. When I was growing up, I wanted to be an astronaut, but I “settled” on experimental physics.
How has coming out effected your school/work life or career?
I feel lucky that I have not experienced many negative effects to my coming out, either academically or in my work environment.
Do you feel supported in school or at work?
Yes, my work environment feels supportive and inclusive.
Did you have role models in the LGBTQ2S+ community who are scientists or engineers?
Not really, to be honest. I haven’t had much professional contact with other queer people.
How important do you feel is it to have a LGBTQ2S+ role model or mentor?
I would love to have a queer role model or mentor.
Looking back, what advice would you give your high school self?
Come out sooner (I came out at age 20) and don't worry so much about what other people think.