PhD Student

Kate Fenwick

Physics PhD student Kate Fenwick adjusts the instruments on an optics table for her quantum random walk experiment. Her research is located in the Security and Disruptive Technologies Research Centre’s Ultrafast Quantum Photonics Lab at 100 Sussex in Ottawa.
Kate Fenwick règle des instruments sur une table d’optique pour son expérience sur le cheminement quantique aléatoire. L’étudiante au doctorat en physique poursuit ses travaux au laboratoire de photonique quantique ultrarapide du Centre de recherche sur les technologies de sécurité et de rupture situé au 100, promenade Sussex, à Ottawa.




Kate is a passionate student working towards a PhD in the Quantum Technology group. She completed her BSc (Honours) in Physics at Queen’s University in 2017, where she also earned a Business Certificate. Kate then went on to complete her Master’s degree (in Physics) at Queen’s University, investigating the ultrafast optical properties of quantum materials in James Fraser’s group.

During her Master’s, Kate had the opportunity to complete an 8-month co-op with the Quantum Technology group at NRC. Inspired by the group’s work, she decided to stay on and pursue a PhD with them. Her research revolves around developing and implementing an ultrafast optical shutter that can manipulate, gate, and re-route optical signals on ultrafast timescales. She has used this device for various applications, including carving pulses from a continuous wave laser, single photon metrology, time-stretch spectroscopy, and most recently to detect the output from a quantum walk with ultrafast time-bin encoding.

Outside of her studies, Kate enjoys volunteering. She runs science activities with classrooms in Ottawa through her volunteer work with Let’s Talk Science, and serves as the president of the uOttawa Optica-SPIE Student Chapter. Previously, she was the Regional Executive Officer of Robogals North America, a non-profit organization that aims to engage young girls in STEM pursuits. Over the past three years, she has also organized the Canadian Photonics Online Meetup (canPOM) each fall.

Besides her work and volunteering activities, Kate enjoys outdoor activities such as cross-country skiing in Gatineau Park, rock climbing, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen.


  1. D. England, F. Bouchard, K. Fenwick, K. Bonsma-Fisher, Y. Zhang, P. J. Bustard, B. J. Sussman “Perspectives on all-optical Kerr switching for quantum optical applications,” Applied Physics Letters 119, 160501 (2021).
  2. F. Bouchard, D. England, P. J. Bustard, K. L. Fenwick, E. Karimi, K. Heshami, B. Sussman “Achieving ultimate noise tolerance in quantum communication,” Physical Review Applied 15, 024027 (2021).
  3. K. L. Fenwick, D. G. England, P. J. Bustard, J. M. Fraser, B. J. Sussman “Carving out configurable ultrafast pulses from a continuous wave source via the optical Kerr effect,” Optics Express 28, 24845 (2020).
  4. A. Satriano, B. Heydari, N. Guron, K. Fenwick, M. Cheung, Y. Mikami, N. Merchant, C. P. Lydell, A. G. Howarth, N. M. Fine, J. A. White “3-Dimensional regional and global strain abnormalities in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy,” The International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging 35, 1913 (2019).
  5. A. Todd, A. Satriano, K. Fenwick, N. Merchant, C. P. Lydell, A. G. Howarth, M. G. Friedrich, T. J. Anderson, N. M. Fine, J. A. White “Intra-thoracic adiposity is associated with impaired contractile function in patients with coronary artery disease: a cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging study,” The International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging 35, 121 (2019).