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Women Of Quantum Technology: Dr. Tanya Ramond of Sapienne Consulting

Tanya Ramond, CEO and Founder of Sapienne Consulting, discusses her history and journey into the quantum industry.
By Kenna Hughes-Castleberry posted 24 Apr 2024

With a background in astrophysics and laser spectroscopy, Dr. Tanya Ramond, CEO and Founder of company Sapienne Consulting, is far from a normal business consultant. “I focus on helping companies commercialize technologies in ‘deep tech’ industries like quantum tech, aerospace, optics/photonics, advanced materials, and climate tech,” Ramond told Inside Quantum Technology. “The journey from R&D into the mainstream commercial application is not easy, but because I learned I speak both ‘technical’ and ‘business,’ that is a unique strength that bridges those two worlds, which is very rewarding.”

With over 15 years of industry experience, Ramond understands the ecosystem like no other and can leverage these insights to give a unique advantage to the companies she works with.

Like many other quantum enthusiasts, Ramond’s passion for deep technology began in high school. “I was hooked on physics early on, starting with my high school physics class, then physics and astrophysics in college,” she elaborated. “Pointing a telescope at a star billions of miles away, collecting its emitted signal, and splitting that signal into wavelengths, I could watch these sharp peaks pop up that decoded the atomic composition of the star—all of that was thrilling.  In graduate school at JILA at the University of Colorado, I wanted to work more with hardware. I shifted my research from astrophysics to spectroscopy in chemical physics, blasting a negatively charged molecule with a laser to discover its internal structure.  My postdoc was spent at NIST playing with novel lasers for frequency metrology that can keep a more precise definition of the second.” Thanks to her journey, Ramond experienced many different environments where deep technology is applied, including government research.

After her postdoctoral degree, Ramond quickly found a successful job in industry. Ramond elaborated: “My first job out of academia was at Ball Aerospace, working on programs designing remote sensing instrumentation for space.  That means things like spectroscopic imaging and (laser-based) lidar.  Keeping with the laser theme, I also worked in several startups using lasers in space for communications or developing a more accurate alternative to time standards provided by GPS (global positioning satellites).” Through her industry journey, Ramond experienced a variety of company environments, from the fast-paced startup culture to the reliability of a technological giant.

Now, as the CEO and Founder of Sapienne Consulting, Ramond plans to take her experiences and insights to benefit the companies she partners with. “I bring to the table engineering and industry experience transforming R&D into product,” her LinkedIn page states. “The investor perspective is also crucial. I offer this to my clients, having reviewed proposals for multiple grant agencies (SBIR, OEDIT, NASA) and mentored entrepreneurs at institutions such as TechStars and the University of Colorado.”

As the CEO of Sapienne Consulting, Ramond understands her position as a female voice within the quantum technology industry. Because she’s seen the dearth of other female individuals, from consultants to CEOs, in this industry, she believes that improving diversity is crucial for encouraging more women to lead. “If we all do what is easiest, we will never change the status quo,” she said. “Speak up to support someone else’s ideas.  Reach out to show you see someone.  Speak out to question someone with an uncharitable comment. Take some time to find a female or minority speaker for an event.  And please do not leave all the extra effort to the women and minorities.  We need to normalize these inclusive behaviors across all groups so that it no longer seems like added effort.”

Ramond also highlighted the importance of mindset in trying to improve the diversity of this ecosystem. “Embrace a growth mindset,” Ramond added. “This means accepting some vulnerability.  In the words of the great Ted Lasso, ‘Be curious, not judgmental.’  Just because something is new or unfamiliar does not make it bad or wrong, and it does not mean it is something that will cause you detriment.  I have seen so many instances of zero-sum thinking translating to career paths vanishing for talented women.”

Kenna Hughes-Castleberry is the Managing Editor at Inside Quantum Technology and the Science Communicator at JILA (a partnership between the University of Colorado Boulder and NIST). Her writing beats include deep tech, quantum computing, and AI. Her work has been featured in National Geographic, Scientific American, Discover Magazine, New Scientist, Ars Technica, and more.

Categories: quantum computing, women in quantum

Tags: Sapienne Consulting, Tanya Ramond, Women in quantum

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