(SpectrumIEEE) Jean McManus is executive director of emerging technologies with Verizon’s technology and product development group in Waltham, Mass.
McManus and her team—which consists of network architects, engineers, and software developers—are working on quantum key distribution, and advancing GPS technology using the satellite navigation technique real-time kinematics (RTK). Quantum key distribution is a “new encryption method that uses photon properties to protect subscriber data,” according to the Verizon news release.
McManus’s expertise lies in telecommunications, specifically on protocols, architecture, and security. She also has worked on technologies such as carrier Ethernet (the use of high-bandwidth Ethernet technology), subscriber data management, and network virtualization. When she was offered the opportunity to be involved in product development, she took it.
She and her team conducted one of the first commercial trials of quantum key distribution in the United States. “We connected three Verizon sites in the Washington, D.C., area and sent a video between two of the sites,” McManus says. “Using quantum key distribution, we received encryption keys to the two sites and were able to detect if someone was eavesdropping on that connection.”
She was profiled in the 2016 book The Internet of Women: Accelerating Culture Change, which highlights standouts in science, technology, engineering, and math who are making historic contributions to their field.
McManus also mentors the company’s young engineers, especially women. In addition, she works with professional-development programs run by Verizon and IEEE to connect with young professionals and help them reach their career goals.

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