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Karina Jiménez García

Leader of the Laboratory for Quantum Technology
CINVESTAV Querétaro, México

Karina Jiménez García

Born in México
Resides in México
Educational Background: BSc in Physics and Mathematics, Escuela Superior de Física y Matemáticas; PhD in Physics, Centro de Investigacion y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politecnico Nacional

Growing up I was in contact with nature and greatly enjoyed math and physics. As I advanced in my studies it filled me with awe to learn how these branches of science are fundamental to understand our Universe at all scales. This inspired me to pursue a career in science with a special focus on physics, more specifically on experimental quantum physics.

I am one of the lead scientists at the Laboratory for Quantum Technology in CINVESTAV. My primary responsibilities include: leading experimental research on quantum phenomena based on cold atom gases; supervising students and postdocs in the laboratory; teaching in the graduate program at CINVESTAV; giving lectures and seminars at conferences and universities; administrating the laboratory projects (applying for grants and efficiently administrating time and resources); among others. My research focuses on experimental physics, atomic physics, optics, production and manipulation of quantum systems, cold atom systems, quantum simulation, quantum optics, and Bose-Einstein condensation.

Some of the obstacles I have faced are pretty common in science and include lack of self-confidence, having been raised in a society where women often do not speak up. The first step to overcome this issue was to realize it was there. After this, little by little I worked on recognizing and giving value to all my hard work, my decisions, and the successes that have brought me to where I am today. I have improved my abilities to be heard. Now, as a lead scientist I am in a position that allows me to be a role model and empower others.

What I would like to share with young students considering a career in STEM is: Work hard, but also take care of your well-being. By this I mean: work hard, study a lot, eat well, exercise, sleep well, have some free time, be efficient! Great, innovative ideas come suddenly when one is relaxed doing what one enjoys (pre-requisite: be prepared, study a lot). This advice applies to any person looking for a career in STEM, since in the context of science, men and women are equally capable.

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