Will Stacey

Will Stacey is a Master’s student from Edmonton, Alberta. He researches quantum key distribution (QKD) with Prof. Norbert Lütkenhaus’ Optical Quantum Communication Theory Group. He studies at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario.

Will studied astronomy for his undergraduate degree. However, despite his enthusiasm for it, he realised that his future lay elsewhere. From astronomy, he looked towards general relativity for inspiration when a trail of papers led him to the famous 1984 paper by Charles Bennett and Gilles Brassard where they introduce the BB84 protocol, the first quantum cryptography protocol. Quantum information attracted Will for its simple and elegant solutions, and the questions that it raises about the fundamental nature of reality.

Supervised by one of the world’s experts on QKD, Will is working to usher in QKD as a future technology for information security. One limitation of QKD is in how far its network can reach. By learning how to extend the distances that a QKD network can reach using trusted nodes like a relay, he can find out how secure a system could be and how to increase its security and performance. Future applications for QKD include high-level security for government and bank systems, and future-proofing important secrets from quantum computer-based attacks.

When he is not researching, Will enjoys approaching a different kind of problem at Kitchener’s Grand River Rocks climbing gym. For him, problem solving at the climbing wall is similar to problem solving in the classroom. The experience of trying, failing and reapproaching problems in the gym and the classroom unites Will’s passions. He also enjoys squash, live music and experiencing other cultures.

After he completes his graduate degree, Will plans to travel and seek out job opportunities in industry. He hopes that working in industry will allow him to gain a new perspective on research and allow him to help usher in quantum key distribution as the next widely used and accepted security technology.