Erika Kawakami obtained her engineering degree from École Centrale Marseille, France and M.S. from Keio University, Japan in 2011 within the framework of the double degree program. During her master’s program, she studied the spin decoherence mechanism of the phosphorous donor electrons in silicon in the lab of Kohei Itoh.
She moved to the Netherlands to pursue her doctoral degree in the lab of Lieven Vandersypen, at Delft University of Technology. Throughout her doctoral research, she worked toward the realization of a quantum computer using electrons in Si/SiGe quantum dots as quantum bits. The main achievement was a spin state manipulation of an electron in a Si/SiGe quantum dot using electron spin resonance.
During the course of her graduate studies, she became interested in the surface electrons on helium as unique and promising candidates to realize quantum bits with, both for a universal digital quantum computer and for a quantum simulator. After obtaining her Ph.D. in 2016, she moved back to Japan and started working as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Denis Konstantinov, at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. Since 2017, her research towards the realization of a quantum computer using the surface electrons on helium has been funded by JST-PRESTO.
In her free time, she enjoys playing the saxophone.