The Institute - March 2021 - TI-5

" Becoming a manager wasn't in my original career plan, "
she says. " I wanted to be an individual contributor. But after
10 years I realized that being a manager would give me more
opportunities and would challenge me in new ways. "
In her current position, she says, " not only do I have to keep
up with technology but I also need to motivate my team of
engineers and developers to move forward with their ideas. "
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 a Verizon news release.

encryption keys to the two sites and were able to detect if
someone was eavesdropping on that connection. "
Her team is developing software to enhance GPS location
data using RTK. The software " makes GPS more accurate
and precise, reducing the error to the 2-centimeter range, "
McManus says. " My team has figured out a way to scale it
such that we can support the large number of Internet of
Things devices. "
Among those devices are drones. The software McManus
and her team developed can make them more vertically
accurate, giving the pilots a better measure of how high off
the ground the drones are and helping to avoid crashes into
telephone wires and power lines.

Employer: Verizon


McManus takes pride in being a mentor to
McManus's expertise lies in telecommunicaTitle: Executive
women. She says she was inspired to become
director of
tions, specifically on protocols, architecture,
a mentor when she " saw a lot of women were
and security. She also has worked on technolstruggling with how to navigate Verizon. " She
wanted to provide others the support she didn't
ogies such as carrier Ethernet (the use of highMember grade:
bandwidth Ethernet technology), subscriber
receive early in her career.
data management, and network virtualization.
" There wasn't such an emphasis on mentorJoined IEEE: 1993
When she was offered the opportunity to be
ing at that time, " she says.
Alma mater:
involved in product development, she took it.
She works with Verizon's Women of the World,
University of
" I'm still doing technical work, but it's now
career-development proPennsylvania
more product-focused, " McManus says. " This
gram that aims to help employees develop
effective communication skills, personal brand
[position] gives me the opportunity to think
differently about technology and how we can support our
development, and self-leadership. The participants are put
customers. "
into groups led by managers.
McManus has two responsibilities: staying up to date with
" Jean shared her experiences working as an executive directechnology and exploring areas in telecommunication that
tor and encouraged the women in our group to openly discan be improved in support of Verizon's products and services.
cuss our goals, take action, and share our career successes
" One part of my day is spent looking to see what's happenwith each other, " says Sharon Muli, who participated in the
program. " I also met individually with Jean, and she offered
ing, whether it be research labs, academia, what other companies are doing, or just trying to understand how people
me guidance on pursuing various career paths and training
are applying technology, " she says. " But, more importantly,
opportunities. She utilized her connections to introduce
what technologies are going to be coming within the next
me to individuals on other teams and strengthen my netseveral years.
work at Verizon. "
" The other part of my day is spent interacting with my team.
McManus, who joined IEEE as a student member, has spoI try to engage with them as much as possible from an innoken at IEEE conferences such as the 2019 IEEE Women in
Engineering Forum, where she was on a panel discussing 5G.
vation perspective. "
" It's great to see the support [IEEE] is giving to women in
engineering, " she says. " Some of the things it's doing to help
Last year McManus led the development of several innovadevelop women engineers are not just at the start of their
tive technologies.
careers but also making sure that they're staying in those
She and her team conducted one of the first commercial
areas. There's just a lot of opportunity to really embrace the
trials of quantum key distribution in the United States.
industry as a whole and develop yourself. "
" We connected three Verizon sites in the Washington,
D.C., area and sent a video between two of the sites, " McMThis article originally appeared online as " This Executive Director
Is Leading Verizon Into the Future Through Quantum Computing. "
anus says. " Using quantum key distribution, we received



MAR 2021



The Institute - March 2021

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