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Michelle Simmons wins Prime Minister’s Prize for Science

Manufacturing News

Sydney quantum computing hardware manufacturer Silicon Quantum Computing’s (SQC) Michelle Simmons was named last night as the winner of the 2023 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science.

Professor Simmons (pictured) was recognised for creating the new field of atomic electronics which are ‘powering the transition from the digital to the quantum age’.

Simmons, who has already been showered with honours including Australian of the Year in 2018, is Director of SQC, the Scientia Professor and Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at UNSW Sydney.

Simmons said: “Having our nation’s leaders honour our work at SQC and UNSW in this way spurs me and my team on with our mission.

“From right here in Australia, our team of physicists, engineers, and computer scientists are on track to create, manufacture and commercialise the world’s first error-corrected quantum computer based on integrated circuits made with atomic precision.”

Simmons team has developed the world’s first single-atom transistor, the world’s narrowest conducting wires and have demonstrated the ability to encode information at the sub-atomic level in single atoms.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the American Association of the Advancement of Science, the UK Institute of Physics, the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and of the Australian Academy of Science.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese presented the prizes, with Professor Glenn King awarded the 2023 Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation.

Professor King was recognised for pioneering using peptides from Australian funnel-web spider venom for sustainable crop protection and potentially human therapeutics.

  • Other winners were:

    Mrs Judith Stutchbury – 2023 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools

  • Ms Donna Buckley – 2023 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools
  • Professor Chris Greening – 2023 Frank Fenner Prize of Life Scientist of the Year
  • Professor Yuerui (Larry) Lu – 2023 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year
  • And Associate Professor Lara Herrero – 2023 Prize for New Innovators

Further reading:
Browse @AuManufacturing’s coverage of Michelle Simmons here.

Picture: Michelle Simmons

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