Atomic electronics pioneer awarded Prime Minister’s Prize for Science

UNSW Sydney Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons has been named the winner of the annual 2023 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for her achievements in creating the field of atomic electronics, with a mission to create the world’s first error-corrected quantum computer here in Australia.

Prof. Simmons is the Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at UNSW and the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of UNSW start-up Silicon Quantum Computing, Australia’s first quantum computing company.

Her discoveries have the potential to impact almost every industry that is dependent on data, such as revolutionising therapeutic drug design, optimising route planning for delivery or logistical systems thereby reducing fuel costs and delivery times and creating better fertilisers for agriculture.

“I’m over the moon to receive the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. Yet figuring out how to make electronic devices with atomic precision is not something I could ever have done on my own,” Prof. Simmons said.

“For 25 years, I have worked with many amazing scientists and engineers – and I am enormously grateful to all of them.”

“I would add a particular thank you to my current team. They are the most exceptionally talented group I have ever worked with,” Prof. Simmons continued.

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science are Australia’s most prestigious awards for outstanding achievements in scientific research, research-based innovation and excellence in science teaching.

UNSW Scientia Professor Trevor McDougall was last year’s winner of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for significant advancement of knowledge through science and research.

This article originally appeared in Manufacturers’ Monthly.

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