Professor Michelle Simmons was named 2018 Australian of the Year in recognition of her pioneering research and inspiring leadership in quantum computing.
Professor Simmons is a UNSW Scientia Professor of Physics, and Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, CQC2T, based at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).
As Centre Director, she leads a team of more than 200 researchers at eight Australian universities who are developing a suite of technologies for quantum computing, information storage and communications.
Professor Simmons’ research group is the only one in the world that can manipulate individual atoms to make atomically precise electronic devices. Her team at CQC2T is leading the world in the race to develop a quantum computer in silicon.
Last year, she also established Australia’s first quantum computing company, bringing together representatives of governments, industry and universities in a unique $83 million consortium based at UNSW to develop and commercialise the Centre’s world-leading research.
In July 2018, she was the first ever female quantum physicist admitted to the Royal Society of London in its 358 year history.