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Michelle Simmons

Quantum Physicist

University of New South Wales 


Quantum Physicist


University of New South Wales 




56 years


Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd





What makes Michelle Simmons a Global Shaker?

Professor Michelle Simmons has dedicated her life to a branch of quantum physics focused on electronics and information science. She has pioneered a powerful technology for creating electronic devices in silicon with atomic precision. These include the world’s smallest transistor, the narrowest conducting wires and 3D atomic electronics.

In 2000, Simmons and her team started working on extremely precise manufacturing equipment. Using atomic-level imaging instruments, they are the only team that has created atom-precise silicon devices. They were also the first team in the world to develop a perfect single-atom transistor. Simmons’ research group received millions of dollars in grants to develop the first commercially practical 10-qubit quantum computer by 2022.

On 25 January 2018, Simmons was named as 2018 Australian of the Year for her work and dedication to quantum information science.

On 10 June 2019, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of her “distinguished service to science education as a leader in quantum and atomic electronics and as a role model.”

Simmons is a professor of Quantum Physics in the Faculty of Science at the University of New South Wales and director of the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQCT.)

She is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, 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 the Australian Academy of Science.

As the founder of Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd, her team is at the forefront of developing a silicon-based quantum computer. The company’s website states:

“Quantum computing won’t just change how we use, process and understand information. It will also allow us to create faster, more efficient computers that will quickly become the world’s most powerful artificial intelligence machines.”

Silicon Quantum Computing’s vision is to make this happen for the betterment of humankind. By creating technology at the cutting edge of science, and by using it in ways that are life-enhancing, human-centred and world-changing.”

Tags: computer science, quantum physics, STEM, Women in Science, Women in STEM, Women in Tech

Last updated: November 10, 2020