Professor Michelle Simmons, one of Australia’s leading scientists, will deliver this year’s Australia Day Address, Premier Mike Baird announced today.
Professor Simmons is an esteemed physicist specialising in quantum physics. She has received numerous awards and accolades for her achievements, including the Australian Academy of Science’s Pawsey (2006) and Lyle (2015) Medals, the US Foresight Institute’s Feynman Prize (2015) and was recently named the 2017 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Asia-Pacific Laureate in the Physical Sciences.
“I regard Professor Simmons as at the forefront of her profession, the industry and indeed the global scientific community,” said Mr Baird.
“She is a pioneer in her field and a shining example of the ground-breaking innovation of which Australia is capable.
“There is no one better qualified to deliver this year’s Australia Day Address.”
Professor Simmons is the director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at the University of NSW.
She has pioneered unique technologies internationally to build electronic devices in silicon at the atomic scale, including the world’s first single-atom transistor and the narrowest conducting wires ever made. Currently, her team is leading the development of a silicon quantum computer.
Born in the United Kingdom, Professor Simmons moved to Australia in 1999. In 2011, she was named the NSW Scientist of the Year; in 2014, she became an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science.
Professor Simmons will deliver the Australia Day Address at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on January 24.