Australia Day Address 2017 by Professor Michelle Y. Simmons
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Professor Simmons is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Director of the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at UNSW.
She has pioneered unique technologies internationally to build electronic devices in silicon at the atomic scale, including the world's smallest transistor, the narrowest conducting wires and the first transistor where a single atom controls its operation. This work opens up the prospect of developing a silicon-based quantum computer: a powerful new form of computing with the potential to transform information processing.
Professor Simmons is one of a handful of researchers in Australia to have twice received a Federation Fellowship and now a Laureate Fellowship, the Australian Research Council’s most prestigious award of this kind. She has won both the Pawsey Medal (2006) and Lyle Medal (2015) from the Australian Academy of Science for outstanding research in physics and was, upon her appointment, one of the youngest fellows of this Academy. She was named Scientist of the Year by the New South Wales Government in 2012 and in 2014 became one of only a few Australians inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As a recent Fellow of ATSE, she was awarded the 2015 CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science and in 2016 was awarded the Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology for her work in ‘the new field of atomic-electronics, which she created’. She is Editor-in-Chief of Nature Quantum Information