Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2018-01-29

Focus

European Commission explains why Joint Undertaking is well suited as legal instrument to help create EuroHPC ecosystem ...

Combination of top-down initiatives like EuroHPC and bottom-up science driven projects make European exascale effort healthy ...

Quantum computing

Quantum race accelerates development of silicon quantum chip ...

Quantum control: Scientists develop quantum metamaterial from complex twin qubits ...

New metal-semiconductor interface for brain-inspired computing ...

Researchers from TU Delft combine spintronics and nanophotonics in 2D material ...

Retrospective test for quantum computers can build trust ...

Particle collision in large accelerators is simulated by using a quantum computer ...

Focus on Europe

EOSC-hub to launch integrated services for the European Open Science Cloud ...

Supercomputing Frontiers Europe 2018 launches invitation to participate ...

CESNET and GÉANT deploy 300 Gbps wavelength in R&E community ...

PRACE SHAPE Programme supports two further SMEs ...

Hardware

Most powerful Dutch GPU supercomputer boosts new radio telescope ...

Asetek receives order from Fujitsu for Institute of Fluid Science at Tohoku University ...

Applications

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication ...

NIST's superconducting synapse may be missing piece for 'artificial brains' ...

Scientists get better numbers on what happens when electrons get wet ...

UNSW Sydney scientist Michelle Simmons is Australian of the Year ...

San Diego County invests in new UC San Diego fire detection networking ...

Solving science and engineering problems with supercomputers and AI ...

Purdue-affiliated start-up designing next-generation hardware, software to propel computer intelligence to next level ...

Scientists pioneer use of deep learning for real-time gravitational wave discovery ...

Dynaslum research team publishes in Nature Scientific Data ...

University of Texas at Arlington researchers use simulations to study brain damage from bomb blasts and materials for space shuttles ...

Ohio Supercomputer Center helping Ohio University researcher revolutionize drug discovery with RNA in the spotlight ...

Cells of three aggressive cancers annihilated by drug-like compounds that reverse chemo failure ...

Sensor the size of a nitrogen atom investigates hard drives ...

UNSW Sydney scientist Michelle Simmons is Australian of the Year


UNSW Sydney scientist Professor Michelle Simmons, the 2018 Australian of the Year, is presented with her award by the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Credit: Salty Dingo.
25 Jan 2018 Sydney - University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney congratulates Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons, who has been named 2018 Australian of the Year in recognition of her pioneering research and inspiring leadership in quantum computing.

Michelle Simmons, who is a UNSW Professor of Physics and Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, CQC2T, based at UNSW, received her award from the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra.

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.

UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs stated: "Michelle is highly deserving recipient of this great honour and will be a wonderful role model for all Australians."

"With her scientific vision, she has established UNSW and Australia as an international leader in a key industry of the future - quantum computing - that will revolutionise most other industries."

"And she has worked tirelessly to ensure this nation will benefit economically and socially from the commercialisation of her team's great Australian research", Professor Jacobs stated.

UNSW Dean of Science Professor Emma Johnston stated: "Michelle is a pioneering scientist with a passion for pushing the boundaries which has allowed her to overcome immense technical barriers in her quest to understand how the world operates at the atomic level and then exploit this knowledge to create the quantum computers of the future."

"Her achievements and those of her team are hugely exciting for UNSW and for Australia and she is an inspiration to all young people - and women in particular - who aspire to make a difference in the world."

"Although Michelle's work is conducted at the very smallest scale, its consequences will be enormous", Professor Johnston stated.

Professor Simmons stated: "I am deeply honoured to receive this award and hope the recognition will inspire other Australians to tackle the hard challenges in life."

"Trying to control nature at its very smallest scale is phenomenally exciting and rewarding, and has been my passion for many years."

"Building a fully functioning prototype quantum computer in silicon is a massive task. But I have an excellent team with the dedication and determination to make it happen, and this award is also a wonderful recognition of their immense efforts."

She said the Australian give-it a go attitude, the academic freedom to pursue ambitious projects and new ideas, and the collaborative culture had contributed to her success.

"I firmly believe there is no better place to undertake research than in Australia", Professor Simmons stated.

Michelle Simmons' advice to young men and women reflects the many insights she has gained on her journey to the top: "Keep your sights high, defy others' expectations, and be the creators, rather than just the users, of new technology", she stated.

Among their recent achievements, Michelle Simmons' research group created the world's first single-atom transistor, as well as the narrowest conducting wires ever made in silicon, just four atoms wide and one atom high.

Quantum computers are expected to transform most industries, including health, finance and transportation. Instead of performing calculations one after another, like a conventional computer, a quantum computer would work in parallel and be able to look at all the possible outcomes at the same time.

"A quantum computer would be able to solve problems in minutes that would otherwise take thousands of years", stated Michelle Simmons.

The UNSW approach has been to focus on making qubits out of single atoms of phosphorus or quantum dots in silicon - the material that forms the basis of today's computer chips.

Silicon has several advantages including that it is amongst the most stable and manufacturable environments in which to host qubits, due to trillions of dollars of investment in R&D by the computer and electronics industry.

Launched last year and operating out of new laboratories at UNSW, the new company called Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd has set itself the target of producing a 10-qubit integrated circuit prototype in silicon by 2022, as the forerunner to a silicon-based quantum computer.

Michelle Simmons is one of the few Australian academics to have been awarded two Australian Research Council Federation Fellowships and currently holds a Laureate Fellowship.

She has won both the Australian Academy of Science's Pawsey Medal (2005) and Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal (2015) for outstanding research in physics, and was elected one of the youngest Fellows of the Academy in 2006. She was named NSW Scientist of the Year in 2012, and in 2015 she was awarded a Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science.

She received a Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology in 2016, for "the new field of atomic electronics, which she created". Last month she was honoured as a pioneer in quantum computing by the American Computer Museum, alongside Mark Ritter from IBM. And last year she received a 100,000 euro international L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award.

She had the rare distinction for an Australian researcher of becoming an elected member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014. She is also Editor in Chief of the first Nature Partner Journal based in Australia,npj Quantum Information.

Source: University of New South Wales

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2018-01-29

Focus

European Commission explains why Joint Undertaking is well suited as legal instrument to help create EuroHPC ecosystem ...

Combination of top-down initiatives like EuroHPC and bottom-up science driven projects make European exascale effort healthy ...

Quantum computing

Quantum race accelerates development of silicon quantum chip ...

Quantum control: Scientists develop quantum metamaterial from complex twin qubits ...

New metal-semiconductor interface for brain-inspired computing ...

Researchers from TU Delft combine spintronics and nanophotonics in 2D material ...

Retrospective test for quantum computers can build trust ...

Particle collision in large accelerators is simulated by using a quantum computer ...

Focus on Europe

EOSC-hub to launch integrated services for the European Open Science Cloud ...

Supercomputing Frontiers Europe 2018 launches invitation to participate ...

CESNET and GÉANT deploy 300 Gbps wavelength in R&E community ...

PRACE SHAPE Programme supports two further SMEs ...

Hardware

Most powerful Dutch GPU supercomputer boosts new radio telescope ...

Asetek receives order from Fujitsu for Institute of Fluid Science at Tohoku University ...

Applications

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication ...

NIST's superconducting synapse may be missing piece for 'artificial brains' ...

Scientists get better numbers on what happens when electrons get wet ...

UNSW Sydney scientist Michelle Simmons is Australian of the Year ...

San Diego County invests in new UC San Diego fire detection networking ...

Solving science and engineering problems with supercomputers and AI ...

Purdue-affiliated start-up designing next-generation hardware, software to propel computer intelligence to next level ...

Scientists pioneer use of deep learning for real-time gravitational wave discovery ...

Dynaslum research team publishes in Nature Scientific Data ...

University of Texas at Arlington researchers use simulations to study brain damage from bomb blasts and materials for space shuttles ...

Ohio Supercomputer Center helping Ohio University researcher revolutionize drug discovery with RNA in the spotlight ...

Cells of three aggressive cancers annihilated by drug-like compounds that reverse chemo failure ...

Sensor the size of a nitrogen atom investigates hard drives ...