What makes a world-class academic choose UNSW Sydney? For 2018 Australian of the Year, Laureate Fellow and UNSW Scientia Professor of Physics, Michelle Simmons, a number of factors influenced her move to Australia. Lifestyle, culture and Australia’s give-it-a-go spirit were all important, but one thing in particular convinced Professor Simmons to pack her bags.
"I was really looking for an ambitious university," Simmons said recently.
She found what she was looking for in UNSW. Since her arrival in 1999, Professor Simmons has been given the support required to conduct game-changing research. She was a founding member of the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computer Technology and has been instrumental in transforming the quantum physics department into a world leader. In 2012, Professor Simmons’ team created the world’s smallest transistor from a single atom.
In 2016, Professor Simmons established Australia’s first quantum computing company, an $83 million cross-disciplinary consortium tasked with commercialising her research. Today, Professor Simmons and her team of 200 researchers are working on something even bigger: Building the world’s first quantum computer in silicon. Recently, her team produced the narrowest conducting wires ever made in silicon.