Professor Michelle Simmons Wins The 2023 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Robyn Foyster Robyn Foyster has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
on 20 October 2023

Professor Michelle Simmons was awarded the top honour at the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science this week.

The quantum physicist and 2018 Australian of the year, Michelle Simmons is an incredible role model for women in STEM.

Professor Simmons, from the University of New South Wales, is working in the field of atomic electronics.

“It’s a really special and wonderful thing,” she said of the $250,000 prize.

She received the prize in recognition of her ground breaking working including discoveries that form the basis of a new approach to quantum computing.

Professor Simmons founded Australia’s first quantum computing company, Silicon Quantum Computing, and alongside her team pioneered a new precise style of manufacturing that forms the basis for a new approach to quantum computing.

Professor Simmons’ efforts have the potential to be applied across several other fields, including therapeutic drug design, reducing the cost of airline fuel, and creating better fertilisers for agriculture.

“The achievements of the 2023 recipients reflect the world-class quality of Australia’s science and research sector and the dedication of our STEM teachers. It confirms thefuture of Australian science is stronger than ever.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese MP

Winner of the 2023 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Professor and entrepreneur Glenn King from the University of Queensland received the 2023 Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation for his ground-breaking discovery that the venom of the Australian funnel web spider can be used to make pharmaceuticals to treat chronic pain, epilepsy and stroke.

Judith Stutchbury received the 2023 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools. Ms Stutchbury is a teacher at Kalkie State School in Bundaberg, and has taught students about the importance of marine turtle conservation in the Great Barrier Reef, and authored an award-winning fiction book to promote environmental science.

Donna Buckley received the 2023 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools for inspiring students with diverse backgrounds by applying mathematics to real-world problems and introducing them to career paths in science related fields.

The achievements of all 2023 prize recipients can be found at industry.gov.au/PMPrizes.

Michelle Simmons
Professor Michelle Simmons at the TCA event at Old Parliament House

“Excellence in Australian science and technology is on display again this year. Behind every great scientist is a dedicated science teacher. Australians put huge stock in our world-class scientists, and understands science and innovation is at the heart of human progress.

“Quantum computing has the power to transform industries and solve important challenges.

“From automation on factory floors to rapidly advancing AI, the science and innovation sector is creating secure and well-paid jobs.”

Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic

Find out more at industry.gov.au/PMPrizes.

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