Michelle Simmons

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Michelle Simmons
FRS FAA FAAAS FInstP Dist FRSN FTSE
Michelle Simmons 2017.jpg
Born Michelle Yvonne Simmons
(1967-07-14) 14 July 1967 (age 51)
London, United Kingdom
Residence Sydney, Australia
Alma mater Durham University (PhD)
Spouse(s) Thomas Barlow[1]
Children 1 (f); 2 (m)
Awards
Scientific career
Fields Physics
Quantum physics
Institutions University of Cambridge
University of New South Wales
Sydney Grammar School
Thesis The characterisation of CdTe-based epitaxial solar cell structures fabricated by MOVPE (1992)
Doctoral advisor Andrew W. Brinkman[2]
Website research.unsw.edu.au/people/scientia-professor-michelle-yvonne-simmons

Michelle Yvonne Simmons FAA FAAAS FInstP Dist FRSN FRS FTSE (born 14 July 1967) is a Scientia Professor of Quantum Physics in the Faculty of Science at the University of New South Wales and has twice been an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow and is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow. She is the Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation & Communication Technology[3] and is recognised internationally as a pioneer in atomic electronics and quantum computing.[4] She is also editor-in-chief of npj Quantum Information, an academic journal publishing articles in the emerging field of quantum information science.[5] On 25 January 2018, Simmons was named as the 2018 Australian of the Year for her work and dedication to quantum information science.[6]

Education[edit]

Simmons went to Durham University where she was awarded a PhD on "The characterisation of CdTe-based epitaxial solar cell structures fabricated by MOVPE" in 1992 for research supervised by Andrew W. Brinkman.[2]

Career and research[edit]

In the 1990s Simmons worked as a Research Fellow in quantum electronics alongside Michael Pepper at the Cavendish Laboratory in the UK where she gained an international reputation for her work in the discovery of the 0.7 feature and the development of 'hole' transistors.[7] In 1999, she was awarded a QEII Fellowship and came to Australia, where she was a founding member of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computer Technology.[8] She made the Australia Day address for NSW in 2017[9][10] and spoke about the importance of setting high expectations for students. She made it clear that Australians need to set the bar high and tell their students they expect them to jump over it. She said, "It is better to do the things that have the greatest reward; things that are hard, not easy." Simmons also criticized the lowering of standards in physics education in the HSC (Higher School Certificate) curriculum, in which an effort has been made to make physics more appealing to girls by substituting mathematical problem-solving with qualitative responses, remarking that the curriculum had a "feminised nature".[11]

When Simmons was made Australian of the Year in 2018, she spoke about the importance of not being defined by other people's expectations of you. She said, "Don't live your life according to what other people think. Go out there and do what you really want to do." She is passionate about encouraging girls to pursue a career in science and technology. “Seeing women in leadership roles and competing internationally is important. It gives them the sense that anything is possible,” she said.[12]

External video
TEDxSydney talk about Quantum Computation

Achievements[edit]

Since 2000, Simmons has established a large research group dedicated to the fabrication of atomic scale devices in silicon and germanium using the atomic precision of scanning tunnelling microscopy. Her research group is the only group worldwide that can create atomically precise devices in silicon—they were also the first team in the world to develop a working "perfect" single-atom transistor[13] and the narrowest conducting doped wires in silicon.[14]

Simmons has published over 350 peer-reviewed journal papers amassing over 6,000 citations, written five book chapters and published a book on nanotechnology.[15] She has also filed four patents[16] and delivered over 100 invited and plenary presentations at international conferences.

Honours and awards[edit]

Simmons is an elected trustee of Sydney Grammar School.[17]

In 1999, she was awarded a QEII Fellowship and came to Australia.

In 2005, Simmons was awarded the Australian Academy of Science's Pawsey Medal[18]

In 2006, she became one of the youngest researchers to be elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA).[19]

In 2011, she was named NSW Scientist of the Year by the NSW Government Office of the Chief Scientist.[20]

In 2014, she was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[21]

In 2015, Simmons was awarded the Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal, and was the winner of the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science. She was also elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE).[22]

She was named the L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science Asia-Pacific Laureate in 2017[23] and was subsequently profiled in a short documentary on France24 TV.[24]

In 2018, Simmons was named Australian of the Year in 2018 for her work in quantum physics,[25] and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS).[26][27]

She was New South Wales Scientist of the Year in 2011 and awarded the Royal Society of New South Wales Walter Burfitt Prize in 2013.[citation needed] The Australian Research Council made her a Laureate Fellow in 2013.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Simmons is married to Thomas Barlow, a novelist and business analyst. They have three children.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Guillat, Richard (15–16 April 2017). "Star of the sub-atomic". The Weekend Australian Magazine. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b Simmons, Michelle Yvonne (1992). The characterisation of CdTe-based epitaxial solar cell structures fabricated by MOVPE. Etheses.dur.ac.uk (PhD thesis). Durham University. OCLC 53532609. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.314733. Free to read
  3. ^ "Quantum Computing - Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology". Cqc2t.org. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  4. ^ (28 February 2012). ABC Science: Meet a Scientist. ABC Science. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved on 16 August 2014.
  5. ^ Ross, John (2014-11-05). "Christopher Pyne launches Nature partner in quantum computing". The Australian. Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  6. ^ Pianegonda, Elise; staff (25 January 2018). "Australian of the Year awards: Quantum physicist Michelle Yvonne Simmons receives 2018 honour". ABC News. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  7. ^ Phys. Rev. Lett. 77, 135 (1996) – Possible Spin Polarization in a One-Dimensional Electron Gas doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.77.135
  8. ^ "Quantum Computing - Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology". Cqc2t.org. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  9. ^ "2017 speaker: Professor Michelle Y. Simmons". Australiaday.com.au. NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Your stories: 2018 Australian of the Year, Professor Michelle Simmons (interview)". UniSuper. March 2018. Archived from the original on 8 March 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  11. ^ Storm, Mark (24 January 2017). "Australia Day Address orator Michelle Simmons horrified at 'feminised' physics curriculum". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 14 December 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  12. ^ "Australian of the Year revealed". NewsComAu. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  13. ^ Martin Fuechsle, Jill A. Miwa, Suddhasatta Mahapatra, Hoon Ryu, Sunhee Lee, Oliver Warschkow, Lloyd C. L. Hollenberg, Gerhard Klimeck & Michelle Y. Simmons (19 February 2012). Nature Nanotechnology doi:10.1038/nnano.2012.21. Nature Publishing Group. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  14. ^ (5 January 2012). Narrowest conducting wires in silicon ever made show the same current capability as copper. phys.org. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  15. ^ Select Publications. University of New South Wales.
  16. ^ Select Publications: Patents. University of New South Wales.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 November 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  18. ^ Pawsey medal Archived 14 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine.. Australian Academy of Science. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  19. ^ Professor Michelle Simmons Archived 15 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine.. Australian Academy of Science. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  20. ^ Past Winners – NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer Archived 14 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine.. Office of the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  21. ^ "Academy Home - American Academy of Arts & Sciences". Amacad.org. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  22. ^ 2015 Fellows: Women again prominent among new ATSE Fellows, Media Release, 14 October 2015, www.atse.org.au
  23. ^ "Announcement of Laureates of 2017 L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Awards : United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization". Unesco.org. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  24. ^ British physicist Michelle Simmons, the 'quantum queen' (Television production). Paris: France24 TV. 2017-05-08. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  25. ^ Announced 2018 Australian of the year. 2018 Australian of the Year Awards. 25 January 2018.
  26. ^ "Distinguished scientists elected as Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society". The Royal Society. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  27. ^ "Michelle Simmons". Royalsociety.org. Retrieved 10 June 2018.

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