"Quantum Frontiers: Michelle Simmons Unveils the Future of Australian Science"quantumcomputing,MichelleSimmons,Australianscience,futuretechnology
"Quantum Frontiers: Michelle Simmons Unveils the Future of Australian Science"

“Quantum Frontiers: Michelle Simmons Unveils the Future of Australian Science”

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Quantum physicist Michelle Simmons on the joy and reward of being a scientist

New Understanding in a Vast Universe

Quantum physicist Michelle Simmons, the 2023 ABC Boyer lecturer and recipient of the 2023 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science, has dedicated her career to expanding our understanding of the world. Despite being asked if physics is already fully understood, Simmons emphasizes that we know very little about the universe. She has spent decades at the forefront of scientific discovery, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the field of quantum physics. Her work has focused on the development of electrical components at the atomic scale and she is the founder of Australia’s first quantum computing company.

The Thrill of New Discoveries

Simmons finds the thrill of new discovery to be the greatest reward in her career. She explains that understanding something for the first time, even back to primary school, feels like an adrenaline hit. Throughout her life, Simmons has always sought out the most difficult challenges and conceptual breakthroughs, constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible. She is driven by a love for the edge of knowledge.

Discovering Purpose in Science

Simmons’ journey to becoming a quantum physicist began with a realization in her early years. While she enjoyed playing chess, she knew it wouldn’t be her whole life. It was her physics teacher who sparked her interest in the subject, leading her to realize that she could understand the world mathematically. She pursued a double degree in physics and chemistry at Durham University, which further ignited her passion for quantum physics.

Embracing All Aspects of Research

Simmons’ early experiences in research taught her the value of being involved in every aspect of a project. She didn’t want to be limited to just one area but instead desired to have a hand in every stage of the research process. She believes that deep learning requires immersing oneself in the subject and continuously challenging oneself to acquire new knowledge.

Australia as a Technological Powerhouse

In 1999, Simmons made the decision to move to Australia for the pursuit of academic freedom. She found the country to be a place where ambition is paired with a gung-ho mentality and a positive environment. Simmons believes that Australia is the new technology powerhouse of the future and emphasizes the importance of celebrating the achievements and potential of the scientific community in the country.

The Power of Teamwork

Simmons recognizes that true transformational breakthroughs can only be achieved through teamwork and collaboration. She leads a diverse team at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), comprising individuals with different skill sets. Simmons believes that scientists are incredibly creative, constantly experimenting and exploring multiple paths to break new ground. She encourages her team to have fun while working together, fostering an environment where everyone’s unique skills are leveraged.

Inspiring the Next Generation

Simmons is dedicated to engaging young people, especially women, in the field of science. She believes that young people today have access to knowledge and resources that were not available in the past, and there are tremendous opportunities to nurture their curiosity and passion for scientific exploration. Through her company, Silicon Quantum Computing, Simmons encourages students to learn from career scientists and witness the impact their studies can have on the real world. She believes in teaching young girls to embrace making mistakes as part of the learning process and emphasizes the joy and reward of being a scientist.


Michelle Simmons’ career as a quantum physicist has been driven by a thirst for new knowledge and a love for the challenges at the edge of what is possible. She has made significant contributions to the field of quantum physics and has played a crucial role in advancing Australia as a technological powerhouse. Simmons’ dedication to teamwork, creativity, and inspiring the next generation of scientists makes her a true role model in the scientific community.


"Quantum Frontiers: Michelle Simmons Unveils the Future of Australian Science"
<< photo by Uriel SC >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

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G'day, mates! I'm Greg Buckley, and I've been reporting here in the land Down Under for the last 15 years. I'm all about sports and culture, so if there's a footy match or an art exhibit, you'll likely see me there. Let's give it a burl together, Australia!

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