2018 Australian of the Year Professor Michelle Simmons elected as Royal Society Fellow

Posted 10 May 2018 2:26pm

2018 Australian of the Year, Professor Michelle Simmons FRS, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society (London), the world’s oldest independent scientific academy. Founded in the 17th Century, the Society’s Alumni includes Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking. 

From some 700 worthy nominees across the Commonwealth this year, Professor Simmons’ election recognises both her achievements in her field of quantum computing and atomic electronics, and her vision and leadership, which have engendered a radical new technology for fabricating electronic devices with atomic-precision accuracy. 

“I am honoured to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and delighted that the contributions of five of my Australian peers, Professors Frank Caruso, Graeme Jameson, Ingrid Scheffer, Peter Visscher and Jillian Banfield, have similarly been acknowledged.” 

“This honour is further recognition of the great work that we are doing right here in Australia,” Professor Simmons said. 

By manipulating matter at the atomic scale, she led the team that created the world’s smallest precision transistor, the narrowest conducting wires in silicon and the first transistor where a single atom controls its operation. 

Her ground-breaking achievements have opened a new frontier of research in computing and electronics globally, providing a platform for redesigning conventional transistors and for developing a quantum computer: a new form of computing with the potential to transform information processing. 

2018 has been a landmark year for Professor Simmons, commencing with the announcement of her selection as 2018 Australian of the Year in January. 

Professor Simmons will be formally admitted to the Society at an official ceremony to take place in London in July. 

Nominations for the 2019 Australian of the Year are now open at www.australianoftheyear.org.au/nominate/

Additional quotes: 

Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society: 

“Our Fellows are key to the Royal Society’s fundamental purpose of using science for the benefit of humanity. From Norwich to Melbourne to Ethiopia, this year’s newly elected Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society are testament that science is a global endeavour and excellent ideas transcend borders. We also recognise the cutting-edge innovation taking place across industry, with many of this year’s Fellows coming from the thriving tech industry. For their outstanding contributions to research and innovation, both now and in the future, it gives me great pleasure to welcome the world’s best scientists into the ranks of the Royal Society.” 

Media Contact: Nathan Moir, 0403 785 752 or Nathan.moir@civicreputation.com.au 

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