The Eight Australian Women Who Are Shaking Up The World Of Science


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Society has come so far in the last century that it’s easy to forget that, less than a hundred years ago, women couldn’t vote, they couldn’t own property, and they couldn’t work certain jobs. While most of that’s changed, there are still a few career paths that still feel like they’re stuck in the Middle Ages.

One of those areas is the STEM field. Even with a huge push for more women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, women only make up around 16% of Australians working in STEMM.

But that 16% is fighting hard. We’ve put together a list to recognise and celebrate some of the greatest women in science today.

At Number 6 was Professor Michelle Simmons  

A pioneer of atomic electronics, Michelle Simmons is paving the way for the future. This 2018 Australian of the Year has dedicated her life to a branch of quantum physics that focuses on electronics and information science. She initially gained international recognition for her development of hole transistors in the 1990s, but her defining work wouldn’t come until a decade later.

Simmons and her team started working on extremely precise manufacturing equipment in 2000. Using atomic-level imaging instruments, they are the only team that has created atom-precise silicon devices. They were also the first team in the world to develop a perfect single-atom transistor. Simmons’ research group received millions of dollars in grants to develop the first commercially-practical 10-qubit quantum computer by 2022.


University: UNSW Sydney

Authors Centre Participants: Prof. Michelle Y. Simmons AO

Other Source: Marie Claire