Australian quantum science, biotechnology and outstanding teaching are all being recognised and celebrated in this year’s Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.
Leading Australian quantum scientist Professor Michelle Simmons AO from UNSW Sydney has received the $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for her pioneering developments in quantum computing.
Professor Simmons has championed breakthrough advancements to electronic parts for quantum computing, including components as small as one atom.
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.
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.
Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese MP:
“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 the future of Australian science is stronger than ever.
"On behalf of all Australians, I want to thank and congratulate all the 2023 prize recipients for their remarkable contribution to Australian science, and to improving our lives."
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic:
“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.”
Find out more at industry.gov.au/PMPrizes.