UNSW scientist Professor Michelle Simmons and two UNSW Business IT graduates have been named among the Bulletin magazine's Smart 100, an annual salute to the best and brightest Australians.
Professor Michelle Simmons of the Centre for Quantum Computer Technology in the School of Physics was a finalist in the Science section. She was recognised for solving two problems that defied a consortium of Europe's best physicists for a decade: how to fabricate devices smaller than 10 nanometres, and the scale at which the orderly flow of electrons through the ever-finer nanocircuits is disrupted.
Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes, the brains behind Atlassian Confluence Technology, won the IT and Communications category. Seven years ago the pair accurately predicted the internet would usher in a new type of software that would work over a network and let users share knowledge in a way PCs can't do. They now name NASA among their clients, having supplied an information-sharing system for its Kennedy Space Station.
Another to feature in the Smart 100 is Leighton Holdings' Wal King, alumnus and UNSW Council member. Mr King, named in the Business and Manufacturing category, has guided Leighton Holdings into leading positions in building and engineering construction and contract mining. He continues to support engineering education at UNSW.