Top scientist named NSW Aussie of the Year

An award-winning female scientist, who is leading the development of a silicon quantum computer, has been named the 2018 NSW Australian of the Year.

One of the world's top scientists who champions female participation in STEM industries has been named the 2018 NSW Australian of the Year.

Professor Michelle Yvonne Simmons specialises in quantum physics and is leading the development of a silicon quantum computer with her University of New South Wales team.

Such a computer would be able to solve problems in minutes that would otherwise take thousands of years.

The award-winning physicist was named the state's top Australian at a ceremony at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art on Monday night.

"Professor Simmons is a leader in her field and a role model particularly for young women," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement.

"Her pioneering discoveries have the potential to revolutionise everything from medical drug design to weather forecasting."

Earlier in the year, Prof Simmons delivered the annual Australia Day address and championed women's participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics industries.

In 2012 she was part of a team that created the world's first transistor made from a single atom and the world's thinnest wire.

Pioneering surgeon Dr Catherine Hamlin AC has been named the 2018 NSW Senior Australian of the Year, inventor Macinley Buston NSW Young Australian of the Year, and mathematics teacher Eddie Woo NSW Local Hero.

The NSW recipients join 32 state and territory winners from across the country.

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