Associate Professor Michael J. Biercuk is a quantum physicist and technologist at the University of Sydney, and a Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQuS). His own group – the Quantum Control Laboratory – is discovering how to power a new generation of advanced technologies using the strangest rules of quantum physics.
Michael’s research has been recognised with accolades including the Eureka Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher (2015), selection as one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s 100 Most influential people and award of the Australian Government’s [National Measurement Institute] NMI Prize for Excellence in Measurement Science. He was part of an international team whose work developing a new quantum-powered technology was described as the #8 “World-changing” experiment by BBC Focus. His team’s achievements have been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, Forbes, Wired, and a host of other major media outlets.
His experiences include a variety of strategic leadership roles focused on innovation. From 2005-2008 Michael was a technical advisor steering research investment at DARPA – a US agency that brought you mobile phones, the internet, stealth, and night-vision goggles among other things. Since 2010, in parallel with establishing his research program at Sydney he has served on the team leading the technical development of major new research infrastructure – the Sydney Nanoscience Hub – one of the most advanced physical-science research facilities globally.
A prolific writer and speaker, Michael builds on his research experience to drive public policy debates around innovation and technology, having written for ABC Science, The Conversation, and The Australian Financial Review. He is also the founder of the charitable STRIVE program for contemporary veterans education, and is passionate about the intersection of science, technology, and fashion.
Michael was educated in the United States, earning his undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Harvard University.