UNSW Engineering, Scientia Professor Andrea Morello has been recognised for his outstanding outreach work in the physics field by the Australian Institute of Physics New South Wales (AIP NSW).

Prof. Morello is a renowned international leader in the field of quantum computing and has led the development and launch of the world’s first bachelor’s degree in Quantum Engineering at UNSW Sydney.

In its eighth year, the AIP NSW Community Outreach to Physics Award is presented to individuals that seek to achieve activities that engage and contribute to public participation within physics communities. 

Prof. Morello’s outreach achievements include a popular YouTube channel, contribution to science initiatives for students, and artistic collaborations.

His YouTube video series on explaining quantum computing, building quantum computers and quantum phenomena in everyday life has attracted over 10 million views.

Prof. Morello has contributed to several popular science initiatives to engage students and younger audiences, including the National Youth Science Forum and World Science Festival, as well as being featured in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Science ‘elevator’ pitch series.

“I am truly honoured by this award. As much as I love basic research, pushing the boundaries of human knowledge isn't worth much if I don't share it with the public,” Prof. Morello said. 

“I have been fortunate to have, over the years, the opportunity to interact with many outstanding science communicators, who have involved me in their activities, and inspired me to work on outreach myself.”

Professor Morello holding award

In a ceremony on Friday, Prof. Morello was presented the AIP NSW Community Outreach to Physics Award. Photo: Supplied.

Collaborations with visual and literary artists have also seen him engage with wider audiences.

Visual art created by UNSW Art & Design’s Professor Paul Thomas, inspired by Prof. Morello’s quantum bits and quantum chaos research, has been exhibited internationally.

And together with award-winning writer Bernard Cohen, Prof. Morello has initiated a project to work with NSW schools to develop experiential learning activities that bring together science and creative writing.

“I thank my creative arts collaborators, Professor Paul Thomas and Bernard Cohen, who helped me see things from a very different perspective and find new angles to convey the fascination for science through different channels.”

UNSW Dean of Engineering Professor Stephen Foster congratulated Prof. Morello on his outreach achievements.

“Congratulations to Prof. Morello on receiving this prestigious award acknowledging his relentless advocacy work in fostering closeness between science and the community, reflecting UNSW’s Values in Action.”

UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Professor Merlin Crossley also applauded Prof. Morello’s engagement initiatives.

“Through his depth of knowledge Prof. Morello has helped inform the public, here in Australia and across the world, about the opportunities and prospects for quantum computing that are now appearing on the horizon,” said Prof. Crossley.

The Australian Institute of Physics is an organisation dedicated to promoting the role of physics in research, education, industry and the community.