Simon Newton

In his words:

The project helped me develop a disciplined and detailed research method. I ask the same from engineers that I work with today. It's not sufficient to state the conclusions - I need to see the methodology & raw data so I or someone else can reproduce the experiment if we need to.

Uber, Google and an Emmy – all part of a career in STEM for 1997 finalist Simon Newton.

I enjoy designing systems that solve very large scale, complex problems ... My work impacts people’s lives around the globe … For me science is about pushing the boundary of human knowledge. Engineering is about applying that knowledge to build solutions that improve the lives of others.

Simon’s journey in STEM began with his project for the 1997 BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Awards - measuring the ability for people to perform a simple task (counting marbles), while tones of different pitches were played. Afternoon tea supplied by his mum made it easier to find the 50 volunteers!

The project helped me develop a disciplined and detailed research method. I ask the same from engineers that I work with today. It's not sufficient to state the conclusions - I need to see the methodology & raw data so I or someone else can reproduce the experiment if we need to.

Following the BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Awards Simon studied computer science and software engineering at UWA, before moving to San Francisco to work at Google in 2006. There he worked in a number of teams, including the Youtube team that won an Emmy for video delivery. In 2015 he joined Uber, where he works with the Core Infrastructure teams to build the software components used in products such as Uber and UberEats. Simon's typical day is spent writing and reviewing code, providing feedback to team leads on their designs and helping to solve any problems they face.

By mentoring other engineers and enabling them to be successful I can have an impact beyond what I myself can accomplish.

Outside of work Simon enjoys cycling, collecting vintage Lego, reading non-fiction and working on his goal to visit of 52 states in the USA (25 so far)!

His advice for budding engineers and scientists hoping to start their own project and reach the BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Awards:

Get started early and don't leave it to the last minute! Also choose a topic that interests you, it's much easier to work on things that you enjoy.