Foley appointed CSIRO Chief Scientist
THE CSIRO’s new Chief Scientist will be decorated physicist and science leader Dr Cathy Foley.
Dr Foley is renowned for her work developing superconducting devices and systems, which have helped unearth more than $6 billion in minerals worldwide.
She is credited with helping create the LANDTEM technology, which uses superconductors to detect minerals deep underground.
LANDTEM, a highly portable exploration tool for detecting highly conductive ores like nickel sulphides, gold and silver, uses highly sensitive magnetic sensors known as Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs) to differentiate between ore and conductive material or overburden; even when the ore body is deeply buried.
The technology was developed and successfully commercialised in collaboration with BHP Billiton and former Canadian mining company, Falconbridge.
Dr Foley, currently the Deputy Director and Science Director of CSIRO’s manufacturing business unit, will start as Chief Scientist at the end of September.
She said her priority will be promoting science, STEM and women in science.
“Australia’s future prosperity will be fuelled by science,” Dr Foley said.
“Science which creates new industries, new jobs and shapes the minds and aspirations of our future leaders.
“We can’t keep thinking about science as something which is locked away in a lab. It connects and drives everything we touch and do.”
Dr Foley has been an advocate for women in science, for the communication of science, and science education for 30 years, the CSIRO stated.
“I’m looking forward to not just spreading the word, but helping shape the science agenda and raising the profile of the role of women in STEM,” she said.
CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall said Dr Foley was an incredible leader and scientist.
“Cathy is a great contributor, with a passion for turning excellent science into powerful solutions for Australia,” Dr Marshall said.
“I am looking forward to seeing her make this role her own, and bringing the voice of CSIRO science to help Australia navigate a path to prosperity through global disruption.”
Dr Foley joined the CSIRO Division of Applied Physics in 1985 as a National Research Fellow, before being promoted to Senior Research Scientist in 1991, Principal Research Scientist in 1996, Senior Principal Research Scientist in 2000, and Chief Research Scientist in 2008.
Dr Foley has won a number of awards, from a Public Service Medal and the Eureka Prize for the promotion of science in 2003 through to Woman of the Year honours in 2013.
In 2015, Dr Foley and her team were awarded the prestigious Clunies Ross award for the LANDTEM innovation.
“Cathy is a great contributor, with a passion for turning excellent science into powerful solutions for Australia.”
Incoming CSIRO Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley.