Dr Cathy Foley
Australia’s Chief Scientist
Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM
Dr Foley became Australia’s ninth Chief Scientist in January 2021 after a lengthy career at Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO, where she was appointed as the agency’s Chief Scientist in August 2018.
While working at CSIRO, Dr Foley made significant contributions to the understanding of nitride semiconductors and superconducting electronics. Dr Foley and her team’s most successful application is the LANDTEM sensor system used to locate valuable deposits of minerals deep underground, such as nickel sulphide, silver and gold.
Dr Foley’s scientific excellence and influential leadership have been recognised with numerous awards and fellowships, including being elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 2020, being named an Officer in the Order of Australia in 2020 for service to research science and the advancement of women in physics, receiving the Clunies Ross Medal of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering in 2015, and receiving the Australian Institute of Physics Medal for Outstanding Service to Physics in 2016. She was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering in 2008.
Dr Foley’s previous roles include membership of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, President of the Australian Institute of Physics, President of Science and Technology Australia, Editor-in-Chief of Superconductor Science and Technology journal, and a council member for Questacon.
Dr Foley is committed to helping Australia realise the transformative potential of critical technologies and meet the climate challenge. She is an inspiration to women in STEM across the globe and focused strongly on equality and diversity in the science sector.