Katherine Woodthorpe named ATSE president


Australian science and industry leader Dr Katherine Woodthorpe has been named the next President of Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

A chemist, Dr Woodthorpe is a leading company director and has been instrumental in guiding numerous science and technology businesses and public sector research organisations.

Dr Woodthorpe said she was honoured to have been selected for the role when Australians were awakening to the critical role of science and technology in shaping a better world.

She said: “At a time when more ambitious climate action is crucial and building a skilled workforce fit for an uncertain future is urgent, ATSE and its Fellows are in prime position to foster evidence-based action between government, industry and academia.

“During the pandemic – the public demanded science-based decision-making to protect lives and livelihoods.

“There is a resurgence in realising the value that science and evidence have in informing better decisions and outcomes. This extends from public health through to digital security, addressing climate change and preserving our unique biodiversity which is threatened by intensifying fires and floods.”

Dr Woodthorpe has brought her trademark enthusiasm to numerous organisations over several decades.

In the research-industry interface he has been Chair of Natural Hazards Research Australia, the Antarctic Science Foundation and the HEARing Cooperative Research Centre.

She has been a Director of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, Bioplatforms Australia (NCRIS), the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Vast Solar, and listed companies Sirtex and Anteotech.

She previously chaired the National Climate Science Advisory Committee and currently chairs the Government’s “Vision 2040” committee reviewing the strategy for investment in medical research for the next two decades.

Dr Woodthorpe said the Academy played a critical role providing independent and authoritative advice to support government and industry decision-making.

“We have a golden opportunity to bring these diverse perspectives to political leaders and CEOs and create better results for Australia’s sustainability and prosperity.

“Put simply – we need more applied scientists, engineers and technologists at both the political and industry decision-making tables.”

Dr Woodthorpe is the first woman to lead the Academy in its 47-year history.

Picture: National Press Club/Dr Katherine Woodthorpe

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