Ms Katherine Hirschfeld AM



Ms Katherine Hirschfeld AM is a chemical engineer, philanthropist, experienced chair and non-executive director and an advocate for greater female participation in male-dominated industries.

Ms Hirschfeld graduated from The University of Queensland (UQ) with a Bachelor of Engineering in 1982. Among her many accomplishments since graduation, she has garnered 20 years’ leadership experience with BP in oil exploration, refining and logistics. In an executive career working across Australia, the United Kingdom and Turkey, she successfully led large-scale transformation and outstanding performance in a highly regulated industry.

Alongside her distinguished career with BP, Ms Hirschfeld has extensive experience as a non-executive director on numerous corporate and government boards, including serving as Chair of Powerlink Queensland, since 2018.
Ms Hirschfeld is also currently a director of Central Petroleum Limited and Sims Limited and she has previously served as President of UN Women Australia.

She was made an Honorary Fellow by Engineers Australia in 2014 and recognised as one of Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Engineers in 2015. Additionally, she is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and was recognised in the AFR/Westpac 100 Women of Influence in 2015.

Ms Hirschfeld is a member of Chief Executive Women and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Academy of Engineering and Technology. In 2019, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant contributions to engineering, gender equality and business.

At UQ, Ms Hirschfeld established a scholarship for women in engineering in 2019 to encourage and empower female students to undertake studies in engineering. She also served on the UQ Senate from 2010–2020, where she played an important role in instigating UQ’s first comprehensive philanthropic campaign, Not If, When – the Campaign to Create Change. As Chair of the inaugural Senate Advancement Steering Committee, she encouraged all members of Senate to contribute to the Senate Scholarship as a leadership gesture for the Campaign.

Chancellor, I present to you Ms Katherine Hirschfeld, Member of the Order of Australia, Bachelor of Engineering of this University, Honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Fellow of the Academy of Engineering and Technology, Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, for the award of Doctor of Engineering honoris causa, bestowed by the Senate of The University of Queensland.



Doctor of Engineering honoris causa


Bachelor of Engineering