Valerie commenced her career as a metallurgist, with a degree from Sheffield University and a PhD from Cambridge University. Her long association with the steel and pipeline industry commenced as a welding engineer for both British Steel and British Gas in the UK with an appreciation of the safety requirements for the development and weldability of very high strength steels.
Valerie has since worked with industry, consultant companies and academia in New Zealand and Australia. As a consultant metallurgical engineer at MPT in New Zealand, Valerie expanded her scope of operations and experience in the area of exotic materials, corrosion and pressure equipment in the petrochemical and power industry but with a growing appetite to drive the commercial outcomes for technical solutions.
This was followed by a nine year role as Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Adelaide. Coordination and supervision of industry led research further developed Valerie’s appreciation of the practical and commercial value of innovative research solutions. Valerie also brought this hands on approach to her teaching, exposing students to the challenges they face in the workplace. During her time at the University of Adelaide Valerie also held a number of governance roles and had a particular interest in supporting women in engineering.
Her passion for collaboration and directing research to practical economic benefits for industry and the wider community culminated in a leading role to establish the Energy Pipelines Cooperative Research Centre in 2010. As inaugural CEO, Valerie was instrumental in development of the strategic and operational processes for the successful outcomes of what is now an internationally recognised Pipeline Research Centre.
Valerie is a fellow of Engineers Australia, a chartered engineer and chartered materials professional, and a graduate of the Australia Institute of Company Directors.
Valerie was appointed Executive Dean Engineering and Information in 2017 and brings her passion for collaboration, industry engagement and making a difference to the role.