Distinguished Service Award - Dr. Cathy HewettPhoto: Cathy being presented her Distinguished Service Award by our past President, Stuart Folkard
Materials Australia is pleased to announce that Dr. Cathy Hewett has been awarded the institute’s prestigious Distinguished Service Award.
Cathy grew up in Melbourne and after starting her studies in Physics she began her involvement in the manufacturing of materials, working on a project with CSIRO on the fabrication of SiC powders using Victorian brown coals as part of her honours thesis.
She took on her PhD studies where she was focused on ceramic materials (Ca-SiAlON) again with a focus on manufacturing (and characterisation). In her last year of these studies she joined CSIRO as a Research Fellow, continuing her work on ceramic materials, and in particular, the design and fabrication of Si-SiC ceramics.
In 1998 Cathy came to Western Australia to join Concord Engineering where she was able to expand her skill base and took on the commercialisation of Si-SiC ceramics for use in industry. As these ceramics have excellent wear properties, the components they were manufacturing found use in the mining industry. This new venture was highly successful and Cathy remained there for some 11 years.
Cathy went on to complete an MBA, breaking the mould for traditional technical specialists that have completed a PhD. During this time, Cathy joined Bradken in their Resources (Mining) Division and led initially product development in wear plate and then took over the management of the Wundowie Foundry facility where they were mass producing white iron wear plate.
Cathy then moved with Bradken to their Newcastle head office, where she took on a Global product Development Manager role in their Mineral Processing Group where she was involved with the optimisation of various products to suit major client installations. Overall, she was with Bradken for more than five years and formed extensive networks into the broader Australian mining and materials industries. She has been a major contributor to the use and application of wear materials in this sector.
After a couple of years as a Technical Consultant, Cathy joined Davies Wear Part Systems
in WA as a Manufacturing and Product Development Engineer,
again servicing the mining sector.
Cathy has also been a long-term member of the Institute of Materials Engineering Australasia (IMEA) and joined not long after joining the CSIRO in Melbourne. Cathy joined the WA Branch membership in 1998 and joined the WA Branch Council in 2005. Cathy was then elected to the role of Branch President in 2007. During her time in this role she led the WA Branch through some very successful years and also the challenges introduced by the GFC. She held this position for three years.
Cathy was subsequently appointed National President of Materials Australia in 2013. During this time, the Institute was in a poor financial position and Cathy set strategies in place to reduce overheads and operating costs which enabled a turnaround in the Institute finances. Cathy’s stewardship during this time and strong relationships with the National Executive and our Executive Officer were instrumental in turning this situation around.