Cathy Foley’s research is in the field of solid-state physics and its applications, combining quantum physics, material science and research translation. She has made significant contributions to the understanding of semiconductors and high-temperature superconductors and to the development of field-deployable superconducting devices that locate valuable mineral deposits by detecting minute magnetic fields ten million times weaker than the Earth’s field. As the first dedicated Chief Scientist of the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation (CSIRO) Foley has also made significant contributions to Australian science through her advisory role in the areas of education, science and technology to Federal and state governments and to numerous research and teaching institutions. Foley is also President and executive member of several peak scientific bodies. and is an inspirational speaker and role model, inspiring the next generation to solve major global challenges.