The AIBN Board is an advisory body, established to assist the Director in matters relating to the Institute’s governance, defined strategic goals, progress against goals, and levels of funding required to support ongoing operations and strategic initiatives. Members are high-calibre representatives with broad ranging experience and expertise in the university, industry, community and government sectors.

The Board has a broad ambit, including providing advice on funding opportunities, commercialisation paths, extension activities and growth strategies for the Institute on both a strategic and operational basis. It reviews progress of the Institute in the areas of research, internationalisation, commercialisation, governance and management. It is also charged with providing advice on matters such as raising the international profile of the Institute to maximise the benefits to Queensland and Australia generally, and with assisting to maintain the high visibility and reputation of AIBN in research, industry, government and public domains.

Dr Susan Pond AM, MD, DSc, FTSE AIBN Board Chair

Dr Susan Pond is Adjunct Professor in the Dow Sustainability Program at the United States Study Centre at the University of Sydney. Her area of interest is the development of the advanced transportation biofuels industry, including the critical success factors required for commercially viable production at scale. Dr Pond has a strong scientific and commercial background, with executive positions in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry for 12 years, most recently as Chairman and Managing Director of Johnson & Johnson Research Pty Ltd. Following post-doctoral studies at the University of California San Francisco, Dr Pond joined the UCSF Faculty of the Department of Medicine for six years. Returning to Australia, Dr Pond was appointed as Associate Professor of Medicine at The University of Queensland and later to a Personal Chair. She has an extensive publication record and is an inventor on five patent families. Dr Pond has a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (Hons 1) from the University of Sydney, Doctor of Medicine from the University of New South Wales and Doctor of Science and Doctor of Medicine honoris causa degrees from UQ. Dr Pond’s board positions include the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation; Commercialisation Australia; the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering as Vice-President; Biotron Ltd; and the Centenary Institute.

Prof. Alan Rowan BSc University of Liverpool, PhD University of Liverpool, FRSC

Professor Alan Rowan was appointed director of AIBN in 2015. He has performed his research at the interface of chemistry and biology with seminal and pioneering work on processive catalysis and functional self-assembly. In the last three years Professor Rowan’s group developed the first truly biomimetic hydrogel, which mimics precisely the mechanical behaviour of the natural fibrous materials. This work has received considerable attention since it is the first step to truly controlling cell behaviour. This scientific breakthrough is already now being developed commercial for wound dressing, drug therapeutic and cell growth. Professor Rowan has published nearly 300 hundred peer-reviewed articles and books which were cited 12,000 times.

Kathy Hirschfeld

Kathy Hirschfeld is a non-executive director of InterOil Corp, Transfield Services Limited, and Toxfree Solutions; and a Senator of The University of Queensland. She is on the board of UN Women in Australia.   A chemical engineer, Ms Hirschfeld’s 20-year career with BP included oil refining, logistics and exploration, located in Australia, the UK and Turkey.   Her last executive role was as Managing Director of BP Bulwer Island Refinery in Brisbane, with responsibility for all aspects of the business. 


Kathy was recognised by Engineers Australia in 2014 as an Honorary Fellow – the 9th woman to be so honoured. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and the Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK) and a member of Chief Executive Women.  

Bob McCarthy AM

Bob McCarthy has spent the past 30 years in senior positions in both the public and private sectors. He has been Director General of several Queensland Government departments, including the Department of Natural Resources and Mines and the Department of State Development and Innovation. He has been at the forefront of efforts to diversify the Queensland economy and develop new industries, based on science and innovation. In July 2009, Mr McCarthy joined the University of Queensland as Adjunct Professor in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. He is a key person in progressing UQ's research efforts in biofuels technology and has an important role in expanding UQ efforts to include major international companies such as Boeing and GE.

Prof. Wilhelm Huck

Prof. Wilhelm T. S. Huck is Professor of Physical Organic Chemistry. He received his PhD (promoter Prof. David Reinhoudt) in 1997 from the University of Twente. After postdoctoral research with Prof. Whitesides at Harvard University, he took up a position in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, where he was promoted to Reader (2003) and Full Professor of Macromolecular Chemistry (2007). He became Director of the Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis in 2004. In 2010 he moved to the Radboud University Nijmegen and completely changed research direction. His main interest is in understanding how life works at the molecular level and the ultimate goal of his group is to build a synthetic cell. His groupfocuses on the physical organic chemistry of the cell and aims to elucidate, using model systems, the influence of the special nature of the cellular environment on complex reaction networks in cells. Another important area of research is the synthesis and analysis of complex reaction networks and the incorporation of 'molecular programmes' into synthetic materials. He was elected to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in 2012 and elected to the Royal Society of Chemistry. He has published around 250 papers and supervised ~20 PhD students. For his work in Nijmegen he received an ERC advanced grant (2010), a VICI award (2011), and the Spinoza prize (2016).

Prof. Aidan Byrne

Prof. Byrne completed a BSc and MSc degrees at the University of Auckland before commencing a PhD degree at the ANU in 1981. Following the completion of his degree at the Department of Nuclear Physics he held positions with the University of Melbourne and spent over two years in Bonn, Germany as a von Humboldt fellow. He returned to the ANU in 1989 as a Research Fellow and in 1991 commenced a joint appointment between the Department of Physics, in the Faculty of Science and the Department of Nuclear Physics, Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering. He was Head of the Department of Physics from 2003 to 2007. His research interests involve the use of gamma-rays as probes to determine the structure of heavy nuclei and the examination of the atomic level structure of materials (especially semiconductors). He has published over 200 papers.

Dr Kym Baker

Dr Kym Baker is General Manager of Patheon Biologics Australia.  Patheon is a contract manufacturer of biological parental products produced from mammalian cell lines for both ongoing clinical trials and commercial drug manufacture serving a worldwide market.  Dr Baker has a strong academic and commercial background, holding a variety of positions in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industry for >20 years in the UK.  Following Industrial sponsored post-doctoral studies at the University College of London and University of Kent working with Celltech (now UCB), GSK, British Biotech and Lonza, Kym joined the management team in Lonza, UK holding a variety of senior positions across both development, manufacturing and quality.. Returning to Australia, Dr Baker took up the GM role in Patheon.  Dr Baker graduated with 1st class Honours from the first ever intake of University of QLDs Bachelor of Applied Science Biotechnology programme then obtained her PhD from the Australian National University in Canberra based in CSIRO.  Dr Baker is passionate about science education and the development of future scientific and engineering talent to help grow the Biotechnology industry in Australia through improved collaboration between industry and academia. 

Prof. Max Lu AO FAA FTSE

Professor Max Lu is President and Vice-Chancellor of University of Surrey. He is currently a Board director of the National Physical Laboratory and member of Leadership Council of the National Centre for Universities and Business in the UK. He is double Highly Cited Researcher in both Materials Science and Chemistry as listed in “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds 2016”. He has received numerous awards including ARC Federation Fellowship twice, China International Science and Technology Award, Orica Award, RK Murphy Medal, Le Fevre Prize, ExxonMobil Award, Chemeca Medal, and Top 100 Most Influential Engineers in Australia. He was named as a Queensland Great in 2013, and won the inaugural Australia-China Achievement Award (Education) in 2014. He was the 2016 Peter V Danckwerts Lecturer, and recognised with the Honour of Order of Australia in 2017. Max is Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, The World Academy of Sciences, Institution of Chemical Engineers, Engineers Australia, and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He served on numerous board and advisory boards including as Chairman of IChemE Australia, Australian Synchrotron; Uniseed; National Emerging Technologies Forum; Research Data Storage Infrastructure; Stem Cells Australia.