Introducing the 2023 CEW Chemistry Australia Scholarship recipient – Orica manufacturing expert Kira McGrath

The winner of this year’s CEW Chemistry Australia Scholarship is Orica manager of manufacturing technology Kira McGrath.

McGrath has extensive experience with ammonia, nitric acid and ammonium nitrate manufacturing processes specific to Orica’s Kooragang Island manufacturing facility, in Newcastle New South Wales.

The facility supplies critical products to the mining and infrastructure, agriculture, water supply, food, dairy, and medical sectors.

The goal of the scholarship is to provide a life-changing opportunity to a rising women leader working in the Australian chemistry industry.

McGrath wins a place on the Women Transforming Leadership programme at Oxford’s Saïd Business School, where she plans to broaden her leadership skills among a cohort of highly successful women from around the globe.

“I feel extremely excited and humbled that I have been awarded this opportunity. I’m still pinching myself,” she says.

“This programme aligns with my desire to elevate my leadership and enhance the level of impact in my workplace.”

McGrath has worked for Orica since graduating from the University of Newcastle as a Chemical Engineer in 2008 and has a breadth of knowledge in the manufacturing sector in process engineering, process safety, continuous improvement/lean manufacturing, and management roles.

She says the prospect of attending Oxford’s Saïd Business School is what motivated her to apply and looks forward to bringing learnings from the Women Transforming Leadership programme back to Australia.

“Once I return, I will build on the experience and forge a stronger presence of female leaders in manufacturing,” she says.