Dame Judith Hackitt was Chair of the Health and Safety Executive, appointed in 2007, and the first woman to hold the post.
She previously served as HSE Commissioner between 2002 and 2005, and her distinguished career led to the award of CBE for services to Health and Safety in the 2006 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
A chemical engineer, Judith graduated from Imperial College London in 1975, joining Exxon Chemicals at the Fawley Refinery and dedicating 15 years to process management.
Career progression led to her becoming European Operations Director of a speciality pigments business, before further promotion to Group Risk Manager with world-wide responsibility at Elementis PLC.
After 23 impressive years in the chemicals manufacturing industry, she joined the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) in 1998. Four years later she was promoted to Director General, and moved to Brussels with Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, a forum for the sector.
Judith’s credentials were further underlined in 2010 as Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng). She is also a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), and sat as a Member of Council and notably was elected President (2013-2014).
Environmental concerns drew Judith to become senior non-executive Director and Trustee of The Energy Saving Trust. In addition she is non-executive Director of The High Value Manufacturing Catapult, and served as a non-executive Director of Oxfordshire Health Authority, and was a Trustee of the National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield. Previously she was Chair of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.
In 2016, she became Chair of EEF, The Manufacturers' Organisation, now known as Make UK. In the same year, she was appointed DBE for her services to Health and Engineering.
She commented “I’d like to see everyone having the same opportunity that I had – to do what you feel passionate about and to do it to the best of your ability. I am particularly keen to encourage young women into fields like Science and Engineering.”
The award of Honorary Doctor of Science is bestowed upon Judith in recognition of her services to Health and Safety and as the first female Chair of the Health and Safety Executive. It further acknowledges Judith’s notable background in chemical engineering and recognises her as an inspirational role model for women in the science and manufacturing industries.