10th October 2019

QUT’s new Chancellor is Dr Xiaoling Liu, a company director and minerals industry leader with a passion for technology and higher education.

QUT Deputy Chancellor Jenny Parker said Dr Liu was a global citizen with strong connections to Queensland, who perfectly reflected QUT’s real-world philosophy.

“Dr Liu is an innovative and accomplished engineer,” Ms Parker said.

“After an extensive career with Rio Tinto that included working as a research engineer, and operational roles such as managing the Boyne Smelter in Gladstone and leadership of Rio Tinto operations based in Brisbane, she rose to the role of President and CEO of Rio Tinto Minerals in the USA, a position she held from 2011 – 2014.

“Since returning to Australia, Dr Liu has undertaken a number of substantial governance appointments including on the boards of top Australian companies South32 and Newcrest.”



QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil said the university was honoured that Dr Liu had accepted the appointment to lead QUT’s Council.

“Dr Liu is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, and has impeccable academic credentials having undertaken her PhD at Imperial College London after completing her Bachelor of Engineering at Chongqing University in China,” Professor Sheil said.

“Her industry experience across several continents provides her with a diverse and global perspective that aligns perfectly with the aspirations of many QUT students and graduates.

“When seeking a Chancellor we were also looking for someone who has warmth and an understanding of higher education as an agent for deep and abiding social change.”

Dr Xiaoling Liu and QUT Vice-Chancellor Margaret Sheil


Dr Liu has called Australia home since 1988, her family has lived in both Gladstone and Brisbane and she has many connections to the QUT community.  

She expresses a passion for higher education saying it's the foundation of her career and without it she wouldn’t be who she is or where she is today.

“I will be a champion for QUT-industry collaboration,” Dr Liu said.

"I understand that industry needs graduates who are future-ready and that industry needs to develop new technology or be left behind. Universities can imagine and help develop that technology.

“With my governance experience, and ability to seize opportunity yet manage risk, as a Council we will work with management for the benefit of the entire QUT community.”

Professor Sheil paid tribute to current QUT Chancellor Tim Fairfax AC for his service to the university for the past seven years.

“Mr Fairfax has provided outstanding leadership to the university’s governing body, he has been a source of wise counsel both to me and to my predecessor Professor Peter Coaldrake,” she said.

“The university will remember Mr Fairfax with great fondness and for the experience he brought to Council from his background in agriculture, the media and as a supporter of education and arts.”

Mr Fairfax steps down as QUT Chancellor at the end of the year.

Media contact: Rose Trapnell, QUT Media team leader, 07 3138 2361 or 0407 585 901, rose.trapnell@qut.edu.au or media@qut.edu.au


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