Herkt graduated from Auburn in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Upon graduation, she joined Exxon Research and Engineering Company and spent the next 18 years leading major capital projects for refining, chemicals, and offshore developments around the world. After eight years in the pharmaceutical industry, Herkt moved to Austin, Texas, in 2004 to lead the Process Systems and Solutions business unit of Emerson Process Management. She retired in 2012 as president and chief operating officer of the group.
She has been and remains active with Auburn University through her service to the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering as a member of its Alumni Engineering Council, a mentor to the Auburn Engineers without Borders organization, and two-time member of the Engineers without Border’s travel team to Bolivia. She is also a life member of the Auburn Alumni Association.
Recognized for her contributions to the engineering and construction industry, Herkt received the Construction Industry Institute’s Outstanding Implementer Award in 2004 and the Richard L. Tucker Leadership and Service Award in 2012. She was inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 2008, the National Academy of Construction in 2009, and she is a 2015 recipient of the Auburn Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award. She was married to the late Robert Herkt of Hamburg, Germany, for 25 years and has four European grandchildren ranging in age from 4 to 18.