After graduating in Electrical Engineering from the University of Queensland in 1965, Else commenced her working career in Mackay as a process control engineer in the Queensland sugar industry. In 1984 she returned to Brisbane and studied choral conducting at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. Returning to her engineering career, she taught at the Queensland Institute of Technology for two years and then co-founded a company specialising in the research and development of innovative communications products. She later co-founded a second company making microwave filters using novel materials including high temperature superconductors and high Q ceramics. She is now an Adjunct Professor at QUT.
Else is an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineers and a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. She was The University of Queensland Alumnus of the Year 2009 and in 2011 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering by The University of Queensland.
Else was Chairman of Powerlink Queensland for 17 years and a Director of NEMMCO for 13 years. She has held Directorships of a range of engineering companies and also not-for-profit and music organisations.