Waste pioneer Veena Sahajwalla honored with Clunies Ross Innovation Award

Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla has developed processes that turn waste into new products. Photo: ATSE and SaltyDingo

Professor Veena Sahajwalla received the Clunies Ross Innovation Award for her world renowned waste transformation technologies.

Professor Sahajwalla is an internationally renowned materials scientist, engineer and innovator who has revolutionized the science of recycling through the development of next-generation “green materials” derived from waste.

Professor Sahajwalla has developed a method called Green Steel Polymer Injection Technology (PIT), whereby end-of-life rubber tires rich in carbon and hydrogen essential to steelmaking are used as a partial replacement for coke and coal in electric arc furnaces (EAF). Its latest breakthrough is the development of various MICROfactory technologies to transform problematic waste, such as glass, textiles and plastics, into value-added products such as high-quality filaments for 3D printing and green ceramics for 3D printing. built environment.

Through her research and extensive community and industry engagement, she is changing the mindset of the nation to view unwanted materials not as waste, but as a valuable resource. As founder and director of the UNSW Center for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology ([email protected]), she leads visionary research programs that drive innovation and promote collaboration with industry, partners research, non-governmental organizations and governments, on the development of environmental solutions. for the world’s biggest waste challenges.

“It is an incredible honor to receive the 2022 Clunies Ross Innovation Award which recognizes the discovery, development and adoption of technology that has significantly improved the capabilities of society or industry,” said said Professor Sahajwalla.

“What drives me and the UNSW SMaRT Center team is to develop solutions for real-world sustainability challenges that help drive better social, environmental and economic outcomes.

“Climate change narratives often overlook the need for more sustainable manufacturing and waste management practices. Using “renewable” waste resources to help build the materials and infrastructure needed for global electrification and decarbonization also helps reduce the pressure of having to exploit limited natural resources. Manufacturing that aligns with innovative waste management, recycling and circularity of materials is key to delivering a more sustainable future.

The Clunies Ross Awards are organized by the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) and promote the development of science and technology, honoring innovators in the fields of applied science, technology and engineering .

ATSE President Hugh Bradlow said the winners demonstrated the cutting-edge creativity of Australian innovators.

“Nominated by their peers, ATSE Award winners are game changers in technology and innovation at all career levels and showcase the breadth of Australian talent in engineering, technology and science. applied,” Professor Bradlow said.

This is the fourth time a researcher or team from UNSW has won a Clunies Ross Prize and the first prize for achievement outside the field of solar energy. Professor Martin Green won an award in 1994, the late Professor Stuart Wenham in 2008 and Professor Thorsten Trupke and Assistant Associate Professor Robert Bardos in 2019.

UNSW Dean of Science Prof Sven Rogge has congratulated Prof Sahajwalla on receiving the Clunies Ross Innovation Award.

For more information visit: www.newsroom.unsw.edu.au

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