An Indian-origin researcher at University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney has received $3.3 million grant to transform waste and resource recovery industry by developing advanced manufacturing capabilities that focus on small-scale processing of materials produced from battery and consumer wastes.
UNSW Sydney has secured a total of $8.3 million in Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Research Programme (ITRP) Hub grants for 2019 and this will be utilized in 2 projects. One of that will be utilized in Professor Veena Sahajwalla’s project on to transform waste and resource recovery industry by developing advanced manufacturing capabilities. Prof. Sahajwalla who is also the Founding Director of UNSW's Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology (SMaRT), will lead the research hub.
"It's time to rethink attitudes towards all of the materials we design, produce, use and discard, to see them as renewable resources if we want to reduce our reliance on finite resources," said Professor Sahajwalla. "With this new work on battery waste, we can help create circular economies where waste materials can be reformed into new high-value materials to boost our manufacturing industry and supply chains," she added.
Prof. Sahajwalla is known internationally as the Inventor of 'Green Steel'. Sahajwalla's research is recognised for changing the way the properties of carbon-bearing materials are understood, including coals, cokes, graphites, plastics and rubber. Sahajwalla's work has had significant impact on the theory and practices that form the basis of operations of the Iron-making, Steel-making and Ceramics industries. Of particular importance is her demonstration that waste plastics and waste rubber can be partial replacements for coal and coke in steel-making. In Australia, Prof. Sahajwalla is also known for her role as a councillor on the independent Australian Climate Council and as a judge on the ABC television show The New Inventors. Sahajwalla also served as a commissioner on the now defunct Australian Climate Commission.
In 2008, Prof. Sahajwalla was named NSW Scientist of the Year for Engineering Sciences by the NSW Government Office of the Chief Scientist, in 2011; She was awarded the Nokia Business Innovation Award, presented at the Telstra Business Women's Awards. In 2018 she was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA).