Waste pioneer named as 2022 NSW Australian of the Year

Professor Veena Sahajwalla has been being named New South Wales Australian of the Year for 2022.

As the Founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology at the University of New South Wales (SMaRT Centre), Veena has developed ways to repurpose the carbon found in tyres to replace coking coal in steel production.

Veena’s invention of Polymer Injection Technology, or ‘Green Steel’ is an innovative technology which is part of a broader shift to a more sustainable approach to materials production and recycling.

Professor Sahajwalla was also on the Expert Working Group for The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering’s report Towards a Waste Free Future: Technology Readiness in the Waste and Resource Recovery Sector.

The report recognised that humanity needs to reduce the consumption of finite resources by deliberately designing products, systems and infrastructure with the aim of creating less waste and by reusing, recycling and recovering valuable resources.

ATSE President Professor Hugh Bradlow congratulated Veena on her valuable work in promoting sustainability.

“Veena is helping to solve the complex problem of balancing economic growth and minimising waste. Technology solutions like hers support and guide the changes Australia needs to make to shift to a thriving sustainable economy,” Bradlow said.

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