SydneyShines-SMaRTCentre-VeenaSahajwalla2Photo-UNSW-2015

Director, Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla

ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow & Director, Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology
Contact details: 

T:+61 (2) 9385 4426
E: veena@unsw.edu.au

SCIENTIA PROFESSOR VEENA SAHAJWALLA

  • Director, Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology (SMaRT@UNSW)
  • Australian Research Council (ARC) Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow, 2014 - current
  • Associate Dean (Strategic Industry Relations), Faculty of Science, UNSW, 2007 - current
  • View all Publications

Professor Sahajwalla is the Founding Director of UNSW’s Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) and an internationally award-winning scientist and engineer whose research passion focuses on the sustainable use of materials and processes with an emphasis on environmental and community benefits. As a result of this singular drive, she has invented a world-first, environmentally friendly process for recycling end-of-life plastics and rubber tyres in steelmaking. She provides leadership in research programs on sustainable materials, with strong emphasis on the science urgently needed to enhance sustainability. Named in the 2012 List of Innovations that Could Change the Way We Manufacture by the Society for Manufacturing Engineers, Polymer Injection Technology developed in collaboration with Arrium is an exemplar of where research and industry have made a vital contribution to enhancing the efficiency of manufacturing.

Veena’s research interests include sustainability of materials and processes with emphasis on environmental benefits. An international award winning engineer who has widely presented on her research and experiences throughout the world, Veena collaborates with Australian companies and overseas companies/institutions and has established excellent working relationships and a deep knowledge of industrial processes and issues/problems. She has published in excess of 200 papers in prominent discipline journals and proceedings at leading conferences/symposia.

As a long-serving judge on ABC television’s The New Inventors, she had the opportunity to share her passion for sustainable solutions with the community. She is committed to building  links  between  academia  and  industry  and  to  improving  scientific  communication  so that  complex  concepts can be readily understood by a wide audience. Veena is passionate about science and engineering, encouraging young people to consider these as a career path, and is proactive in communicating her ideas to students.

Memberships of Learned Academies

  • Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia (2015)
  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (2007), the premier national institution for the advancement of engineering and technology.
  • Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia (2005)

Awards

  • 2015 Engineers Australia, Honorary Fellowship
  • 2015 Indian Institue of Technology Kanpur, Distinguished Alumnus Award
  • 2015 Australian Financial Review & Westpac Group, 100 Women of Influence Award, Innovation Category
  • 2015 Australia's Top 100 Most Influential Engineers, Engineers Australia
  • 2014 Sydney Engineering Excellence Awards, Research and Development Excellence Award - SMaRT Centre and joint entrants OneSteel and Brickworks Building Products
  • 2014 Sydney Engineering Excellence Awards, President's Award - SMaRT Centre and joint entrants OneSteel and Brickworks Building Products
  • 2014 Australian Research Council Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellowship
  • 2013 The Howe Memorial Lecture Award
  • 2012 Banksia Award, GE Eco Innovation Award for Individual Excellence
  • 2012 Overall winner of The Australian Challenge Innovation
  • 2012 CRC Australian collaborative Innovation Award
  • 2012 UNSW Innovation Awards - Innovation Excellence Winner
  • 2011 National winner Nokia Business Innovation Award
  • 2011 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award,  (outstanding achievement in the field of Science), Government of India
  • 2009 Joseph Kapitan Award for the best cokemaking paper (‘Effect of coke minerals and carbon structure on coke behaviour in the Ruukki blast furnace’), AIST.
  • 2009 Joint Winners, OneSteel & UNSW Australian Steel Institute Sustainability Award.
  • 2009 NSi Inventor of the Year in the Science/Engineering Category.
  • 2008 New South Wales Scientist of the Year Award, category Engineering Science.
  • 2006 Environmental Technology Award, (‘Waste plastics – a resource for EAF steelmaking’), AIST.
  • 2006 Charles Briggs Award, for the best paper in electric steelmaking (‘Influence of carbonaceous materials on slag foaming behaviour during EAF steelmaking’), AIST.
  • 2005 Eureka Prize for Scientific Research, for innovations in recycling waste plastics in steelmaking, Australian Museum.
  • 2004 Fresh Innovators Award, for innovations in recycling waste plastics in steelmaking, supported by the National Innovation Awareness Strategy, an Australian Government initiative.
  • 2003 Josef Kapitan Award, for the best ironmaking paper (‘Novel equations to establish influence of char structure on reactivity during PCI in a blast furnace’), ISS.
  • 2003 Frank McKune Award, for the best paper on steelmaking practice, author under 40 years of age (‘Interfacial phenomena during interactions of graphite-alumina refractories with liquid steel’), ISS.
  • 2002 Frank McKune Award for the best paper on steelmaking practice, author under 40 yrs) – ISS (‘Kinetic study of in-situ SiO2 reduction in carbon-bearing refractories’).
  • 2000 John Chipman Award for excellence and originality in a publication on the production and processing of iron and steel. Best paper selected from the previous two years of papers in American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME) refereed journals and conference proceedings.
  • Young Leader of the Iron and Steel Society Foundation, 1999–2000.
  • Engineering Excellence Award (Category – Engineering R&D Training and Processes) from the Institution of Engineers Australia – Sydney Division, for new environmentally compatible iron/steel making technologies (1998).

Keynote Addresses/Speaking Engagements

  • Keynote address, Sustainable metals recovery from e-waste, CSIRO Symposium, Perth, 9 February 2016
  • Keynote address, Sustainable e-waste processing, AMU Alumni event, Sydney, 30 January 2016
  • Opening address, Frugal Forest launch, Port Macquarie, 8 January 2016
  • Keynote address, Materials for the 21st Century Conference, Melbourne, 10 December 2015
  • Speaker, CSIRO, Black Mountain Conference, Canberra, 16 November 2015
  • Keynote address, WasteMINZ, Rotorua, New Zealand, 19-22 October 2015
  • Speaker, Office of Environment & Heritage, 7 October 2015
  • Speaker, Oaktree event, Grand Challenges, UNSW Australia, 2 October 2015
  • Keynote address, Parallels Conference, National Gallery of Victoria, 17 September 2015
  • Panellist, ABC Women in Business, Sydney, 14 September 2015
  • Speaker, Waste & Recycle 2015 Conference, Perth, 10-13 September 2015
  • Speaker, Women in Science Leadership Symposium, UNSW Australia, Sydney, 14 August 2015
  • Q&A panellist, Young Engineers, Sydney, 4 August 2015
  • Roundtable panellist, STEM Brisbane talks, 20 July 2015
  • Speaker, Young Entrepreneurs Sydney, Vibewire, 15 July 2015
  • Welcome speach: Power of Engineering Day, UNSW Australia, Sydney, 6 July 2015
  • Invited speaker: World Resources Forum, Sydney, 1 July 2015
  • Invited speaker: Women in Leadership Forum, Cochlear, Sydney, 24 June 2015
  • Keynote speaker: Rex J. Lipman Fellows Lecture, St Peter's College, Adelaide, 18 June 2015
  • Keynote address: Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka, Gala Dinner, Sydney, 13 June 2015
  • Co-Chair: International Sustainability Symposium, Sydney, 3 June 2015
  • Invited speaker: Tyre Industry Summit, Auckland (New Zealand), 2 June 2015
  • Invited speaker: STEM Conference, Sydney, 26 May 2015
  • Keynote speaker & Roundtable Member: Unmaking Waste, Adelaide, 23-24 May 2015
  • Keynote speaker & Panel Member: Waste 2015, Coffs Harbour, 5-7 May 2015
  • Guest speaker: ATSE, Strategy for Converting Scientific Discoveries into Impact, Brisbane, 3 December 2014
  • Guest speaker: Future of Research - Green Manufacturing, Sydney, 1-2 December 2014
  • Guest speaker: Wired for Wonder, Sydney, 26-27 November 2014
  • Guest speaker: Recycling in a Global Economy, Sydney, 27 October 2014
  • Guest mentor: CELM Mentor program, Sydney, 8 September 2014
  • Guest speaker: Green Materials & Recycling End-of-Life Polymers in Steelmaking, Royal Scociety, Southern Highlands, August 2014
  • Guest speaker: Can You Walk the Walk?, UNSW, Sydney, 28 August 2014
  • Guest speaker: Desert Smart EcoFair, Alice Springs, 10-11 August 2014
  • Guest speaker: Meat and Livestock Australia, Sydney, 17 July 2014
  • Guest speaker: PechaKucha Night, Sydney, 26 June 2014
  • Guest speaker: Fellows Luncheon, Sydney, 10 March 2014
  • Invited speaker: Iluka conference, Perth, 8-9 March 2014
  • Invited speaker: Nerd Nite, Sydney, 5 March 2014
  • Invited speaker: ANU Director’s Colloquium, Research School of Physics and Engineering, ANU, Canberra, 5 March 2014
  • Invited speaker: Trinity Grammar Guest  of Honour and speaker, Sydney, 19 February 2014
  • Invited speaker: Shell Innovation Open house, Canberra,  28 November 2013
  • Invited speaker: Sustainability Commitment Forum Sydney, Organised by Australian Food and Grocery Council, 26 November 2013
  • Invited speaker: EU Trans-disciplinary Science & Technology Strategic Event, Netherlands, 16 November 2013 (presented by Graham Morton)
  • Invited plenary Speaker: Regional PBD Conference, Sydney 11 – 12 November 2013
  • Invited speaker: Global Energy Forum, Sydney, 17 October 2013
  • Invited speaker: SIMTech, Singapore, 8 October 2013
  • Invited speaker: Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability Conference, Sydney, 25 September 2013
  • Invited speaker: Community Migrant Resource Centre, Parramatta, 14 August 2013
  • Invited speaker: CEDA – the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, Melbourne, 28 May 2013
  • Guest speaker: Engineers Australia Breakfast, Sydney, 8 August 2013
  • Invited speaker: Wired for Wonder event - 'Where is science taking us?', Sydney, 1 August 2013
  • Invited speaker: Climate commission Mornington forum, Melbourne, 6 July, 2013
  • Invited speaker: Girls Talk, Promoting Science to High School, Newcastle, 25 June, 2013
  • Keynote speaker: Young Women’s Leadership Seminar, Parliament House, Sydney, 15 June 2013
  • Guest speaker: ‘Slap Tomorrow’ – A Wake-Up Call Environmental Forum, Shepparton, Vic, 6 June 2013
  • Keynote speaker: Engineers Australia 2013 Regional Convention, Port Macquarie, 25 May 2013
  • Keynote address: AIST Howe Memorial Lecture, The Power of Steelmaking – Harnessing High Temperature Reactions to Transform Waste into Raw Material Resources, Pittsburgh, USA, May 2013
  • Guest speaker: International Women’s Day, Sydney, March 2013
  • Keynote speaker: Sustainable Business Australia, Brisbane, February 2013
  • Keynote speaker: Shell Sales and Marketing Conference, Melbourne, February 2013
  • Keynote speaker: 5th High Temperature Processing Symposium 2013, Swinburne University of Technology, February 2013
  • Keynote speaker: National Youth Science Forum, Canberra, January 2013
  • Guest speaker: UNEP conference - Global Partnership on Waste Management (GPWM), Osaka, Japan, November 2012
  • Keynote address: Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and materials (ACMSM 22), Materials to Structures: Advancement through Innovation’ Conference, Sydney, December 2012
  • Keynote address:  Australian Executive Women's Leadership Symposium, 2012
  • Guest speaker:  Chancellor and Vice Chancellor, Town and Gown, October 2012
  • Guest speaker:  Good practice in Collaboration with Asia, AIEC, October, 2012
  • Keynote address:  Glossies Awards Sunshine Coast Sustainability Awards, June 2012
  • Plenary lecturer: CSIRO Intelligent Processing Symposium May, 2012
  • Guest speaker: Australia-China Forum for Advanced High Strength Steels, Deakin University, Geelong, April 2012
  • ASTE - China Australia Symposium, Recycling hard waste and liquids, November 2011
  • Panel member: Building Partnerships with Industry - Science and Engineering , October 2011
  • Guest speaker:  11Eleven Project, September 2011
  • Guest speaker:  Big Night of Science, August 2011
  • Guest speaker:  Carbon Pricing Tax Forum, Hon Member Peter Garrett, July 2011
  • Keynote address: IITians Association of Australia (IITAA) Business Seminar, June 2011
  • TEDxSydney talk – Reviving Waste http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wMbdwfplBk, April 2011
  • Guest speaker: Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering, Commercialising Technologies From a University’s Perspective, Melbourne, March 2011
  • Guest speaker:  Early Career Research@UNSW Program, March 2010
  • Keynote address: Engineering Leadership Conference, Brisbane, May 2010
  • Presenter: Modern Electric Furnace Steelmaking – A Practical Training Seminar, AIST February 2010
  • Plenary speaker: CSIRO Advanced Materials Conference,  May 2010
  • Guest speaker: IBM Software Group, April 2010
  • The Welcome Presenter: National Youth Science Forum, July 2010
  • Keynote address: Society for Plastics Engineers Conference, Melbourne, November 2010.
  • Keynote address:  Managing Waste in a Changing Climate, Launceston, March 2009
  • Keynote address:  Australian Steel Convention, Creating Opportunities in Challenging Times, Perth, September 2008
  • Plenary address: International Symposium on Sustainable Materials, Malaysia, June 2007
  • The Harrick’s Address: Institution of Engineers, Australia, Sydney, August 2006
  • Visionary address: Recycling materials, Latin American Iron and Steel Institute, Mexico, May 2006
  • Keynote address: World Scrap Metal Congress, Shanghai, December 2005
  • Guest speaker: Iron/steelmaking, Instituto Argentino De Siderurgia, San Nicolas, Argentina, July 2005
  • Guest speaker: The Royal Institution of Great Britain, London, May 2005
  • Invited speaker: International Conference on Process Development in Iron and Steelmaking, Luleå, Sweden, June 2004
  • Keynote address: International Ferro-Alloys Congress, South Africa, February 2004