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Recycling science innovator to feature on Monday’s Australian Story

Manufacturing News

Professor Veena Sahajwalla, an internationally-renowned engineer working in recycling science, will be the subject on Monday’s Australian Story.

The Indian-born Sahajwalla is Scientia Professor at University of NSW, and has a lengthy resume including inventor of Green Steel, judge on The New Inventors, and founder of UNSW’s Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT).

In a preview on the ABC website for the episode to air on Monday at 8pm (AEDT), it explains that, “Inspired walking the streets of her Mumbai neighbourhood as a child, Veena observed almost everything was reused and “nothing was wasted”

Source: National Waste Report 2020, NSW Circular

“This can-do attitude shaped her engineering career and sowed the seeds for some ground-breaking ideas, including making steel from car tyres.

“Now she’s unveiling her latest invention, a “micro factory” that creates building materials and tiles from dumped clothes and glass. 

“It’s a revolutionary concept. But will it work outside the lab?”

The ABC’s Australian Stories is a quarter-century-old current affairs program, “telling the stories of extraordinary Australians.”

Recycling and the “circular economy” concept have gained strong importance since China clamped down on waste imports from other nations in 2018.

Australia is currently phasing out waste exports (see diagram) and attempting to build its local recycling capacity, with Recycling & Clean Energy named one of six priority areas in the Commonwealth’s National Manufacturing Priorities, announced last October.

Picture: Veena Sahajwalla in a section of the UNSW Microfactory (Anna Kucera)

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