Professor Veena Sahajwalla, NSW Australian of the Year 2022

2022 NSW Australian of the Year – ATSE Fellow Professor Veena Sahajwalla FTSE FAA

25 January 2022

Veena looks at the camera and is smiling

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering congratulates and celebrates Professor Veena Sahajwalla once again on being named NSW Australian of the Year 2022.

Professor Veena Sahajwalla is recognised for her leadership in research into waste as a reusable material and contributing to Australia’s transition to a more circular economy.

Veena’s invention of Polymer Injection Technology, or ‘Green Steel’ is one of her most notable achievements, and this innovative technology is part of a broader shift to a more sustainable approach to materials production and recycling.

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

A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering since 2007, Professor Sahajwalla was on the Expert Working Group for our major report Towards a Waste Free Future: Technology Readiness in the Waste and Resource Recovery Sector.

This 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.

Technology and solutions like Veena’s enable production to continue to meet demand and support economic productivity, while reducing environmental impact.

ATSE President Professor Hugh Bradlow congratulates Veena on being a finalist for Australian of the Year and acknowledges her valuable work in promoting STEM and 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.

“Professor Sahajwalla is also a committed and tireless advocate and role-model for women in STEM, and living proof that empowering people with diverse experiences and perspectives to succeed in science and technology brings solutions and benefits to everyone,” said Bradlow.

ATSE is proud to continue to work with Professor Sahajwalla and all our Fellows to help Australians understand and use technology to solve complex problems.