56-year-old Indian-origin waste research scientist and engineer Prof. Veena Sahajwalla has been named the 2022 NSW Australian of the Year.
Prof. Sahajwalla is the founding director of the UNSW Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT).
She is also an Australian Research Council laureate and has aunched the world’s first e-waste microfactory and a plastics microfactory.
Prof. Sahajwalla is well-known for pioneering the high-temperature transformation of waste in the production of a new generation of ‘green materials’.
She collaborates with universities, industry and community groups to develop and use recycling science. And is also a judge on ABC TV’s The New Inventors and has appeared on Q+A, The Drum, War on Waste and Australian Story.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said in a statement that the state’s recipients, across four categories, “embody the Australian spirit.”
“All are selfless in their dedication, and their individual stories remind us all that we have the power to help others, to bring about real change and to improve the lives of many in the community.”
Prof. Sahajwalla was announced as the recipient at a ceremony in Sydney’s Luna Park and broadcast live via YouTube.
The cremony was attended by Her Excellency Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of NSW and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet.
The four NSW recipients will join those from the other states and territories for the national awards to be announced on January, 25, 2022.
WATCH: 2022 New South Wales Australian of the Year Awards