Professor Veena Sahajwalla

Founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology at the University of New South Wales

NSWState RecipientAustralian of the Year2022

A materials scientist, engineer and inventor, Professor Veena Sahajwalla pioneers research into waste – turning it into a new generation of green materials and products. She does this as the Founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology at the University of New South Wales.

Veena is most well known for her invention of Polymer Injection Technology, or ‘Green Steel’. In 2018, she launched the first of many MICROfactories.

She leads two national research and industrial transformation hubs, the ARC Microrecycling Research Hub and the National Environmental Science Program Sustainable Communities and Waste Hub. Veena collaborates with leading universities and institutions, plus industry and community groups, to develop and apply new recycling science into real-world environmental and economic benefits.

Veena is a judge on ABC TV’s The New Inventors and has appeared on Q+A, The Drum, War on Waste and Australian Story. She’s been instrumental in raising the profile of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) in Australia, enhancing public understanding of its importance.