Professor Sahajwalla is an international award-winning scientist and engineer, whose achievements include inventing a process of recycling plastics and rubber tyres in steelmaking. The benefits of this technology for Australian and International steelmaking include reduced energy use and a reduction in landfill volumes, which means lower greenhouse gas emissions. She is the Director of Sustainable MaterialsResearch & Technology Centre at the University of New South Wales, (SMaRT@UNSW) and Associate Dean (Strategic Industry Relations) in the Faculty ofScience at UNSW.
She is also an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow and Commissioner,Federal Government’s Climate Commission.
Veena’s research interests include sustainability of materials and processes with an emphasis on environmental and community benefits. She is an international award winning scientist and engineer who has presented widely on her research and experiences, nationally and around the world. Her various awards include the CRCAustralian collaborative Innovation Award 2012, the Banksia Award GE EcoInnovation Award for Individual Excellence 2012, the Overall winner of The Australian Innovation Challenge Award 2012 and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award given by the Government of India for her outstanding achievement in the Field of Science in 2011. This is the highest honour for Overseas Indians.
In 2012, Veena completed Department of Foreign and Trade diplomacy tour of China and India, promoting science and technology. She has also been one of the judges on the ABC TV show, “The New Inventors”..