Renowned e-waste inventor encourages young people in Australia Day message

ONE of the world’s innovative materials scientists, an engineer and inventor is Parramatta City’s Australia Day Ambassador.

NSW Australian of the Year 2022 and University of New South Wales professor Veena Sahajwalla created the world’s first microfactory for recycling electronic wates.

She said her invention was her greatest contribution to her adopted country as an Australian who originally hailed from India.

She urged the younger generation to unleash their talents to invent technologies that can help their environment and for a better world.

Her invention launched in 2018 led to the development of green ceramic tiles and green steel, made from recycled glass, textiles and steel that would have gone to landfills if not for her invention.

Professor Sahajwalla said she was excited to address the formal awarding ceremonies for the Citizen of the Year on Thursday, 25 January and as a guest on 26 January.  

“It’s such an honour to be an Australia Day Ambassador for Parramatta,” professor Sahajwalla said. 

“It’s also a privilege to share my story around science and engineering and how our UNSW Smart Centre Microfactorie Technologies are helping to tackle waste and recycling challenges.” 

Parramatta is among the cities benefitting from Ms Sahajwalla’s invention of revolutionary green materials.

Mirvac’s Pavilions apartment building at Sydney Olympic Park is using green ceramic tiles for flooring and wall tiles.

Professor Sahajwalla said coming together to contribute to her local community was a big part of being an Australian.

“As the recipient of the 2022 NSW Australian of the Year award, I know how special it feels when it comes to acknowledging the remarkable achievements of all Australians and what we can do when we work together,” she said.

“Parramatta is home to many young people from across the globe, many of them studying a wide range of fields, and this diversity provides the perfect environment for the next generation of innovators and inventors.

“I encourage everyone here to take advantage of the fantastic opportunities the city has to offer and follow their dreams to create a better world.”

Parramatta Lord Mayor Councillor Pierre Esber said the City is honoured to have Professor Sahajwalla as its Australia Day Ambassador.

“Parramatta is a city that is proud of its green credentials and achievements – whether that is Parramatta Square’s carbon neutral status or the City’s Tree Champions program,” Cr Esber said. 

“It’s an honour and privilege to welcome this year’s Australia Day Ambassador Professor Veena Sahajwala and we hope our celebrations leave a positive lasting impression.”

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