Veena Sahajwalla appointed to Climate Commission

Veena Sahajwalla
Tuesday, 15 May, 2012
Bob Beale

Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, of the UNSW School of Materials Science and Engineering, has been appointed as a commissioner on the Australian Government's Climate Commission.

Announcing the appointment yesterday, the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mr Greg Combet, said: "Professor Sahajwalla has conducted world-leading research in collaboration with major resources companies in Australia.

"Professor Sahajwalla’s understanding of Australian industries together with her expertise in science communication will be valuable additions to the Climate Commission.”

She is an 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 steelmaking include reduced energy use, which means lower greenhouse gas emissions.

She replaces Dr Susannah Eliott, who has stepped down from her role as a Climate Commissioner due to an increase in her other professional commitments with the Australian Science Media Centre. 

Professor Sahajwalla is Associate Dean (Strategic Industry Relations) of the UNSW Faculty of Science and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology.

Professor Sahajwalla has substantial research and development expertise in the fields of energy efficiency, sustainable materials and recycling. She invented a process of recycling plastics and rubber tyres in steelmaking.

Professor Sahajwalla received the 2011 National Nokia Business Innovation Award at the Telstra Business Women's Awards. She has been a judge on the ABC TV program The New Inventors and was an invited speaker at TEDxSydney 2011.

She will become one of six members of the Climate Commission, which was established in early 2011 to provide information and expert advice to the government and the Australian public. 

The independent Commission is led by Professor Tim Flannery, one of Australia's leading writers on climate change and an internationally recognised scientist and conservationist. The Commissioners have met with many business and industry leaders and with communities around the country through public forums.

Media contacts:
Minister's office - Mark Davis, Gia Hayne 02 6277 7920
UNSW Faculty of Science - Bob Beale 0411 705 435