Melbourne, Sep 1: An Indian woman researcher is among the 16 scientists who has been awarded the prestigious Australian Laureate Fellowship for her work in micro-recycling of e-waste. Veena Sahajwalla, director of University of New South Wales (UNSW) Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology, was recently awarded AUD 2.37 million for her research.
Sahajwalla was also awarded 'Georgina Sweet Fellowship', under which she would undertake an ambassadorial role to promote women in research in addition to their research project.
Announcing these fellowships recently, Education minister Christopher Pyne said the fellowships were an important investment in the nation's future. "This funding scheme supports researchers of international repute and these fellowships will play an important role in meeting the Australian government's commitment to ensure Australia successfully competes on the international research stage," Pyne said.
"The outcomes of these Fellowships will make a valuable contribution to Australia's knowledge base and prosperity. Fellows will also mentor our young researchers, which is vital if we are to continue to produce world-class research." Sahajwalla, who hails from Mumbai, said she was excited about her research which was basically to give a technological solution for recycling e-waste.
"I am really excited about my research which could have a global impact and implications," Sahajwalla said adding, e-waste that were effectively getting thrown away had several high value metals like copper. Such e-waste, for example, contains copper and recycling it makes very good economic and environmental sense, she said. "For example in India, such a research would be beneficial not only in terms of countering environmental challenges but also create new economic opportunities for underprivileged," she said.
The Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme is given by the federal government annually to over 16 researchers for their excellence in research.