Prof. Sahajwalla is an internationally respected scientist and engineer. Her research focuses on the sustainability of materials and processes with an emphasis on environmental and community benefits. One of her most celebrated achievements is the invention of a process of recycling plastics and rubber tyres in steelmaking, now known around the world as green steel.
Prof. Sahajwalla did her B.Tech in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from IIT Kanpur in 1986.
She has successfully collaborated with several companies and institutions in Australia and overseas. She has established strong partnerships that have enriched the knowledge of industrial processes and problems. As the director of the SMaRT centre, she has provided leadership for research programs on sustainable materials, placing a strong emphasis on the skills and knowledge that are urgently needed to enhance sustainability. Prof. Sahajwalla is passionate about science and engineering and continues to play a very active role in communicating her ideas to industry, government, students and the wider community. She has presented widely on her research and experiences in Australia and overseas and has published in excess of 250 papers in leading scientific journals.
Prof. Sahajwalla has received several awards and recognitions for her work. Some of these include Eureka Prize (2005), Pravasi Bhartiya Samman for outstanding achievement in science (2011), Telstra National award for business innovation (2011), CRC Australian collaborative innovation award (2012), Overall winner of the Australian innovation challenge (2012), Howe memorial award by AIST (2013) and Sydney Engineers Excellence award (2014).
Prof. Sahajwalla's research is recognized for changing the way the properties of carbon-bearing materials are understood, including coals, cokes, graphite, plastics and rubber. Her work has had a significant impact on the theory and practices that form the basis of operations of the iron-making, steel-making and ceramics industries. Of particular importance is her demonstration that waste plastics and waste rubber can be partial replacements for coal and coke in steel-making. Her unique focus on the evolution of properties in high-temperature conditions has not only advanced scientific understanding of materials processing, but has provided cost-effective opportunities for industries to move towards sustainable and environmentally friendly production methods.