The 2019 BHERT (Business Higher Education Round Table) Award for ‘Outstanding Collaboration In Research & Development – Major Partnerships’ recognises excellence in R&D activity undertaken jointly by researchers in tertiary education institutes and partners in business and industry.
The SMaRT Centre, led by founder Professor Veena Sahajwalla, was recognised for the invention of its ‘Green Steel’ technology in collaboration originally with One Steel and then with long-standing Newcastle-based steel maker MolyCop which is taking the technology across its global operations.
In accepting the award on behalf of her UNSW team, Professor Sahajwalla said, “This award is not just recognition for us as researchers, scientists and engineers but for our fantastic industry partner Molycop with whom we have collaborated over many years. It is acknowledgement of a fantastic Australian company that embraces innovation and investment in R&D in partnership with university, and Molycop is now a world leader with this technology and its ongoing partnership with us.”
Professor Sahajwalla and her SMaRT team invented Polymer Injection Technology, known as ‘Green Steel’, a process that involves using old rubber tyres as a replacement for coking coal which is a vital ingredient required in steel making as a source of carbon. ‘Green Steel’ has diverted millions of tyres from landfill and has become one of Australia’s most important manufacturing innovations of the last two decades, addressing significant environmental issues at the same time as improving the performance and competitiveness of Australian businesses.