- Scientia Professor, UNSW, 2009 -
- Director, Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT), UNSW, 2008 –
- Associate Dean (Strategic Industry Relations), Faculty of Science, UNSW, 2007 –
- Visiting Professor, University Malaysia Perlis, 2006 -
- Professor (since 2004); Associate Professor (2001–04); Senior Lecturer (1996–2001); Lecturer (1994–96), UNSW
- B.Tech. Metallurgical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India
- MASc Metals and Materials Engineering, University of British Columbia, Canada
- PhD, Materials Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, USA
Veena's research interests include sustainability of materials and processes with emphasis on environmental benefits. She invented an environmentally friendly process for recycling plastics and rubber tyres in electric arc furnace steelmaking. An international award winning engineer who has widely presented on her research and experiences throughout the world, Veena collaborates with Australian and international organisations and institutions and has established excellent working relationships and a deep knowledge of industrial processes and issues/problems.
As the Director of UNSW's Centre for Sustainable Materials and Research and Technology (SMaRT@UNSW), she provides leadership in research programs on sustainable materials. Veena was named in the 2012 List of Innovations that Could Change the Way We Manufacture by the US Society for Manufacturing Engineers. Polymer Injection Technology developed in collaboration with One Steel is an exemplar of where research and industry have made a vital contribution to ehancing the efficiency of manufacturing.
Veena has been invited to deliver talks worldwide in many countries. She has delivered keynote/invited papers at many international conferences and has lectured in Argentina, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, UK and USA. Her research has also been recognised with many national and international awards. In 2013, she was awarded The Howe Memorial Lecture Award (USA). In 2012 she was named Overall Winner of the Australian Innovation Challenge Awards for tackling real world problems with imaginative solutions that offer positive environmental and community benefits. She was awarded the 2012 Banksia Award, the GE Eco Innovation Award, the 2012 CRC Australian Collaborative Innovation Award and the 2005 Eureka Prize for Scientific Research. She was an invited speaker at The Royal Insitution of Great Britain, London in May 2005; invited to be the sole presenter at a 4-day coursd on Steelmaking at Instituto Argentino De Siderurgia held in Argentina, July 2005; invited to present her work to European industrialists and researchers in Sweden, March 2003. She delivered a keynote address at the World Scrap Metal Congress in Shanghai, December 2005. She was invited by the Latin American Iron and Steel Institute (ILAFA) to deliver her vision on "Recycling Materials" in Mexico, May 2006. She delivered the prestigious Harricks Address of the Institution of Engineers Australia in 2006 and a keynote address at the International Conference on Sustainable Materials in Malaysia, June 2007. She has collaborated with Australian companies and overseas companies/institutions and has established excellent working relationships and a deep knowledge of industrial processes and issues/problems.
As a long serving judge on ABC television's The New Inventors, Veena had the opportunity to share her passion for sustainable solutions with the community. Veena is passionate about science and engineering, encouraging young people to consider these as a career path, and is proactive in communicating her ideas to students.
Courses taught are in the areas of Fluid Flow, Pollution Control and runs the undergraduate 1st year Materials Conference.
Honours, Awards and Memberships:
- 2013 The Howe Memorial Award
- 2012 Banksia Award, GE Eco Innovation Award for Individual Excellence
- 2012 Overall winner of The Australian Innovation Challenge
- 2012 CRC Australian Collaborative Innovation Award
- 2012 UNSW Innovation Awards - Innovation Excellence Winner
- 2011 Telstra National Winner of Nokia Business Innovation Award
- 2011 Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (outstanding achievement in the field of Science), Government of India
- The 2009 Josef Kapitan Award for best cokemaking paper ("Effect of coke minerals and carbon structure on coke bahaviour in the Ruukki blast furnace"), AIST USA
- 2009 Joint Winners, OneSteel & UNSW Australian Steel Institute Sustainability Award
- 2009 NSi Inventor of the Year Award in Science/Engineering
- 2008 New South Wales Scientist of the Year Award in the category of Engineering Science
- 2006 Environmental Technology Award, for best paper and presentation (‘Waste plastics – a resource for EAF steelmaking’), the Association of Iron & Steel Technology (AIST – US), the premier international professional society in iron and steel
- 2006 Charles Briggs Award, for the best paper in electric steelmaking (‘Influence of carbonaceous materials on slag foaming behaviour during EAF steelmaking’), AIST
- 2005 Eureka Prize for Scientific Research, for innovations in recycling waste plastics in steelmaking), Australian Museum.
- 2004 Fresh Innovators Award, for innovations in recycling waste plastics in steelmaking, supported by the National Innovation Awareness Strategy, an Australian Government initiative
- 2003 Josef Kapitan Award, for the best ironmaking paper (‘Novel equations to establish influence of char structure on reactivity during PCI in a blast furnace’, Iron & Steel Society (ISS – US)
- 2003 Frank McKune Award, for the best paper on steelmaking practice, author under 40 years of age (‘Interfacial phenomena during interactions of graphite-alumina refractories with liquid steel’), ISS. This was the first time that the Award had been won by a single person in two successive years
- 2002 Frank McKune Award for the best paper on steelmaking practice, author under 40 years of age) – ISS (‘Kinetic study of in-situ SiO2 reduction in carbon-bearing refractories’)
- 2000 John Chipman Award for excellence and originality in a publication on the production and processing of iron and steel. Best paper selected from the previous two years of papers in American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME) refereed journals and conference proceedings
- 1999-2000 Young Leader of the Iron and Steel Society Foundation
- 1998 Engineering Excellence Award (Category - Engineering R&D Training and Processes) from the Institution of Engineers Australia - Sydney Division, for new environmentally compatible iron/steel making technologies
Veena has received several million dollars through ARC Discovery Grants, Future Fellowship and Linkage programs, plus associated industry cash (including from ACARP, Austral Bricks, CSIRO, Hatch, OneSteel and Rio Tinto); as well as research funding from overseas governments and industry, including Hyundai Steel, POSCO Korea and LKAB Sweden.
Veena has published more than 260 refereed papers in leading journals and conference proceedings in her field.