The ARC Industry Laureate Fellowship for Green Metals is a program that will develop novel approaches to use electronic and solar PV waste as a resource – enabling the recovery of valuable metal alloys, rare earth elements and other critical materials which have high market values.

Through licensing of IP and partnership with key industry partner RenewIT and other industry and council participants, this research will enable the development of scalable, locally deployable MICROfactorieTM Technology facilities to local councils and businesses for waste reduction and recycling, and advanced manufacturing capability.

This was one of two fellowships awarded to UNSW out of a total of just eight first-time ARC industry  fellowships for 2023. 

Professor Nicholas Fisk, UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise, in a UNSW announcement, said these fellowships are like hen’s teeth with only a 7 per cent success rate nationally.

Veena said: “No one is more deserving that these two leaders in the fields whose work will be of real benefit to the nation and society more broadly. We are very proud of Alexander and Veena for winning these highly competitive grants and know they will nurture collaboration while contributing their valuable commercialisation and translation skills.”

“I am delighted we have been able to succeed in winning this ARC Industry Laureate with our industry partners, who along with me and the UNSW SMaRT Centre team are committed to advancing our microrecycling technologies to produce from waste some of the green metals needed in the world’s decarbonisation efforts.

“The materials needed to achieve future manufacturing needs, and in particular the components for electrification, are limited in supply and very costly, including to the environment. Yet huge amounts of these much needed materials are being discarded in mountains of electronic and solar PV waste.

 “Our ARC Industry Laureate Green Metals program will develop scalable, new technologies to recover the inherently valuable metals in complex waste streams not currently recycled. These technologies to be developed and deployed will be scalable and transportable, able to be used at rural and regional sites, not just in urban areas.

 “Outcomes expected are recovering ‘waste’ metals currently discarded but which are vitally needed for future products, and the creation of new circular economies for materials and supply chains where waste is seen as a resource. Significant benefits include new jobs and skills, reduced waste, new advanced manufacturing capability, new business opportunities and new markets.”

ARC Chief Executive Officer, Ms Judi Zielke PSM said Industry Laureate Fellowships will help build skills and networks across universities and industry to conduct groundbreaking, internationally competitive research while achieving tangible outcomes.

"These outstanding laureate researchers bring experience and leadership to industry challenges,” Ms Zielke said. “I look forward to seeing how these researchers translate their skills and knowledge into real-world outcomes for industry partners and the Australian community."

ARC Industry Laureate Fellowship webpage

Industry and media contact: Stuart Snell, 0416 650 906 or