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Read the latest news from the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology

The UNSW SMaRT Centre is a research centre but contributes to courses and education content for the UNSW Faculty of Science.

UNSW Science degrees prepare you for future leadership opportunities in the growth area of the STEM workforce. With STEM skills in demand, our degrees provide you with the knowledge to succeed in the workforce.

By bringing together a range of subject areas including Health, Environmental, Materials and Fundamental Sciences, you’ll have the flexibility to study what interests you the most and is best aligned with your future goals and career plans.

Learn about the UNSW student experience

Veena and SMaRT have been involved in promoting STEM - particularly for girls - in recognition that women and girls in science bring a unique perspective and highly valuable skillset to science and leadership roles.

Veena was the recipient of an Australian Research Council Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship and this Fellowship supported her project in e-waste research and her founding the Science 50:50 program to inspire young women into science (Note: Science 50:50 has is now part of the Girls in Science initiative at UNSW Science.)


Below you will find:

  1. Some details about past and present post-graduate subjects developed and delivered by the UNSW SMaRT Centre that are part of a range of UNSW advanced courses.
  2. A presentation by Veena giving an overview of the key research elements for the SMaRT Centre.
  3. A link to a range of free online training modules related to sustainability and achieving a circular economy.
  4. A link to a range of teaching resources dealing with the many aspects of a circular economy, including workshop activities, videos series, lesson plans for 12-19 year olds, and more.
  5. A listing to all of the news updates about the various education and training initiatives Centre Director Prof Veena and her team are involved in across the community.

MATS6006 - Recycling of waste

The subject gives an overview of a range of challenging and complex wastes arising from rapid urbanization and growing populations and explains the impacts of these wastes on environment if not treated properly. The focus is on introducing a range of conventional approaches and new emerging techniques to recycle and reform wastes.

In this subject, different methods and approaches for treatment, management and recycling of wastes are explained in detail and students will have chance to gain knowledge on the latest science and technology related to the recycling of wastes, and will be familiar with life cycle assessment and the concept of circular economy.

This subject aims to enable students to have a comprehensive understanding of wastes of different categories (from daily wastes such as food packaging, textile and plastic to electronic waste, automotive and biomass wastes) and their impacts on environment.

The course will allow students to fully understand the principles of recycling and assess various recycling approaches including mechanical, electrical, chemical and thermal processing. Through this course, students will be able to evaluate the limitation of the conventional approaches in regard with recycling of new generation of waste as these wastes are highly complex, being a mixture of metals, non-metals and plastic and will gain knowledge on how to address this challenge. 

This course will aim to teach students, the concept of circular economy and enable them to apply life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate the impact of new recycling approaches on environment and compare it with conventional techniques. This course will also help student to build their research capability and presentation and communication skill.  

This course places a heightened focus on authentic learning experience through multiple visits to labs and state-of-art waste processing equipment ranging from SelFrag, furnaces, TGA-FTIR-GCMS, high temperature laser scanning confocal microscope, potentiostat and more.

UNSW Handbook subject information

Subject outline

MATS6007 - Sustainable Materials Engineering

This course gives an overview of the materials footprint on environment during their life cycle, from extraction to disposal. The main focus of the subject is on introducing a range of different sustainable systems and showing how different approaches can be taken towards sustainability and minimising environmental impact of materials in different sectors (i.e., transportation, infrastructure, and energy generation/storage).

This subject aims to enable students to gain in-depth understanding of sustainability, the root causes of unsustainability, the environmental impacts, and how to create a sustainable system through applying suitable technologies and materials. This course aims to teach different sustainable materials systems and introduces latest approaches towards sustainable energy production and storage, transportation, infrastructure, water treatment, soil remediation and carbon management.

One of the aims of this subject is to enable student to understand the concept of life cycle assessment (LCA) and circular economy and apply it in evaluation of the impact of a sustainable material system on environment and economy.

UNSW Handbook subject information

Subject outline

Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation is aimed for students and professionals to gain exposure to the wide gamut of skills required to translate scientific research into commercial reality.

The entrepreneurship journey will be formalised into clear actionable steps through interaction between students and relevant leading academics and professionals.

During a series of workshops, students will be guided through goal setting, customer and market segmentation, business development, and warned against common pitfalls.

At the end of the course students should have the skills to improve the probability of having a successful entrepreneurial endeavour.

UNSW Handbook subject information

Basic mechanisms of heat, mass and fluid flow; fluid statics and fluid dynamics in metallurgy; macroscopic balance for isothermal systems; dimensional analysis and reactor design; heat and mass transfer through motionless media; heat and mass transfer in convective flow systems.


  • Iron making: Basic principle of produce metallic iron from iron ore and general overview of existing processes. Recent advancement in this area.
  • Steel making: what is steel making and basic understanding of this process
  • Major development in steelmaking: what are the recent developments which change the face of steelmaking industry? In which areas there is the potential for improvement.
  • Steel casting and heat treatment of as-cast parts: after producing the steel what will happen to that. Advanced techniques in steel casting and what is the most common heat treatment after producing as-cast steel. 
  • Microstructure-property relationships of steels, equilibrium and non-equilibrium phase transformations in steels and resulting mechanical properties
  • Processing of low-alloyed steels (e.g. HSLA steels), thermo-mechanical processing, microstructural design towards structural applications
  • Processing of high-alloyed steels (e.g. tool steels), re-melting techniques, introduction to powder-metallurgy, processing of powder-metallurgical steels
  • Process metallurgy of selected non-ferrous metals (aluminium, nickel, titanium, copper)

UNSW Handbook subject information

An overview video of the UNSW SMaRT Centre by Veena:


Resources and activities:



SciX supports high school students with a range of activities and projects. Look out for SMaRT's "Upcycling coffee and nets" project as part of SciX@UNSW.

Free online learning modules on a circular economy, by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Free online teaching modules on a circular economy, by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Even more learning resources