2017 Annual Distinguished Lecture and Dinner

2017 IEEE South Australia Section Distinguished Lecture and Dinner will be presented on Tuesday 17 October 2017 at the Adelaide Pavilion, Veale Gardens, cnr South Terrace & Peacock Road, Adelaide. The lecture will be delivered by Professor Veena Sahajwalla FTSE, HonFIEAust – ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT):

Reviving Waste in Green Manufacturing: Creating new solutions through Innovation and Partnerships


Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Professor Veena Sahajwalla is revolutionising recycling science to unlock the wealth of resources embedded in the many complex wastes currently destined for landfill. As a materials scientist and engineer and founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney and the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for green manufacturing, she is producing a new generation of green materials, products and resources made entirely, or primarily, from waste. Her internationally commercialised EAF ÔgreenÕ steelmaking process, for example, is transforming millions of waste tyres as a partial replacement for coke. She has also pioneered a cost-effective microfactory concept to transform waste locally, such as e-waste, glass and plastics. By collaborating actively with industry, Professor Sahajwalla ensures research success is translated into real world environmental and economic benefits.


Professor Veena Sahajwalla became one of AustraliaÕs best-known scientists and inventors through her regular appearances as a judge on the long-running ABC TV series ÔThe New InventorsÕ. She continues her community engagement through regular school visits and public talks, her mentoring program for girls in science (Science 50:50) and regular media commentary. In 2016, Professor Shahajwalla was named one of AustraliaÕs most innovative engineers and in 2015 she was listed as one of AustraliaÕs Top 100 Most Influential Engineers and selected as an Honorary Fellow by Engineers Australia. Professor Sahajwalla was also the recipient of the ARC Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship in 2014. She won the Australian Innovation Challenge (Overall Winner) as well as the GE Eco Innovation Award for Individual Excellence and a Banksia Award in 2012.


In 2002 the IEEE South Australia Section established an Annual Lecture and Dinner, with Professor Brian Anderson AO, CEO of National Information and Communications Technology Australia (NICTA), presenting the inaugural distinguished lecture. The event has been held each year since then, has proven popular with both members and non-members and continues to grow in size.


To serve the needs of the members of the section and of the general public to enhance their professional knowledge and vitality by keeping them informed of the latest research results, their practical application and potential long-term consequences. The Distinguished Lecturer and Dinner provides a means for attendees to have access to an individual who is forward-thinking and a well known and highly regarded researcher, leader or educator in the fields of science and technological innovation.

The Dinner is also used as an opportunity for members to network with others outside of the IEEE, and to celebrate and recognise the achievements of individuals within the Section in the presence of their partners and friends.


The Section selects the distinguished lecturer so as to have information on the latest research and technological changes in various areas of interest. The Section provides the means for the distinguished lecturer to travel to destinations to present the topic of interest. The Section also encourages partners and non-members to attend, as well as inviting individuals in universities, industry, government, and other professional bodies. The DLD selection process

The selection of the lecture for DLD is based on the interests of South Australia Section membership; the DLD committee Chair approves a specific topic based on the advice from the speaker.

Additional talks and media interviews to exploit the DL visit (eg: local arrangements with chapters, schools, universities and other organisations) are encouraged, but not required.

The event must be announced as “sponsored by the IEEE South Australia Section under its Distinguished Lecturer Program”.

Past Lectures:

  • 2017: Professor Veena Sahajwalla
  • 2016: Professor Michelle Simmons – ARC Laureate Fellow and Director of the Centre of Quantum Computation & Communication Technology: “On the Future of Computing”. Held on Wednesday 5 October 2016 at The Balcony Restaurant – Strathmore Hotel.
  • 2015: Professor John Arkwright – South Australian Premier’s Professorial Research Fellow in Biomedical Engineering Flinders University: “Exploring the Dark Continent of the Human Body – An unexpected voyage of discovery for a naive optical fibre telecommunications engineer”. Held on Wednesday 28 October 2015 at the Adelaide Pavilion.
  • 2014: Professor Peter Quinn (FTSE) – Executive Director, International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research: “On the threshold – New understanding, New discoveries and New opportunities with the SKA”. Held on Tuesday 09 December 2014 at the South Australian Museum.
  • 2013: Dr Zoz (Andrew) Brooks – Host of “RoboNation” and “Prototype This!”: “Where is my Robot Butler?”. Thursday 31 October 2013 at the Adelaide Pavilion.
  • 2012: Laureate Professor Rob Evans – Director of the Victorian Research Laboratory of National ICT Australia. Monday 8 October at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
  • 2011: Dr Lan T Lam – Research Leader, CSIRO Energy Technology CSIRO: Research Leader, CSIRO Energy Technology. Held 17 November at Ayers House.
  • 2010: Dr Amanda Barnard – Leader of the Virtual Nanoscience Laboratory – CSIRO: “Nanotechnology Futures, and the Power of Predictive Modelling”. Held 14 October at The Adelaide Pavilion.
  • 2009: Professor Barry Brook – Sir Hubert Wilkins Professor of Climate Change, The University of Adelaide: “Climate Change Mitigation – What Sustainable Energy Technologies will Triumph?”. Held 25 November at The Adelaide Pavilion.
  • 2008: Air Vice-Marshal Julie Hammer – National President, Engineers Australia: “Elves, Spells and White Magic – The Pioneering Days of the Air Force’s Electronic Warfare Squadron”. Held 25 October at The National Wine Centre.
  • 2007: Dr Len Sciacca, Chief, Electronic Warfare and Radar Division, Defence Science and Technology Organisation: “The Art of Engineering”. Held 7 November at Ayers House.
  • 2006: Professor Ron Ekers, Foundation Director of CSIRO’s Australia Telescope National Facility and the President of the International Astronomical Union from July 2003 until August 2006: “Paths to Discovery – The Role of Innovation and Serendipity in Science with Examples from Radio Astronomy”. Held 10 December at the Stamford Plaza.
  • 2005: Emeritus Professor Max Brennan, AO, Chief Scientist of South Australia: “SWOT Analysis of R&D Activity in South Australia”. Held on 7 December at the South Australian Museum.
  • 2004: Dr Robin Batterham, AO, Chief Scientist, Australia: “Science, Technology and Innovation: Challenges for the Next Generation”. Held on 12 November at the Stamford Plaza.
  • 2003: Ric Smith, AO, PSM, Secretary, The Department of Defence: “Defence Challenges for the Future”. Held on 21 November at the Festival Centre.
  • 2002: Professor Brian D. O. Anderson, AO, CEO, National ICT Australia: “National ICT Australia”. Held on 22 November at the Stamford Plaza.