Female Australian Scientists Fighting Disease & Natural Disasters with Clever Technology in 2022

Author: Noelene K.  Date Posted: 11 February 2022 

This year to celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science our team went on the hunt for extraordinary women doing awesome things in the field of science. It was hard to choose, here are three that stood out to us. Special Mention to 14 year old Jorga Suga (featured below) who we thought should also be included in our list for her cool invention.

Dr Kate Nguyen

Dr Kate Nguyen
Image Credit: Imageplay.com.au

In Melbourne, Dr Kate Nguyen is a Chemical and Civil engineer who is researching ways to make buildings more sustainable and safe from bushfires by developing a fire-proof coating that is produced from industrial waste.

Kate has created a coating from materials that might normally end up in landfill and the process by which it is manufactured results in significantly less greenhouse gas emissions than traditional methods.

The coating can also improve thermal efficiency so that buildings require less energy for heating and cooling.

So an all-round winning combination for the environment and for residents who live in bushfire-prone areas.

Professor Veena Sahajwalla

Professor Veena Sahajwalla
Image Credit: Enzo Amato

Professor Veena Sahajwalla, from NSW, is internationally recognised for her work as a materials scientist and champion of recycling and waste management.

She invented Green Steel, a process that reduces the percentage of coal used in steel production by employing recycled truck tyres as an energy source. This results in a reduction of waste going to landfill and at the same time releases fewer greenhouse gases than standard processes.

Professor Sahajwalla is also well known for revolutionising micro factories to help existing manufacturers recycle available waste. Her novel concept for recycling e-waste  allows valuable components to be salvaged for processing and recycling.

Her next innovation uses glass and textile waste to make green ceramics. These projects have reduced materials in landfill and at the same time created jobs in local areas and improved sustainability by reducing carbon emissions that would have been produced from transporting waste across the country.

Dr Samantha Wade

Dr Samantha Wade
Image Credit: Robert Peet. Illawara Mercury

Dr Samantha Wade is a medical researcher in NSW who has received an award that recognises her contribution to the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

She was part of a team that designed and developed a new way of delivering drug treatment to pancreatic tumours by use of an implantable device, which would allow targeted chemotherapy without severe side effects. Implantable and injectable devices may also have applications in the immunotherapy treatment of other forms of cancer.

Jorja Suga

Jorja Suga
Image Credit: Catholic Weekly

At only 14 years of age, Jorja Suga of Liverpool in Sydney has already made a name for herself as an innovative designer.

She won an award in 2019 for her “Safety Smart Goggles” for young children.

A chip in the nosepiece connects via bluetooth to a parent’s device and sends an alert warning when the child is underwater.

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