Event news: what's coming up

Alfred Nobel and the history of the Nobel Prize

This year’s Rudi Lemberg Travelling Fellowship Lecture, by Professor Lawrence J. Berliner, University of Denver and Emeritus Professor of The Ohio State University, is providing a fascinating insight into Alfred Nobel and how he, his father and brothers developed their famous explosive that made the Nobel company and Alfred extremely wealthy and famous. Professor Berliner, who teaches a course on the Nobel Prize to undergraduate students, gives both personal and sensitive insight to its mystique and fame. His lecture brings in an Australian perspective in the contributions that Australian scholars have made to earn several Nobel prizes.

The Rudi Lemberg Travelling Fellowship commemorates the contributions of Professor M.R. Lemberg FAA FRS to science in Australia. The Fellowship enables either Australian or overseas scientists of standing to visit Australian scientific centres and to deliver lectures.

Venues include Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. More information about the lectures

DEATH and SEX followed by MURDER

The next event in Academy’s public speaker series on ‘The Science of Life + Death’ will be MURDER in Brisbane on 16 September.

The first event, DEATH in Hobart, explored the definition of death, how we work to stop death in emergencies, dealing with mass death events, and the fascinating science of body decomposition. The second event, SEX in Melbourne, looked at the genetics behind gender and sexual preferences, new technology for contraceptives, and how humans’ relationship with sexually transmitted diseases has changed over time.

The remaining events in the five-part series will be LIFE in Perth on 10 November and IMMORTALITY in Adelaide on 15 February 2017.

More information on the Science of Life + Death

Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla

From rubbish to raw materials: turning tyres into steel

Did you know that nine million old car tyres are piled in Australia’s biggest tyre dump in Victoria—just one of many such tyre piles around the world? But when Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla looks at these massive waste repositories, she doesn’t see landfill: she sees elements. Raw materials that can be transformed into structural steel to build green buildings.

Professor Veena Sahajwalla is Founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology (SMaRT), Associate Dean (Strategic Industry Relations) in the Faculty of Science at the University of New South Wales, and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow.

Her team treats as raw materials the stuff the rest of us throw away, inviting us to reimagine the concept of ‘rubbish’ through green manufacturing. Already, their technology has transformed two million passenger vehicle tyres into structural steel, and after recently being commercialised internationally the technology is ready to boom. And it’s not just tyres that can be repurposed in this way.

On 18 October at the Shine Dome in Canberra, Professor Sahajwalla will reveal how science is giving old plastic bottles, cars, bikes and computers can new life and purpose, boosting Australia’s manufacturing sector, supporting local councils and reaping incredible benefits for the environment.

More information about this event

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