ARC Future Fellowship success for world first recycled concrete project

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Western Sydney University’s Professor Vivian Tam has been awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship, attracting more than one million dollars for the development of Het-Crete, the world’s first building material for high grade construction that uses mixed construction and demolition waste, combined with environmentally friendly chemicals.

Professor Tam, from the School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment, was awarded $1,109,924 for the project, ‘Het-Crete: High-Grade Chemical-Treated Heterogeneous Recycled Concrete’. The research is set to address the grand challenges of CO2 emissions and landfill reduction within the construction industry.

“Developing and advancing environmentally friendly recycled materials is my passion, so I am delighted with this funding announcement and hope our project will raise environmental awareness and confidence across the construction industry as well as significantly elevate Australia’s world standing in recycled concrete research,” said Professor Tam.

“Of the more than 20 million tons of mixed construction and demolition waste generated annually in Australia, only 5% is recycled and less than 1% is adopted for low-grade construction activities. Our project hopes to solve Australia’s mixed construction and demolition waste disposal problem and lower its greenhouse-gas emissions at the same time.”

Professor Kevin Dunn, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research, Enterprise and International) at Western Sydney University also welcomed the funding.

“Professor Tam and her team are set to become world leaders in recycled concrete research. In doing so they address one of many sustainability and resilience challenges of the 21st century. Their work reiterates Western Sydney University’s commitment to tackling society’s grand challenges and gives further impetus to the vital race to net zero.”

As part of the 2022 Future Fellowship scheme, the Australian Government is funding 100 mid-career researchers with $94 million to focus on finding solutions for key industry challenges and training the next generation of researchers.

The Future Fellowships scheme supports research in areas of critical national importance by giving outstanding researchers incentives to conduct their research in Australia. The aim of the Future Fellowships scheme is to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers.

ENDS

15 September 2022

Media Unit