The collaboration will build national research capability across the Australian innovation system to help industry investigate low-emission steel technologies to guide future demonstrations and industry development.
The ‘Sustainable Mineral Processing and Green Steel Program’ partnership will address key net zero challenges for the mineral resources industry, including developing low-carbon routes for iron, steel and critical metals, as well as improving recycling technologies.
Bringing new skills to the energy transition challenge is a crucial aspect of the partnership, with research fellows and PhD candidates from both institutions to work alongside international researchers and industry, including:
- Swinburne’s Professor Geoffrey Brooks, who won the Bessemer Gold Medal in 2023 for his contributions to more sustainable steelmaking, who will be appointed Chair.
- CSIRO’s Process Decarbonisation Research Group Leader Keith Vining has overall responsibility for managing CSIRO’s research effort on sustaining Australia’s iron ore and improving the processes for enhanced productivity and environmental performance.
- CSIRO’s Dr Suneeti Purohit, a Swinburne PhD graduate, recipient of the Exceptional Woman in Victorian Resources 2023 Award and Net Zero Industries Young Talent Award 2023, will bring her expertise on steelmaking using solar power to the program.
- Swinburne’s Professor Akbar Rhamdhani, a noted expert in sustainable processing, particularly in battery materials and critical metals, who will play a significant role.
Swinburne is active in the field of supply chain transformation and sustainability, a technological and societal priority area for organisations and governments worldwide.
As part of its Net Zero 2025 Pathways, the University has invested in researchers from minerals characterisation, minerals processing, pyrometallurgy and materials recycling. Coupled with CSIRO’s extensive minerals research and development expertise, researchers from both organisations will bring the program to life.
The program will also provide a platform for international conferences and industry courses, as well as engagement for students through scholarships, joint final year projects and work experience programs.
This critical work is supporting one of Australia’s hard-to-abate sectors to halve their emissions by 2035, and forms part of CSIRO’s Towards Net Zero Mission.