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VCE Chemistry Conference 2022

February 16 @ 8:00 am 4:00 pm

Theme: Perspectives on Practice: Sustainability Matters

This will be an online event

Keynote Presenters

Dr. Yvonne Mah
Business Development Manager Plastic Additives Australia and New Zealand, BASF 

Keynote address: Creating Chemistry for a Sustainable Future 

Never before, has Chemistry been at the forefront of society’s quest for solutions to achieve sustainability. While the knowledge of Chemistry continues to bring innovations, it also has great impact on the race for sustainable solutions needed now. Sustainability is about ensuring that our activities do not incur a negative effect to the environment of our current and future generations. We look to Chemistry to help solve this. Looking from a few perspectives, we discuss the needs of society and the environment, UN’s goals, circular economy, chemistry of materials and a corporate view of carbon management.

Yvonne Mah has a PhD in Chemistry and has worked for the chemical company, BASF for over 20 years. She began as a Graduate Application Development Chemist in the Engineering Plastics Division. From there she has experienced various roles as Technical Service Engineer to Technical  Marketing for the Asia-Pacific region based at the headquarters in Hong Kong. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. After living abroad and travelling extensively in the Asia-Pacific region and seeing the chemical industries first hand, Yvonne volunteers to different organisations as a way to share her experience and give back to the community. She spends her time in the Women in Chemistry Group, Mentoring, Diversity and Inclusion, Polymer Division and Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority Committees. Yvonne is also a recent committee member as Program Chair in the Society of Plastic Engineers.

Professor Antonio (Tony) Patti , FRACI.

Director, ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre – Green Chemistry in Manufacturing, Monash University
Keynote Address: Green Chemistry – Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Professor Antonio (Tony) Patti , FRACI. Director, ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre – Green Chemistry in Manufacturing, Monash University
‘Green Chemistry – Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals’

Advances in chemistry and chemical engineering have shaped our world from pharmaceuticals and food production, to the clothes we wear, the homes we live in, the cars we drive, our cosmetics, cleaning products, and so much more. However, we now know that continuing to manufacture as we did in the past is unsustainable. Today’s new world and the global problems we face with climate change and resource depletion demands a new approach.

Green chemistry is a paradigm shift. The Green Chemistry principles can be applied across all sectors involving chemical manufacture. It is about how we should “think about and do chemistry”, so that we avoid hazardous materials and products, develop new production methods, utilise renewable resources, recover, reuse and repurpose materials when the initial application has expired hance encompass circular economy thinking and minimise energy requirements in all manufacturing. This shift in how we manufacture will not only bring environmental benefits and mitigate climate change, but will also bring economic and social benefits. Several examples of how green chemistry is being implemented to achieve these goals will be provided.

Furthermore, if we look at UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), one can identify where Chemistry can play a positive role in addressing many of the goals directly. Indeed, it can be argued that those UN SDGs that are not obviously addressed directly can be addressed indirectly. Green Chemistry principles should be integrated across all the curriculum of chemistry at whatever level chemistry is taught and demonstrate to future generations, the central role that the chemical sciences and related engineering will play in ensuring a sustainable future for our planet.

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