Poster & pitch

As part of the Ending Plastic Waste Symposium, we have developed four parallel Pitch & Poster sessions, where researchers will firstly pitch their research in a 5-minute presentation followed by a display of the poster to the symposium delegate group.  

Which one will you attend?

Sessions – 23 May 2023: 4.30 to 6.00 pm

Materials and processes – Room: Hordern 1

Chye Yi Leow,

PhD Candidate, University of Adelaide

  • Chye Yi Leow graduated with Honours in Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from The University of Adelaide in 2019. She is currently pursuing a PhD at her alma mater under the supervision of Dr Philip can Eyk and Prof David Leow. Chye Yi’s research focuses on investigating the decomposition of plastics through the hydrothermal liquefaction process. Additionally, Chye Yi currently works as an academic tutor within the university, teaching Combustion Technologies, High Temperature Processes, and Material Science.
  • Poster Pitch #11: ‘Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Plastic-Lignin Binary Mixtures’

Laila Halim, Matthew Hill and Leonie van’t Hag,

Monash University and CSIRO Applied Porous Materials Team

  • Laila is a first-year PhD student at Monash University working under the supervision of Prof Matthew Hill and Dr. Leonie van’t Hag. She is passionate about sustainable engineering and driven by a desire to bring about positive societal change and provide a healthier planet for future generations. Laila is excited to be involved in such a transformational and impactful project with CSIRO. Her particular research lies at the intersection of plastic recycling and green energy, and she is looking at ways to obtain valuable breakdown products from plastic waste through membrane technology, which could then be utilised to assist in Australia’s clean energy future.
  • Poster Pitch #12: ‘Plastic waste and its potential role in the future of green energy’

Chris Rinke,

The University of Queensland

  • Chris Rinke is a Senior Lecturer at the Australian Centre for Ecogenomics (ACE), University of Queensland, Australia. His research interests include the phylogeny, taxonomy and ecology of free living and symbiotic Bacteria and Archaea. He focuses on the majority of microbes which elude current culturing efforts and are known as “Microbial Dark Matter”. Currently, the Rinke lab uses a range of “omics” techniques to study the phylogenetic and metabolic diversity of uncultured microbes, to investigate bacterial plastic degradation (including the gut microbiomes of polystyrene eating superworms), to describe microbial and viral communities in coastal waterways, explore microbial compositions in deep-sea subsurface sediments, characterise insect microbiomes, and to identify the main microbial players in terrestrial hot springs. Chris is a member of the Genome Taxonomy Database (GTBD; curation team. GTDB is an initiative to establish a standardised microbial taxonomy based on genome phylogeny.
  • Poster Pitch #13: ‘Biorecycling – a promising waste innovation’

Dr. Jojibabu Panta,

Western Sydney University

  • Dr Jojibabu Panta is a Postdoctoral researcher in the School of Engineering and Built Environment at Western Sydney University. His research expertise includes mechanical and degradation behaviour of polymers, adhesives, composites and has extensive experience in problem-solving, as well as process and materials development. Dr Panta’s current research focuses on utilizing advanced manufacturing techniques to create sustainable and user-customizable home goods from local waste plastic. This innovative research comprises several key components, including 3D printing from waste with fused granular fabrication (FGF), life cycle analysis (LCA) of the FGF process, the development of a minimum footprint mobile recycling and 3D printing system (Gigalab), an innovative design collaboration with end-users.
  • Poster Pitch #14: ‘Investigating the Feasibility of Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol-modified as a Viable Printing Material for 3D Printing’

Brett Pollard,

Australian National University

  • Brett Pollard attended the University of Newcastle where he completed a BSc in Chemistry and Biology before undertaking an Honours study in medicinal chemistry under the supervision of Professor Adam McCluskey and Doctor Andrew Lin. Under the co-supervision of Professor Luke Connal and Professor Martin Banwell, he is now undertaking his PhD degree at the Australian National University in the manipulation of biomass-derived molecules for polymer and organic synthesis.
  • Poster Pitch #15: ‘Fully Bio-Based & Compostable Coffee Thermosets’

Tracey Read,

The University of Queensland

  • Tracey Read is a PhD candidate at The University of Queensland’s ARC Training Centre in Bioplastics and Biocomposites in the School of Chemical Engineering. Tracey’s interest in biodegradable plastics stems from 10+ years working in the NGO sector In Hong Kong for the charity she co-founded Plastic Free Seas. She delivered solution-focused, research-based education programs, promoting waste reduction action and dispelling greenwashing myths in schools, companies and in the community. Her PhD is 18-month aquatic field trial analysing 3 different biodegradable plastics of varying thickness in 4 locations. The research objectives include understanding the impacts of different processing methods and the effects of a plasticiser and filler on the rates of biodegradation of bioplastics in aquatic environments.
  • Poster Pitch #16: ‘Are all bioplastics biodegradable in the sea?’

Knowledge and data – Room: Hordern 2

Anh Dang Nguyet (Vietnam National Plastic Action Program),

  • Ms. Dang Nguyet Anh joined the World Economic Forum and UNDP Viet Nam as National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP) Manager to lead the strategic planning and oversee the implementation of the NPAP in Viet Nam. Anh works closely with governmental ministries, World Economic Forum, enterprises, development partners, financial institutions and Civil Society Organizations to facilitate a government backed multi stakeholder platform in addressing plastic pollution through informed policy, boosted innovative solutions, improved behaviour change, and sustainable financing mechanisms in Viet Nam. Over the last 10 years, she has been managing and coordinating a high portfolio of projects and programs in both nonprofit and governmental sectors to improve systems and policy for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development for different communities in Viet Nam. She has been recognized with strong professional expertise in capacity building, youth mentoring, dialogue moderating, policy influencing, and partnership development including public-private partnership, government to government collaboration and inter-agency coordination. She holds a Master of Environmental Sciences at University of Tsukuba, Japan with a pillar program in waste management. Her passion for promoting plastic circular economy, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and evidence-based policymaking processes underscores her commitment to contribute to global and national efforts to avert plastic pollution.
  • Poster Pitch #5 ‘Viet Nam NPAP – Turning commitments to reduce plastic waste pollution into actions’

Tom McColl,

Strategic Development Group

  • Tom is a Senior Consultant with Strategic Development Group. He brings close to 15 years’ experience working across Australia and the Pacific with governments, NGOs and communities to build partnerships, find local solutions and achieve impact. He is highly proficient in program design, monitoring and evaluation, partnership brokering, stakeholder engagement and strategic planning. Tom’s work with a variety of stakeholders across countries and contexts has shown the importance of planning for, demonstrating, and communicating impact to build understanding and value with communities and stakeholders.
  • Poster pitch #6: ‘Bridging the gap – Methods to demonstrate impact and value to funders’

Oliver Palin,

CLS Oceania

  • Oliver Palin completed his Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management at University of Newcastle where he majored in Marine Science. Since then, he has moved to Tasmania to work with CLS Oceania, subsidiary of the French Space Agency (CNES). While Olivers experience is centred around ecology, his current role focuses on the technical aspects of managing data collection. Via satellite telemetry, Oliver works to collect data for animal migrations, fisheries management and predicting the movement of plastic accumulations in ocean currents. Oliver is known for his innovative ideas and passion for environmental management which continues to drive him towards new opportunities and successful projects.”
  • Poster pitch #7: ‘Tracking macro-plastic accumulation areas with Argos drifters and operational drift modelling’

Jack Fitzgerald (Think Fencing),

  • Jack is the founder of Think Dynamics / Think Fencing, a progressive company that specialises in developing innovative composite products and PVC recycling technology. Jack has a wide range of experience in Polymer engineering, machine design and product development. His main focus is realising market opportunities and commercialisation of products for the building industry using innovative sustainable manufacturing techniques and materials. Elise (4th year Mechatronics engineer) has dedicated the past three years of her career working within Think Fencing/ Think Dynamics alongside Jack. The focal point of her role involves engaging in research, development and product design. Through these experiences with the company, she has increased her skill set relative to identifying and implementing innovative solutions. Her work has been characterized by her commitment to sustainable practices and her passion for creating products that positively impact the environment. Throughout her career, Elise has shown herself to be a committed and forward-thinking member of the company.
  • Poster pitch #8: ‘Enhancing uPVC recycling’

Clement Chan,

The University of Queensland

  • Clement is a research fellow at the School of Chemical Engineering, the University of Queensland. He is a materials engineer with a strong background in biopolymer development, spanning the full spectrum from material/process optimisation to end-of-life biodegradation analysis. He is currently one of the key researchers in the ARC Training Centre for Bioplastics and Biocomposites. Clement is dedicated to translating innovative solutions towards a ‘zero waste’ future that benefits both industry and society. His core interests focused on cradle-to-cradle design and has developed a deep understanding of the complex factors that contribute to the development and success of sustainable materials.
  • Poster pitch #9: ‘The role of biodegradable plastics in tackling plastic waste – Challenges and potential solutions’

Cao Ngoc Tu Xaychak,


  • Cao Ngoc Tu Xayachak graduated with first class honours from Bachelor of Environmental Engineering, and later pursued his PhD at RMIT and CSIRO as a recipient of the CSIRO PhD Scholarship. Tu’s research interest includes life cycle assessment (LCA), advanced/chemical recycling of plastic waste, material sustainability, waste management, and environmental preservation. Having worked as a soil contamination and environmental consultant, Tu brings a wealth of practical and industry experience to his research. His publications in notable journals within just one year of his candidature highlights the impacts and value of his work to CSIRO’s Ending Plastic Waste Mission.
  • Poster pitch #10: ‘Breaking Down Plastic Waste: Assessing the Environmental Impact of Chemical Recycling Processes’

Circular Economy – Room: Ballroom 1&2

Manuela Benavides,

QUT Centre for a Waste Free World

  • Manuela Benavides is a PhD candidate with Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) School of Design and Centre for a Waste Free World. Manuela’s research explores the role of participatory design and systems thinking in the transition of the plastics system in Queensland towards a circular economy. As a sustainability professional, Manuela has extensive industry experience in waste management and minimisation, resource recovery, circular economy, and infrastructure sustainability. In her native Peru, Manuela co-founded ConCiencia, a play on words meaning “awareness” and “with-science”, an environmental education not-for-profit applying human centred design principles.
  • Poster pitch #1: ‘Plastic Futures: Speculative Design for a true Circular Economy’

Dr Anya Phelan,

Griffith University

  • Dr Anya Phelan is a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Griffith University Business School. Her expertise lies at the intersection of entrepreneurship, sustainability, and social impact. She brings extensive experience in strategy & innovation, sustainable business development, the circular economy, capability building and entrepreneurial training. Her research focuses on how entrepreneurial action helps tackle complex social and environmental problems, such as plastic waste and pollution. Anya also focuses on the role of business in fostering sustainable communities, particularly in regional, remote, and resource-constrained regions. Last year, she served as Entrepreneur in Residence for CSIRO’s biotech innovation Accelerator – Plastics Innovation Hub. Anya is also one of the chief investigators for the Australia Research Training Centre for Bioplastics and Biocomposites.
  • Poster pitch #2: ‘Circular Ecosystem Innovation and Inclusive Economic Innovation for Western Cape York’

Dr Aziz Ahmed,

University of Wollongong

  • Dr Aziz Ahmed is a Lecturer in Structural Engineering at the University of Wollongong School of Civil, Mining, Environmental and Architectural Engineering. Prior to this assignment, he was a research fellow within Steel Research Hub and Sustainable Buildings Research Centre at UOW, since 2016. In 2007, Aziz graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. In 2013, he completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Structural Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He was a post-doctoral research fellow at NUS before joining the University of Wollongong. Dr Aziz Ahmed is currently a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Engineers Australia. He is also a certified project management professional. To date, he has received Eleven competitive grants. He is part of an International Team that was successful in obtaining NSF-CSIRO Convergence Accelerator Track I: Sustainable Materials Phase 1 grant for a project tiled, ‘Creating Impact from Local Plastic Waste Using Off-Grid Containerized 3D Printers & Practice Based Learning’. He also successfully led a Major Equipment Grant (MEG) application for Super-fast large-scale 3D printing equipment to enable multidisciplinary research on sustainable recycling of plastics into the circular economy. He is the UOW lead for a successful UOW-ANSTO Seed Fund looking at an effective and scalable recycling solution for Medical Waste Plastics sterilized by Gamma Irradiation. In 2022, he obtained a UOW AEGiS Connect fund to develop 3D printed concrete with Accelerated Buildability. His main areas of interest in UN SGDs are goals 3, 7, 9, 11 and 13, focusing on occupational health and safety, sustainability, renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, and the impact of severe weather events on structures. Dr Ahmed also contributed as a reviewer for more than twelve tier-one journals in the field of Structural Engineering. He is also very keen on applying novel technologies in teaching, blended learning and flipped classrooms. He has recently organized a speed networking event for final-year students at the School of CMEA.
  • Poster pitch #3: ‘A community-driven 3D printing micro-factory aims to democratize plastic recycling’

Matthew Flynn,

University of Southern Queensland

  • Matt Flynn completed his PhD at Monash University, investigating the structure-reactivity relationship of main-group organometallic compounds. Since then, he has transitioned into researching sustainability in polymers, having worked as a research fellow at LIKAT in Germany working on biobased polymers, and now at the University of Southern Queensland as part of the NO WASTE pilot precinct. Here he is working on developing new methods of utilising plastic waste, with a specific focus on operationally simple processes, particularly for use in regional communities.
  • Poster pitch #4: ‘Processing end-of-life coated paper products for use as structural materials’

Knowledge and data – microplastics – Ballroom 3

Sijing Li,


  • Dr Sijing Li is an analytical chemist with experience in the use of GC-MS, LC-MS and high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) techniques applied to analysis of targeted and untargeted analysis of chemicals in complex environmental matrices. She also has a strong background in R language programming for interpretation and statistical analysis of complex datasets. She is currently working on analytical chemistry approaches to measuring chemicals in bioplastics using HRMS and estimating levels of microplastics in biosolids.
  • Poster pitch #17: ‘Risk characterisation of microplastics in recycled organic wastes – getting the right count’

Dr. Biplob Pramanik,

RMIT University

  • Dr Biplob Pramanik, a Senior Lecturer and ARC DECRA Fellow at RMIT University, previously held positions at La Trobe University as a Lecturer and as a Vice-Chancellor Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Wollongong. He earned his PhD from RMIT University in 2016. His research investigates the fate and control of emerging pollutants (such as nano/microplastics) in water and wastewater, alongside resource recovery. To date, he has published over 90 articles in international peer-reviewed journals, amassing more than 3500 citations and an H-index of 33. Over the past 5 years, he has received over $2.5 million in research funding.
  • Poster pitch #18: ‘Role of water shear force for microplastics fragmentation into nanoplastics in the wastewater treatment plants’

Chengrong Chen,

Griffith University

  • Chengrong Chen is a professor in environmental biogeochemistry with strong interests in waste recycling and management of contamination. One of key research areas in his group is the detection, monitoring and mitigation of microplastic pollution in soil and wastes. His group has used the advanced FTIR microscope (Spotlight 400) to identify and detect microplastic in biosolid and soil samples. This research will contribute to the improved understanding of the source, sink and pathway of microplastic in the soil-plant system. Prof Chen was a past ARC Future Fellow and has published over 200 refereed papers with a H-index of 60.
  • Poster pitch #19: ‘Detecting microplastics in organic-rich materials and their potential risks to earthworms in agroecosystems’

Juniper Riordan,

Australian Microplastic Assessment Project (AUSMAP)

  • Juniper Riordan is AUSMAP’s Science Research Officer, having recently graduated with Distinction from a Bachelor of Science/ Bachelor of Arts at UNSW. Working in this role alongside a current Honours Project in species translocation, she is translating her mutual interests in scientific research and advocacy to tackle key environmental issues. At AUSMAP, Juniper witnesses first-hand the acute contamination of microplastics in Australia’s waterways, and is currently in the process of co-authoring publications on the spatial and temporal distributions of these seemingly invisible pollutants. Her hope is that through effective scientific communication and rigorous methods, practical solutions and policy reform can occur.
  • Poster pitch #20: ‘Bringing the Micro Into View Through a Microlitter Reduction Framework ‘