Dr Leonie Walsh
Dr Leonie WalshInterim Chair
Dr Leonie Walsh is a former Victorian Lead Scientist with extensive experience in management and commercialisation of R&D, including significant roles in the plastics value chain and the university sector. With a career spanning 30 years, she has driven strategic commercial improvements and innovation in companies around the world.

Prior to her appointment as Lead Scientist, Dr Walsh worked for Dow Chemical, as well as Visy Industries, South East Water and Henkel. Her experience includes leading R&D groups, business functions, and supporting technology-based start-ups.

Leonie holds an MBA from AGSM, is a graduate member of the AICD and an AATSE fellow. Leonie was the inaugural Women in STEMM Ambassador, supporting gender equity in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine, and the first woman president of the Australasian Industrial Research Group.

Dr Walsh’s current focus is on bridging industry, government and academia on topics such as education, renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, clean technology, and the circular economy. 

Dr Ian Dagley
Dr Ian DagleyBid Leader
Dr Ian Dagley was the Chief Executive Officer of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Polymers for 21 years, and subsequently he was Chief of the Science Partnerships and Engagement Division of the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) for 2.5 years.

Ian has a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from RMIT. His research career has also included periods at Oxford University, with Pacific Dunlop, and with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation. In 2010, Dr Ian Dagley was admitted as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).


Prof Chengrong Chen
Prof Chengrong ChenResearch Director
Professor Chengrong Chen is a founding Director for Resource Recovery Recycling Remanufacturing Waste Hub, Griffith University.

Prof Chen has worked closely with industry in the area of assessment of environmental impacts and recycling of wastes over 20 years. He established the Australian first Applied Network of Recycled Organics and Waste Management (ANROWM) in 2017. Prof Chen’s research areas include: Recycling science and waste management, mine rehabilitation, restoration of degraded ecosystems and agricultural disposal of recycled organics and biochar application and fertilisation.

Deb Friel
Deb FrielEducation & Training Lead
Deb Friel manages the Centre for Professional Development, developing short courses and micro-credentials at CQUniversity through two learning management platforms. Ms Friel provides academic oversight for curriculum design and mapping, collaborating with academics and stakeholder subject matter experts to create micro-credentials that meet professional standards for registration, accreditation, and professional development. Ms Friel Chairs CQUniversity’s governance committee for micro-credentials, advising on articulation mapping to AQF qualifications. Ms Friel has >20 years clinical, academic and vocational sector focused on developing education pathways which align to industry and workforce standards and needs. Ms Friel is a Registered Nurse, academic and early career researcher. Ms Friel is a member of the working party on cross sector collaboration for the development of micro-credentials in Australia and represents CQU as the Ashoka U Change Leader and International Review Council member for reaccreditation for Ashoka U universities.


Prof Stefanie Feih
Prof Stefanie Feih Research Program 1 Lead: Materials and design - to reduce products' environmental impact
Professor Stefanie Feih received her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2002, a Masters Degree from Cornell University in 1997 and a Mechanical Engineering degree from TU Darmstadt, Germany, in 1998. She recently commenced as a Professor in the School for Engineering and Built Environment at Griffith University. Stefanie previously led the Polymer Processing Group at the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), A*STAR, Singapore, and prior to this worked at RMIT University in Australia and Risø in Denmark.

Stefanie has spent more than 20 years specialising in the analysis, design and optimisation of lightweight structures. She is listed as one of the world’s top 2% most-cited scientists in Materials (Stanford career rankings 2021-2022), focusing on wind, naval, O&G offshore and aerospace structures. Stefanie is passionate about developing material and structural performance optimisation tools to drive sustainability in design.

Prof Minoo Naebe
Prof Minoo NaebeResearch Program 2 Lead: Maximising the recovery and value of end-of-life plastics
Professor Minoo Naebe is the founding team leader for high performance materials group at Carbon Nexus, Institute for Frontier Materials at Deakin University.

She has more than a decade experience in polymer composites and fibres and has successfully led several projects in collaboration with local and international industry partners in this field. Her research to date has resulted in over 135 publications and her projects are well supported by government and numerous industrial organizations. Professor Naebe is the recipient of multiple awards including the recent Chemchina Patent Excellence Award.


Prof Damien Giurco
Prof Damien GiurcoResearch Program 3 Lead: Implementing a circular economy for plastics in Australia
Damien Giurco is Professor of Resource Futures and Deputy Director (Research) at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney.

Before joining academia, Damien worked in the plastics industry. His current research focuses on understanding patterns of resource flows and their impacts aligned with a sustainable and circular economy. Damien is currently a director at the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence and was a member of the Expert Reference Group for the NSW 20 year waste strategy.

Prof Andrew Ball
Prof Andrew BallResearch Program 4 Lead: Mitigating the risk of microplastics in agricultural soils
Distinguished Professor Andrew S. Ball is Director of the ARC Training Centre for the Transformation of Australia’s Biosolids Resource and Distinguished Professor at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

Prof. Ball was previously Director of the Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Remediation at RMIT University and Flinders Bioremediation in Adelaide, Australia. Prof. Ball has worked in the area of soil microbiology, contaminant degradation and biogeochemical cycling for 40 years publishing over 300 peer reviewed articles.