Mehdi Golzar, a PhD student working with Associate Professor Maria Holuszko since December 2021 has won first prize at the E-Waste Academy for Scientists (EWAS) 2022. His work is related to the recovery of metals from e-waste by biohydrometallurgy. His research is sponsored by Urban Mining Innovation Center-UBC, NSERC CREATE SEED (“Sustainable Electronics and Eco Design) UBC-Polytechnic Montreal and part of the microbiome research team at UBC-BRIMM.
E-Waste Academy is held by the United Nation University in Europe for a number of years now. It is an educational camp for young generation of researchers to learn more and explore their capabilities and it is sponsored by United Nation University. This event is also sponsored by several international organizations such as UNIDO, UNITAR, SCYCLE and BOKU.
For this year’s workshop Mehdi Golzar was selected as the only researcher from Canada to attend this event in Ireland, Limerick. During the E-Waste Academy, the participants were involved in a competition entitled WEEEkathon – where the main objective was to develop a research proposal on how to solve the e-waste challenge in the context of circular economy. The event schedule was very tight and the competing teams had to come up with an innovative idea, develop it and frame a proposal in a short time. Mehdi’s team proposed an e-waste management system for Argentina in which informal workers can be included in the formal system and work in better and more protected conditions and their team won the best proposal out of 5 teams.