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PELICANS Research Forum

Plastic in the Environment: Leaders and Innovators Collaborating from Australia, New Zealand, and United States (PELICANS)

Aligned to CSIRO’s Ending Plastic Waste (EPW) Mission and NSF Centre for Sustainable Polymers (CSP), PELICANS is a two-week research forum that focuses on a pressing challenge for the environment, economy, and society: A Circular Economy for Plastics and Ending Plastic Waste. 

The program is designed for graduate student and postdoctoral researchers from the US, Australia, and New Zealand to gain Beyond the Classroom STEM education in a global setting. Participants will take the learnings from this program to move on to academic, industry, nonprofit, policy, and education roles within their careers and will be able to refer to this experience in making a direct impact in the future of sustainability in polymer research and innovation. 

Topics will encompass the practical applications of sustainable products and solutions in our current economy and society, technical challenges in a circular economy for polymers (packaging, composting, recycling, depolymerization), and incorporate industry, local government, NGO, and academic perspectives of sustainable polymers. 

The goals of this Beyond the Classroom PELICANS program are to: 

  1. Supplement traditional academic training for researchers at the intersection of sustainability and polymer science
  2. Increase exposure to current research in industry, research in academia, current challenges in the plastics production and waste ecosystem, and innovation in practice
  3. Appreciate the interdisciplinary nature of research focused on sustainable plastics
  4. Equip participants with systems level thinking about the entire plastics ecosystem in different global regions to drive change in their future careers

PELICANS is a partnership between: CSIRO, NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), National Science Foundation, Monash University, University of New South Wales, and University of Minnesota. This program will take place from January 28 to February 9, 2024.


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