New student awards to spur on emerging leaders in organics recycling

23 May 2018

A new student award scheme to foster future leaders of the organics recycling industry has been announced at the 2018 National Organics Recycling Conference in Brisbane.

University of Queensland researcher Johannes Biala said nominations from postgraduate students at Australian or New Zealand universities would open annually on September 1 for the AORA (Australian Organics Recycling Association) Research Awards for Advancing Research, Development and Education in Organics Recycling, with the first awards  presented at next year’s AORA conference in May, 2019.

Centre for Recycling of Organic Waste and Nutrients (CROWN), said that research considered for an award could cover both urban and rural organics recycling supply chains and include urban organics, food and fibre processing residues, biosolids, animal manures and any other organic residue or matters associated with organics recycling activites.

“The AORA Research Awards will be open to postgrads across a wide range of scientific disciplines, including environmental science, sociology, economics, process and chemical engineering, and of course agriculture and horticulture,” he said.

“The awards are intended to encourage new research focused on the agronomic, economic and environmental effects of using recycled organic products for improved land management and plant production purposes.”

The Chair of AORA, Peter Wadewitz, said that prizes for winners include $1500 for an Honours project; $3000 for a Masters project; and $5000 for a PhD project, with winners also invited to present their research at the annual AORA conference.

Komptech, a leading international equipment supplier for biomass processing and composting, is sponsoring the AORA Research Awards. Christopher Malan, whose company ELB Equipment distributes Komptech machinery in Australia and New Zealand, announced the establishment of the AORA Research Awards last week.

He anticipates that this initiative will encourage students to help advance organics recycling in Australia and New Zealand, and hence place these countries at the forefront of establishing the Circular Economy for Organics.

CROWN will organise and administer the new student awards in cooperation with AORA and Komptech.

With the help of seed funding from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science CROWN was established late last year as part of the University’s School of Agriculture and Food Sciences to assist communities and industries in addressing and solving the organic waste challenges they face.

Full details about the awards will be available on the AORA ( and CROWN ( websites from 1 July, 2018.

Media: Further information, Johannes Biala,, +61 (0) 409 062613.