Sinead Keaveney

Marsfield, New South Wales

Chemist, research scientist

This Macquarie University researcher is determined to find more sustainable ways to produce the fine chemicals we rely on every day. Most chemicals used in pharmaceuticals and agriculture are produced using rare metal catalysts. Yet extracting these metals comes at a high environmental cost – causing soil erosion, loss of biodiversity and air and water contamination. Sinead is interested in sustainable chemical synthesis, using abundant iron and nickel as catalysts – in particular iron, as it is readily available in Australia. Sinead made a significant breakthrough using nickel for one of the most challenging catalytic transformations known. Her vision is to kickstart an Australian complex chemical synthesis industry with economic and environmental benefits.