Campus Talks - Partnering for Success

How did you start the sponsoring with Covestro? What is the maximum speed of the car? How did you design the car from scratch? Did you have air conditioning in the car? Why does Covestro believe bio-based materials are a viable option in the future? How is Covestro involved in sustainability?

These and many other questions were answered over the last week as Covestro Australia organised two campus talks at Monash University in Melbourne (Monday 23rd October) and the University of New South Wales in Sydney (Wednesday 25th October).

During the 70-minute panel discussions, a wide range of topics successfully brought together STEM students and Covestro customers from the coating and manufacturing industries.

Covestro Australia Partnering for Success


After an opening video highlighting the collaboration between Covestro, PPG and Sonnenwagen Aachen students, Rebecca Lee [Managing Director of Covestro Australia] was the first keynote speaker of the both campus talk. She underlined how Covestro, one of the largest global polymer companies, pushes the boundaries of what’s possible to address the challenges facing the world.

“Through the smarter use of stronger materials, projects like Solar Impulse and Sonnenwagen Aachen offer us the platform to showcase new technologies to create awareness and inspire young people studying STEM. We look forward to see how all together we will contribute to make a world a brighter place” she said.

Covestro Australia Partnering for Success

Sonnenwagen Aachen

Still energized by their journey and achievements, Sonnenwagen Aachen engineering’s students were very candid in sharing their first-hand experience and reflecting on how it changed them. They pointed out the obstacles that they faced prior to and during the race and explained how they solved and have learned from them.

Covestro Australia Partnering for Success

Conference Attendees

To complement the Campus talks, the stage was then taken by three keynote speakers who shared their visions about sustainability in materials manufacturing and innovation in sustainable mobility: Scott Mandragona Refinish Technical Manager from PPG Australia, Karen Gomez CEO of Paintback and Professor Veena Sahajwalla from SMaRT. The talks ended and proceed with a question-and-answer session where the attendees voiced their “curious” questions on the solar car and the benefit of the bio-based coating raw materials from Covestro.

Covestro Australia Partnering for Success

About PPG:

At PPG (NYSE:PPG), we work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and materials that our customers have trusted for more than 130 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, we operate and innovate in more than 70 countries and reported net sales of $14.3 billion in 2016. We serve customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. To learn more, visit

About Paintback:

Paintback is taking waste paint and packaging’s colourful past to a brighter future of responsible disposal and innovative reuse. It is a world-first initiative designed to keep unwanted paint out of landfill and away from vital waterways.

Most importantly, it is driven by the industry – by the major companies that produce around 95% of all the architectural and decorative (A&D) paint sold in Australia, including 30 leading brands. DuluxGroup, PPG Industries, Valspar, Haymes and Resene are the founding members.

Since launching in 2016, more than 5 million kilograms of unwanted paint and packaging has been collected. There are over 75 dedicated collection sites spread across all State and Territories, with new ones opening all the time.

Paintback also repurposes valuable materials into recycled packaging, alternative energy and water resources in industrial processes, and it is funding research to find better uses for unwanted paint. For more information, go to


The Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT), part of UNSW, led by ARC Laureate Professor Veena Sahajwalla, has pioneered high temperature transformations of a range of problematic, complex and growing global waste streams, into valuable ‘green’ materials and inputs for reuse in industrial processes, and the invention of microfactories. To date the SMaRT centre has fostered productive collaborations with a range of industries, global research partners, governments on individual projects, effectively bridging the gap between discovery and application to solve the world’s biggest waste challenges.

The core aims of the SMaRT Centre are to develop novel research for sustainable materials and manufacturing processes, build industry partnerships to activate research for real world impact, and to disseminate green materials and manufacturing technologies that benefit industries, local communities, and enhance sustainable economic growth internationally.