Associate Professor Abbas Mohajerani is a member of the academic staff in the discipline of Civil and Infrastructure Engineering at RMIT University. He is an expert in Geotechnical Engineering and materials and has extensive academic experience as a lecturer and researcher with many years of industrial experience.
In 2005, Dr Mohajerani began to direct some of his research energy into a new area - the problem of cigarette butt (CB) pollution. In early 2006, he carried out some feasibility studies on recycling cigarette butts in fired clay bricks and asphalt concrete and applied for an ARC (Australian Research Council) grant for recycling CBs in fired clay bricks. In 2007, as a senior supervisor, he offered this topic to a PhD student who was looking for a different topic for her study. A/Prof. Mohajerani has supervised over 30 projects on recycling CBs in different construction materials since 2005. He is currently supervising seven undergraduate capstone projects and two PhD studies on different topics relating to recycling cigarette butts. In 2016, he published a practical proposal for the recycling of CBs in fired-clay bricks, which received widespread international media coverage. In 2017, he published some of the results from his study on ‘recycling encapsulated cigarette buts in asphalt concrete’, which was also covered extensively by the international media. Dr Mohajerani aims to solve the cigarette butt pollution problem in the world through research and collaboration with industries and governments.
Furthermore, he has led research on recycling biosolids (treated wastewater sludge) in fired clay bricks since 2013. In January 2019, the publication of his paper, ‘A Proposal for Recycling the World’s Unused Stockpiles of Biosolids in Fired-Clay Bricks’, resulted in extensive media coverage, both nationally and internationally, including an interview with the New York Times. The results of this research and the publication of the proposal paper has led to the brick industry requesting biosolids from wastewater treatment industry. Dr Mohajerani believes that the significant energy savings achieved during the firing of biosolids-clay bricks, achieved through the utilisation of green energy (of the organic matter content) from biosolids, has the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of brick manufacturing, as well as reduce the demand for the excavation of large amounts of virgin soil from the earth’s crust. In addition, the utilisation of biosolids will eliminate or reduce significantly an important source of greenhouse gases from the large number of biosolids stockpiles worldwide, reducing the carbon footprint of the wastewater treatment and biosolids industries. His aim is to see all biosolids production in the world (which is about 100 million tonnes per year) utilised in brick manufacturing as a source of green energy and brick raw material through research and collaboration with industries
Dr Mohajerani believes that we are all responsible for thinking about and meaningfully and effectively doing whatever we can to urgently restore the natural sustainability to the environment.