Sherien Elagroudy, born in Egypt, is an Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at Ain Shams University in Egypt and the founding director of the first Solid Waste Management Center of Excellence in the country.
She became interested in solid waste during college, when she got involved with a group that was looking to start a campus recycling program. They successfully implemented a program that diverted tons of recyclable materials from landfills to be reused. She felt great satisfaction to be able to have a tangible impact on Egypt’s economy and environment. This is what drives her passion today.
Sherien graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at Ain Shams University in Egypt. As the top graduating student that year, she was appointed a teaching assistant at Ain Shams University and then went on to earn her Masters in Science. For her PhD studies at Ryerson University, Sherien modeled the settlement of bioreactor landfills and then built a field-scale prototype of that novel landfill in Cairo. Her new bioreactor stopped methane emissions and the leaching of wastewater into Cairo’s water supply. She continued to research novel solid waste treatment systems that could mitigate the environmental impact of waste during a post-doc at Yale University.
Since her undergraduate studies, Sherien has spent more than 16 years in research and practical projects to design and implement real-world solid waste management strategies, supervising both post-graduate students and junior engineers to train the next generation of academic and industrial leaders in the field.
Consistent with Sherien’s passion to do more than just academic work, she works as a solid waste expert at Chemonics Egypt. She led the team at Chemonics in setting the solid waste management strategy for several countries.
Sherien’s work was recognized with the L’Oreal UNESCO Fellowship for Women in Science in 2013 and she was honored as a young scientist at the World Economic Forum in China in 2013. She is a fellow of the Global Young Academy as well as a steering committee member of Egypt’s Young Academy of Science.
Sherien is currently engaged in several research grants of more than $3.5 million in the fields of solid waste management, biochemical waste treatment technologies and waste to energy.
Einstein Challenge: Sherien hopes to upcycle different waste materials, i.e transform waste materials into new materials or products, towards the upper end of the innovation scale.