Muhammad Dzikri Ahira SOEFIHARA (Indonesia)

Muhammad works on solving the electronic waste problem in Indonesia through proper recycling. His goal is to reduce the risks to the environment and human health by developing electronic waste processing management to reduce pollution and regain the materials used.

Master’s Student in Materials Science and Engineering at Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands)

Research focus: materials for sustainable development

One of the growing environmental problems is the rapid increase in hazardous electronic waste and the often completely inadequate disposal of this waste. Electronic waste contains harmful compounds that evoke environmental and health risks such as heavy metals, e.g., lead, mercury, and cadmium. This is a major problem in Muhammad’s home country of Indonesia. Electronic products that are no longer usable should be repaired or recycled to establish a cycle of the raw materials used. With his research on recycling electronic waste, Muhammad aims to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 (Sustainable consumption).

Since 2020, Muhammad has been working on his Master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering with a focus on materials for sustainable development. After completing his bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering, he has already initiated a self-funded team project with the aim of contributing to solving the electronic waste problem in Indonesia with five young scientists. Together, they have set up and developed a pilot plant in Karawang, Indonesia. They have successfully conducted several recycling experiments to recover precious metals contained in the waste. With these processes, they strive to recover the economic value of waste. They plan to transfer their current recycling project to industrial scale.

Muhammad hopes to build a network with the experts in the field of sustainability to continuously improve his skills and knowledge. He hopes that the Green Talents Award will bring him together with experts from Germany and Europe who pursue the same goal: a proper circular economy.

The jury particularly valued that Muhammad combines his practical work in setting up an electronic waste recycling pilot plant with his Master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering. He is working to develop his skills and knowledge in order to contribute to solving the electronic waste problem in Indonesia.

The research of Muhammad mainly contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals 11, 12:

Take a look at this video that briefly introduces Muhammad and his research: