The Molex Frederick A Krehbiel II Medal Award Ceremony was held at the University of Limerick on Thursday, 26th August 2010. The individual selected on this occasion as the Frederick A Krehbiel II medal recipient was a very worthy recipient, Dr. Lisa O’Donoghue, a native of Limerick and a 2006 Ph.D. graduate from the University of Limerick. Lisa was awarded the medal for her research on an innovative technology for recycling LCD displays, a very important topic in today’s current climate. For 2009, the predicted global sales for LCD displays was $64 billion (146 million units). It is clear from this that there is an increasing LCD waste stream on the horizon. In Europe, waste LCD displays are subject to the WEEE Directive (2002/96/EC), which requires the reuse, recycling or recovery of waste electronic and electrical equipment. The treatment of the waste must ensure that all hazardous materials are properly contained and diverted from landfill. Currently, no automated technology exists for recycling waste LCD screens.
Older Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) TVs, which currently dominate the disposal market, can be recycled using commercially available automated recycling systems. CRT TVs are expected to peak within the next 5-10 years after which LCD TVs will become the main type of TV entering the waste stream. Currently waste LCDs are either being stockpiled at recycling facilities to be dealt at some future date or are being manually disassembled. Manual disassembly is both costly and time inefficient. As there is no optimized recycling process for LCDs currently available a significant future problem exists. It is essential that an effective recycling capability for LCD TVs is in place soon before they begin to dominate the disposal market. Lisa’s research at the University of Limerick into LCD recycling has the aim to meet this technology gap. Lisa also won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 Award for her work in this area.
Invitees at the ceremony included a number of eminent figures from Molex, including John O’Brien VP European Operations Molex Integrated Products Division and Michael Power, Group Product Manager Industrial Business Unit.