Michelle Wagner is a Research Associate at the United Nations University – operating unit of Sustainable Cycles Programme (SCYCLE) hosted by Vice-Rectorate in Europe (UNU-VIE).
Michelle is currently working in the ORAMA project which focuses on optimizing data collection for primary and secondary raw materials in Member States. For the past two years, she has worked in the Prospecting Secondary Raw Materials in the Urban Mine and Mining Waste (PROSUM). PROSUM directly supported the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Raw Materials. ProSUM constructed a comprehensive inventory identifying and mapping critical raw materials (CRM) stocks and flows at national and regional levels across Europe and enable interdisciplinary collaboration, improving dissemination of knowledge and support policy dialogues.
In 2007, Michelle graduated with distinction from the Catholic University in Tegucigalpa, Honduras with a Bachelor degree of Environmental Engineer. For her thesis she evaluated the energy generation and assed the hazardousness of the sewage sludge from a UASB waste water treatment plant in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
From 2007-2009, Michelle worked as an environmental analyst for the Honduran Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources, Environment and Mines. As part of the management team of the department of Evaluation and Auditing she performed environmental feasibility assessment, elaborated terms of reference for environmental impact assessment, developed and audited environmental mitigation measures, conducted on-site project inspections for issuing environmental licenses and collaborated with other departments of the ministry (i.e. Department of climate change) in order to promote environmental policies.
In 2009, she was granted a scholarship to study a master in material science and sensor systems applied for environmental technologies at UPV, Valencia and KTH, Stockholm. As part of her master thesis in 2012, she did a thorough research on Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in order to evaluate the viability of making a new polymeric blend from WEEE material and assessed the feasibility of its reintroduction to the market as a recycled material, by using state of the art characterization methods. In 2014 Michelle worked for FLOCERT, in the department of Business Development, Climate Change Unit, where she assisted in the calculation of the company’s carbon footprint and elaborated reduction and improvement plans to decrease the company’s carbon footprint.
On her spare time she is a PhD student in Leiden University on the assessment, recovery rates and environmental criticality of Strategic Raw Materials (SRM). Beside studies, she is part of Cyber Mentor Program where she mentors kids and gets them interested in MINT courses (math, informatics, biology, technology…), in the field of science and engineering. She is also part of LAC Footprint, which is an initiative which attends potential or existing projects of the export sector of Latin America and the Caribbean by providing them with accurate information and trainings in sustainability to build capacity and networks.