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In memoriam: Dr Valerie Shulman

Dr. Valerie Shulman, secretary general of the European Tyre Recycling Association (ETRA), has passed away following a long battle with cancer. She was praised for being a fierce and spirited businesswoman with in-depth knowledge about tyres, both from a design point of view as well as their recycling challenges.   

Shulman represented the interests of tyre recyclers in Europe for almost 30 years. In that role, she was an advocate for saving used tyres from landfill and boosting recycling best practices. Shulman counts as a true veteran of the industry, known for voicing her opinion practically and honestly, and not shying away from discussion.

Most recently, Shulman won a lifetime achievement award in the Tyre Recycling Sector in March 2021 from the Recircle Awards Organization. She also made our annual Top 100, listed at #70. And yet, she was not one to want to claim the spotlight. Shulman was a self-described suburban, Jewish housewife. She travelled a lot for work, having lived in New Jersey, Paris, Brussels, Florida and many other places.

Shulman received her bachelors from Epsilon University at the ripe age of 20, with a fast follow of a masters from Seton Hall, her PhD from Fordham, and her post-doctorate from the University of Geneva. While working at Fordham, she was appointed as Dean and set up the Fordham University campus at Collegio Del Turabo, in Puerto Rico. She started studying tyre recycling back in 1989.

ETRA responds: ‘We are grateful to Valerie for the incredible job done along the years and remember Valerie for her drive, selflessness and many kindnesses.’ Her colleagues point out that Shulman was a contributor to the preparation and presentation of the Basel Convention guidelines on used tyres while also serving as a consultant for tyre recycling in the EU Recycling Forum. ‘She has contributed over 100 journal articles, and has authored, co-authored or contributed to a dozen books on tyre recycling, technologies and outputs.’

Dr. Valerie Shulman (centre) was a popular speaker at recycling conferences around the world.

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