In the highly competitive annual ARC grants, the Water Research Centre (WRC) has won five Discovery Project grants, totalling $1.87 million. This is a significant contribution to the overall ACR Discovery grants won by the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering which totalled $3.26 million.
The WRC projects involve innovative research in areas of, coastal engineering, hydrology, water resources, and environmental engineering. Topics include research into breaking wave effects, new strategies for flood design, mapping Australia’s water cycle, and new research into the use of nanoparticulate silver in purification of contaminated drinking waters.
Our congratulations to researchers, Dr Richard Collins,, Dr Matt McCabe, Dr Raj Mehrotra, A/Prof Bill Peirson, Prof Ashish Sharma,and Prof T David Waite.
Details of the 5 WRC Discovery Projects for Funding Commencing in 2012 are as follows:
1) DP120101701 Project Title: Transitions in wave breaking from deep to shallow water
Project Team: Banner, Prof Michael L; Peirson, Dr William L; Dias, Prof Frederic
Project Summary: The predominant impact on coastal geomorphology, marine safety and coastal structures is from breaking waves, especially from storms. This project will provide the first unified formulation of breaking wave effects from deep to shallow water, which will increase wave forecast model accuracy and hence improve coastal zone design and safety outcomes.
2) DP120104718 Project Title: Closing the water cycle using land surface modelling, remote sensing and an Australian hydrological observatory
Project Team: McCabe, Dr Matthew F; Wood, Prof Eric
Project Summary: Australians live in the driest inhabited continent on Earth. Water supply and its variability have been constant problems throughout our history. This project will use space based satellites, sophisticated ground based instruments and advanced modelling tools to provide a 21st century characterisation of our nation’s water resources.
3) DP120100338 Project Title: A new strategy for design flood estimation in a nonstationary climate
Project Team: Sharma, Prof Ashish; Mehrotra, Dr Rajeshwar; Westra, Dr Seth
Project Summary: Evidence suggests that global warming will result in an increase in the frequency and/or magnitude of heavy rainfall, leading to flooding with potentially devastating consequences. This study provides a renewed focus on design flood estimation that takes into account a changing climate where assumptions that the future climate will be similar to the past are no longer tenable.
4) DP120103234 Project Title: New perspectives on iron oxide transformations in oxic and anoxic aqueous environments: Implications for iron bioavailability and contaminant mobility
Project Team: Waite, Prof T David; Rose, A/Prof Andrew L; Collins, Dr Richard N; Waychunas, Dr Glenn
Project Summary: Transformations in the form and reactivity of iron oxides in oxic and anoxic aqueous environments are considerably more dynamic than previously thought. This project will examine the nature and extent of these transformations and elucidate their impact on supply of iron to organisms and mobility of uranium and arsenic in groundwaters.
5) DP120103222 Project Title: Reactive oxygen species generation by zerovalent silver nanoparticles; implications to toxicity and contaminant degradation
Project Team: Waite, Prof T David; Wiesner, Prof Dr Mark R
Project Summary: Nanoparticulate silver is now being used for the purification of drinking water yet many questions remain concerning its mode of purifying action. Here we investigate the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by nanoparticulate silver and examine the relationship between ROS generation and the purifying action of “nano-silver”.