Sustainability Management, Carbon and Water Footprinting Course 2014

The UNSW Water Research Centre in Sydney is running a 3-day course: Sustainability Management, Carbon and Water Footprinting – be smart and benefit from business opportunities.

Many companies have recognised the importance of managing their business sustainably, and have taken action to demonstrate responsibility to their customers, stakeholders and staff by implementing sustainability strategies and reducing their carbon and water footprint. Sustainable business management has become a long-standing business approach globally and within Australia. Reducing environmental footprints makes business sense and provides real bottom-line benefits. Reliably quantifying reductions in direct or indirect carbon emissions is crucial to accessing the Emissions Reduction Fund under the Australian Government’s Direct Action Plan.

This 3-day workshop at the University of New South Wales will help organisations take a pro-active approach to the development and implementation of sustainability strategies to manage and reduce their product and corporate carbon and water footprint.

UNSW students attend Go8-C9 water forum

Two UNSW PhD students, Eytan Rocheta (Civil and Environmental Engineering) and Zenah Bradford-Hartke (Chemical Engineering) were selected to attend the third annual G08-C9 HDR Forum 2012 entitled “Water, Water Management and Global Sustainable Futures; graduate perspectives from Australia and China.” The forum, held from the 8th – 12th October at the University of Queensland’s Business School Executive Education, brought together exemplary students from the G08 and C9 Universities.

Current research within the water-related themes of social impact, climate change, planning, environmental management, technologies, and wastewater, were discussed by Australian and Chinese postgraduate students. The forum encouraged cross-disciplinary dialogue on ‘wicked’ water challenges, emphasising understanding of differing cultural, social, and economic perspectives.

Complimenting student presentations and keynote lectures were a leadership program and the opportunity to attend the Trans-Tasman 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) final. An inclusive social program completed the forum and highlighted Australian culture, through visits to the Mt Cootha Lookout, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary as well as a traditional Australian BBQ.

Eytan presented research into identifying and improving low-frequency rainfall variability in climate models through bias correction. Zenah discussed research on the feasibility and environmental consequences of recovering phosphorus from wastewater in Australia. Dr Rita Henderson, senior research associate with the Water Research Centre, presented a keynote lecture on future water challenges facing Australia.

Carbon and Water Footprinting 2012

Carbon Footprinting – the new imperative for business to improve competitiveness

A 2 day Carbon Footprinting Course will be held on Tuesday 20th – Wednesday 21st November at the University of New South Wales, Kensington, Sydney. This course will help organisations take a pro-active approach to managing their carbon footprint by providing participants with:

  • latest information on current and forthcoming challenges of addressing climate change;
  • guidance and training on measuring product and organisational carbon footprints;
  • the ability to identify opportunities and risks of carbon footprinting; and
  • a basis for developing carbon reduction management strategies.

Carbon Footprint Course information and registration form

We will also offer a Water Footprint Course on Thursday 22nd November 2012, as a complement to the carbon footprint workshop or as a specialised stand-alone workshop.

Water footprint: the next carbon footprint!

The UNSW Water Research Centre is running a 1 day workshop ‘Water Footprint – the next carbon footprint!’ on Thursday 22nd November 2012 at the University of New South Wales, Kensington, Sydney. This workshop can be taken as a complement to the carbon footprint workshop (held on the preceding two days) or as a specialised stand-alone workshop.

Download the Water Footprint Course information and registration form

This course will enable participants to take a pro-active approach to managing water footprints of products or whole corporations. The course aims to provide:

  • Understanding of key principles and features of responsible water accounting and reporting;
  • Guidance and training on measuring product and organisational water footprints through the use of real-life case studies;
  • Knowledge of where the market is going and why; and
  • Capacity to assess the implications of the water footprint for your organisation (risks and opportunities).

Peter Cullen Postgraduate Scholarship awarded to Eytan Rocheta

PhD candidate Eytan Rocheta has been awarded the 2012 Peter Cullen Postgraduate Scholarship at Parliament House by the Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson and Peter’s widow, Vicky Cullen.

The Peter Cullen Scholarship is supported by the NSW Office of Water and NSW water agencies including the Sydney Catchment Authority, State Water, Sydney Water and Hunter Water, and is worth $60,000 over three years. It honours the memory of Professor Peter Cullen, a visionary in Australian water resource management and mentor to young water scientists.

Eytan’s research focuses on one of the key challenges facing climate scientists and hydrologists, simulating climate change’s impacts on the water cycle, particularly sustained anomalies of climate extremes which cause floods and droughts. His research aims to develop a methodology to improve the simulation of persistence in rainfall through correcting global climate model bias in regional climate models.

Eytan is studying in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering under the supervision of Professor Ashish Sharma and Dr Jason Evans from the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre.
The scholarship also brings with it the opportunity to participate in the mentoring program run by the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, of which Professor Cullen was a founding member.

(L-R) Award winner Eytan Rocheta, Vicky Cullen, and the Hon. Katrina Hodgkinson, MP

Congratulations to our latest graduates

The UNSW Graduation Ceremony held was on 6 March 2012 in the Sir John Clancy Auditorium, followed by a reception at the Matthews Pavilion.

During graduation ceremony, WRC saw three students’ graduates. The WRC would like to congratulate the following students for completion of their PhD thesis: Dr Yi Liu, Dr Alexander Pui and Nor Haslina Hashim.

Yi’s thesis, supervised by Matthew McCabe, and Jason Evans from Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW, was titled “Using Satellite Based Microwave Observations to Characterize Land Surface Hydrology”

Alexander’s thesis, supervised by : Professor Ashish Sharma and Dr Raj Mehrotra, was titled “Continuous Rainfall Simulation for Design Flood Estimation in Australia”

Nor’s thesis, supervised by: Stuart Khan and Richard Stuetz was titled “Enantiospecific analysis and fate of 2-arylpropionic acids during biological wastewater treatment”.


L-R: Matthew McCabe, Yi Liu and Jason Evans


Alexander Pui

Fulbright Senior Scholarship awarded to Dr Richard Collins

Dr Richard Collins, a Senior Research Fellow with UNSW Water Research Centre, is one of only four to be awarded the prestigious Fulbright Senior Scholarship for 2012. Richard was awarded the “Fulbright Scholar in Nuclear Science and Technology” which is sponsored by ANSTO.

He will depart with his family for the US in June 2012 to spend six months at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developing his skills in computational modelling to help make uranium mining more efficient. His project aims to address a lack of knowledge in key processes in the interplay between iron and uranium in the extraction of the material.

The Fulbright Program is the largest and one of the most prestigious educational scholarship programs in the world. It operates between the United States and over 155 countries worldwide. Established in Australia in 1949 through a bi-national treaty between the Australian and U.S. Governments, the program has supported almost 4,800 scholarships.

The mission of the Australian-American Fulbright Commission is to promote mutual understanding through educational and cultural exchange between Australia and the United States. It does this primarily through the administration of Fulbright scholarships. For more inform in the program visit the fulbright website

Water Research Centre awarded 5 ACR Discovery Grants

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:

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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

Funding: $360,000.00

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.

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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

Funding: $380,000.00

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.

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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

Funding: $320,000.00

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.

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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

Funding: $450,000.00

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.

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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

Funding: $360,000.00

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”.

WRC Success in Research Funding

We congratulate UNSW Water Research Centre (WRC) staff, Dr Richard Collins, Dr Bellie Sivakumar, and Dr Shikha Garg for their success in securing Future Fellowships (FF) and Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRA).

Each year the Australian Research Council (ARC) funds research and researchers under the National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP). The NCGP comprises two main elements – Discovery and Linkage – under which the ARC funds a range of complementary schemes such as FF and DECRA, to support researchers at different stages of their careers, build Australia’s research capability, expand and enhance research networks and collaborations, and develop centres of research excellence.

The Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme is a separate element of the Discovery Program and provides more focused support for researchers, creating more opportunities for early-career researchers in both teaching and research, and research-only positions. In total 277 recipients nationally received DECRA of which UNSW received 28.

Future Fellowships were established to promote research in areas of critical national importance by giving outstanding researchers incentives to conduct their research in Australia. The aim of Future Fellowships is to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers. Nationally 203 FF were awarded of which UNSW received 15.

The details of the awards for the UNSW Water Research Centre recipients are:

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Name of Recipient: Dr Richard Collins

Awarded: Future Fellowships

Total Amount Awarded: $596,490.00 for 5 years commencing 2011

Project Title: Iron – a solution for uranium resource recovery and pollution response

Project Summary: This project aims to determine key processes controlling uranium transport and fate in natural and engineered environments. This will result in improved efficiency in extracting uranium from tailings and subsurface deposits, reduced risk of contamination of water supplies, and improved management of radioactive waste repositories.

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Name of Recipient: Dr Bellie Sivakumar

Awarded: Future Fellowships

Total Amount Awarded: $695,606.00 for 5 years commencing 2011

Project Title: Development of a generic catchment classification framework in hydrology

Project Summary: Hydrologic models play a vital role in water resource planning and management, but identification of a suitable model for a given catchment remains a basic problem. This research develops a generic framework to classify catchments into groups and sub-groups, and will offer a significantly better way for hydrologic model development and application.

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Name of Recipient: Dr Shikha Garg

Awarded: Future Fellowships

Total Amount Awarded: $375,000.00 for 3 years commencing 2012

Project Title: Interaction between silver ions, silver nanoparticles and reactive oxygen species: implication to toxicity

Project Summary: The project investigates the ability of various different (supported and stabilised) types of nanosized silver particles (SNPs) to oxidatively degrade selected contaminants and/or kill microorganism. The project also aims to determine the effect of solution condition (for example pH) and light on SNP longevity and hence their oxidative capacity.

PhD Scholarships Available

The UNSW Water research Centre has a number of PhD project with Scholarships up to $30,000 per annum.

Information about these scholarships can be found on the PhD Projects page

Invitation to attend – 2011 Water@UNSW Symposium

The WRC invites 2nd and 3rd year PhD candidates, Post-doctral researchers and project staff to submit 200 word abstracts based on all aspects of science, technology, engineering, policy and social issues relating to the use and management of water resources for protecting the aquatic and atmospheric environments.

The symposium will include a theme presentation Dr Stuart Khan on “Trace chemical contaminants in water and wastewater”.

All researchers and staff are invited to attend.
Seminar to be held on the 28 November to water@unsw.edu.au

Call for presentations – Water@UNSW – Nov 2011