Wastewater treatment plant

Water, resources and the environment

Sustainable solutions in water and waste management

From effective water treatment to waste transformation, our researchers are developing innovative solutions to help us achieve a truly sustainable future. 

Our research

Our experts: Professor Steven Armfield, Associate Professor Michael Kirkpatrick, Dr Nicholas Williamson

Our partners: Murray Darling Basin Authority

Our research is focused on understanding the coupled hydraulic and ecological environment in rivers and lakes.

The huge flow variability in Australian rivers for example leads to extreme flow related ecological events such as algal blooms or large-scale fish kills.

We’re investigating the fluid mechanics of these events with the goal of developing better modelling and catchment management tools. It includes:

  • understanding how low flow and strong thermal stratification contributes to agal bloom formation, increasingly common in Australia’s water ways,
  • investigating the fluid mechanics of low dissolved oxygen events that can cause mass fish kill events,
  • investigating the dynamics of turbulent mixing within rivers and lakes that are strongly modified by thermal stratification.

Our experts: Professor Yuan Chen, Professor PJ Cullen, Professor David Fletcher, Professor Andrew Harris, Professor John Kavanagh, Professor Marjorie Valix, Dr David Wang

Our research focuses on the development of safe, reliable, low-cost and ecologically sound technologies for the production of clean and potable water for industry and households from a range of sources including freshwater, seawater, stormwater and wastewater. We aim to:

  • develop radical water treatment methods through significant improvements in and redesign of individual technologies or through synergistic combination of technologies to achieve desired water quality with high efficiency and significantly reduced environmental impact
  • simultaneously recover energy and value-added materials from water resources in a way that supports current and future public and industry needs for the management of water resources and for the protection of public health
  • create sustainable solutions to water infrastructure challenges that significantly extend the life and capability of assets through the development of methods and decision tools based on condition assessment.

Our experts: Professor Ali Abbas,Professor Jun Huang,  Professor Marjorie Valix

Our research involves finding ways to creating useful materials from solid, liquid and gaseous wastes. The management of waste is perhaps one of today’s greatest challenges.

We're addressing this issue by re-evaluating the traditional production cycle towards waste minimisation, reuse, recycling and other recovery. Projects in this area include:

  • extraction of phytochemicals from wastes
  • development of carbon-based adsorbents and materials from biomass for environmental applications
  • bioleaching of e-wastes
  • biohydropyrolysis of wastes
  • re-use and reprocessing of mine wastes.