The work of SMART researchers is attracting attention not only from institutions within the country, but from top-ranked universities overseas.
One example of the widening SMART network was a memorandum of understanding signed last month between a water quality/infrastructure expert Associate Professor Faisal Hai and the University of Tokyo.
Based at the School of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering, Associate Professor Faisal Hai is the director of the Strategic Water Infrastructure Laboratory (SWIL). SWIL has conducted collaborative research with SMART for some years now.
His agreement with the University of Tokyo – where Professor Hai has spent a part of his ongoing sabbatical – opens the way for reciprocal visits, shared publications, joint grant applications, both nationally and internationally.
(Anticlockwise from front, right) Professor Hai (SWIL, SMART, UOW) along with Professors Moriguchi, Kurisu and Furumai (RECWET, UTokyo) at the MOU signing ceremony at UTokyo.”
The formalised relationship between SWIL and the Research Centre for Water Environment Technology (RECWET) of the University of Tokyo opens the way to formal collaboration with water quality researchers of international standing.
“The aim is to collaborate on research and grant applications,” Professor Hai said.
“It’s also a recognition from a top-flight university about the quality of our work.
“Collaboration is important because it gives the University of Wollongong a profile internationally and this is important for the World University Rankings.
“One of the critical performance indicators considered for the World University Rankings is a university’s reputation for research excellence among its peers. Thus such collaborations raise the profile of UOW.”
SWIL and SMART teams lead the ongoing ARC linkage project in collaboration with Sydney Water.
“The tie between our laboratory and SMART is likely to get stronger in the near future,” Professor Hai said.
The Strategic Water Infrastructure Laboratory (SWIL) has approximately 400 square metres of laboratory area, a range of high-calibre laboratory equipment and several on-going national competitive grant- and industry-funded projects. Spearheaded by Professor Hai and his team, Environmental Engineering research at UOW has established an enviable reputation of international standing.