Let’s build a network of sensors monitoring environmental conditions

Over the past 50 years the Illawarra Shoalhaven had more than 30 serious floods and three extreme floods, resulting in a fatality.

Floods have devastating consequences and affect the economy, environment and local people. To help combat the issue the Federal Government awarded $478,449 to the region for the Smart Waterways project.

The project will use smart technology via the installation of sensors to gather data to monitor and provide information about the region’s waterways.

There are several project components including Smarter Schools for a Smarter Planet, which is aimed at enabling regional high school students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics gain skills in the construction and use of smart technologies to monitor water issues relevant to their school environment.

SMART researchers Johan Barthelemy, Bilal Arshad and IOT Engineer Nethra Nandagudi Venugopal recently visited Warrawong High School to engage with the students and begin building sensors.

SMART Research Fellow Johan Barthelemy with Warrawong High school students

“It is a chance for students to ‘break away from the norm’ and embrace authentic learning… learning by doing,” said Warrawong High School science teacher Marc Gunner

“For our students it can be difficult to get excited about what is taught in the classroom if they don’t understand how it is relevant and applies in the real world.”

This project is a great opportunity for our students to use smart technology and understand how it can help us improve how we look after our environment. It provides an opportunity to solve real-life issues.”

The Smart Waterways project is collaboration between Wollongong City Council, Shellharbour City Council, Kiama Municipal Council, Shoalhaven City Council, Lendlease Calderwood Valley Communities and SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong.