University of Wollongong alumni, Kaitlyn Bell (Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honours), has been named the winner of the Student Water Prize as part of the 2017 Ozwater’17 Gala Dinner and Awards Night.

Held in the Grand Ballroom of Sydney’s newly minted International Convention Centre, and sponsored by TRILITY and ANZ, the gala dinner and awards ceremony brought together top minds across the industry, from engineering to governance, research, academia, utilities and more. The Ozwater Awards celebrate the outstanding contributions and achievements of the of finalists and winners and also provides a chance for this growing and changing industry to highlight innovation and best practice among its ranks.

The Student Water Prize awarded to Bell recognises excellence in water-related studies and research. Her thesis, which she tested at Shoalhaven Water, focused on the development of a performance measuring device for improved monitoring of sewer pump stations.

Managing Director of TRILITY, Francois Gouws, addressed the more than 900 people in attendance, saying that this year’s nominees showcased the talent and capabilities of the industry to solve national and global challenges.

“I’m glad to see the water industry taking the lead to solve some of our biggest issues, and there is evidence of this throughout the entire conference,” he said.

Awards nominees came from all states and territories, and included projects at the organisational level down to individuals.

Up first was the Research Innovation Award for projects that encourage novel approaches to water resources management. The University of Queensland took home the top spot for their work on nitrogen removal from wastewater while maximising resource recovery potential.

Sydney Water’s clever customer education campaign “Keep Wipes out of Pipes” netted the utility the Program Innovation Award, which recognises innovative environmental and sustainability programs. This was another feather in their cap, as the campaign was recently honoured with several other international and national awards as well.

This was followed by the Infrastructure Project Innovation Award. The collaboration between Power and Water Corporation, SUEZ and Goodline will take this award back to the Northern Territory for their work on the Adelaide River Water Treatment Plant.

The Water Industry Safety Excellence Award wrapped up the organisational awards. This category recognises active involvement in injury prevention and safety improvement. Water Corporation from Western Australia took the top spot for their adaptation of crawler technology.

The winner of Best Water e-Journal Paper 2016 (in honour of Guy Parker) was awarded to N Taylor, D Kent, K Woodbury, M Lewis, and S Muralitharan for their paper Green Square: Protecting Communities and Enabling Urban Renewal Through Effective Flood Risk Management.

Moving on to the individual awards, the Australian Stockholm Junior Water Prize went to Macinley Butson from the Illawarra Grammar School for her ‘solar system’ water filtration device. An honourable mention was given to Briannan Rider from St Columba Anglican School.

Finally, the creme de la creme were revealed as the Young Water Professional of the Year and Water Professional of the Year took to the stage.

Cail Rayment, a demand management officer from Power and Water Corporation, was honoured for his work on water-saving measures in remote communities in the Northern Territory.

And the award for Water Professional of the Year went to Professor Craig Simmons, director of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training. He is credited with elevating the profile of groundwater management here and abroad.


Article originally published by the Australian Water Association on 18 May 2017.