Individual Awards

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Student Water Prize

Aims to encourage and reward students for excellence in water-related studies and research, and provides a forum for students to display their academic excellence, innovation, and/or research findings to future employees, clients and the water industry. 

Complete the Nomination form


Open to students enrolled or recently graduated (within last twenty four months) in a university or tertiary institute within Australia whose focus is on a water industry related topic. 


Scoring is allocated based on the following criteria relevant to the nomination form, the written abstract and an oral presentation:

  • Relevance of the project, research or thesis to the water industry
  • Quality of disciplinary content
  • Innovation and originality
  • Abstract and paper presentation (oral)

Download the abstract template 

When completing the online nomination form you will be asked to answer the following.

  • Name of tertiary institution
  • Course undertaken (indicate if undergraduate/masters/PhD project)
  • Project title
  • Year project, research or thesis completed (Month, Year) 
  • List any co-contributors to your project
  • What is the relevance of your project to the water industry? (250 words)
  • What sector/s of the water industry does your research benefit? (250 words)
  • Outline key outcomes of your project. (500 words)
  • How will the outcomes of your research deliver innovation and advance the water sector? (500 words)
  • Please upload:
  • Resume
  • An abstract (max 500 words). Finalists are required to do a presentation rather than submit a full paper.  Download the abstract template 
  • Hi-resolution photos of applicant x 3
  • Please provide a short promotional blurb about the nominee, to be used should they be selected as a finalist, to promote the nominee and to be used at the awards presentation event. (50 words)

State Prize 

Nominations must be entered into the state awards, where the winner will automatically advance to the national Australian Water Awards. To be eligible for the national awards, the state winner must be available to attend and present at Ozwater’22 (10-12 May) in Brisbane. Interstate winners will be provided with flights, accommodation and registration to Ozwater'22 where they will present their papers as part of the conference program.

National Prize 

12-month membership to the Australian Water Association & YWP (Young Water Professional) Network

Winner’s paper will be published in the Water e-Journal on the Australian Water Association’s website.

2021 National Winner - Australian Student Water Prize 


An Innovative Way of Treating Wastewater and Sludge Employing a Novel Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria Genus Candidatus Nitrosoglobus
Zhiyao Wang, University of Queensland
Zhiyao is a final year Ph.D. student focusing on the development of novel processes for efficient nitrogen removal from wastewater and advanced digestion of waste activated sludge. Zhiyao’s research contributes to the sustainability of the wastewater industry by developing new technologies that significantly reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of wastewater and sludge treatment.

2021 National Student Water Prize Sponsor: Guidera O'Connor 

Previous Recipients

Amber Smith and Anthony Cox
University of Adelaide
Project title: Is the Installation of Mini Hydropower Turbines into Water Transmission System Pipelines Cost Effective? Read more


Florence Choo
University of New South Wales
Project title: Real-time Monitoring of Cyanobacteria: Validation of Fluorometers as a Tool for Optimising Treatment Processes 

Sarah Aucote 
Flinders University, South Australia
Project title: Smart Monitoring for Microbial Risk Assessment

Kaitlyn Bell  
Shoalhaven Water and the University of Wollongong, New South Wales
Project title: Development of a Performance Measuring Device for Improved Monitoring of Sewer Pump Stations


Scott Roy
University of the Sunshine Coast & SMEC Australia, Queensland
Project title: Passive Flood Barrier


Matthew Makestas, Mark Bailey, Diana Bethune and Joshua Ware
University of Adelaide
The group’s fourth year honours project explores the significance of alternative water sources, specifically stormwater and treated wastewater which are currently underutilised resources. 


Anna Wilson
Flinders University
Project title: Rapid Tools for Cryptosporidum Species Identification


Caroline Auricht, Lisa Blinco, Nina Hurr, Stefanie Tiggemann
University of Adelaide
Project title: Genetic Algorithm Optimisation of Operational Costs and Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Water Distribution Systems


Ronnie Ling, Augusta Lane, Ian Usher, Catriona Murphy
University of Adelaide  
Project Title: Optimum Use of Subsidies for Reducing Domestic Water Consumption


Chris Browne
Australian National University
Project Title: Developing Transfer: Improviong household water supply in rural Cambodia 


Samuel Cleary
University of Western Australia  
Project Title: Targeting strategic tree and perennial pasture plantings to reduce stream salinity in the Warren River Recovery Catchment. 


Alexandra Bennett
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of NSW
Project Title:  Fill in the Dams


Vinod Ramamurthy
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Curtin University of Technology, WA
Project Title: Rainwater Harvesting for Developing Countries: Gutter and Downpipe Design and Selection


Cameron Wood
School of Physics, Chemistry and Earth Science, Flinders University, SA.
Project Title: The use of seepage meters and radon 222 to quantify groundwater flux in a wetland.


Sarah Jewell, Jarrah Muller, Andrew Telfer and Matthew Thompson

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Adelaide, SA.
Project Title: Towards a Restoration Plan for a Wetland Affected by Saline Groundwater.  


Monique Retamal
Project Title: Rainwater Tanks and Greywater Reuse: Benefits & Constraints to Household Use in Sydney.