NSW Water Awards Honour Roll

2020 NSW Water Awards winners

The winners of the Australian Water Association’s New South Wales (NSW) Water Awards were announced at the Heads of Water Gala Dinner on 28 February 2020 at the Sofitel Wentworth. Congratulations to all the award finalists and winners and thank you to our generous sponsors for their support of these important industry awards.

Research Innovation Award
Innovative Sensor Suites and Intelligent Robotics for Condition Assessment of Concrete Sewers – University of Technology Sydney and Sydney Water

Sydney Water, in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney, have developed innovative sensing and robotic toolkits that advance capability for assessing the condition of concrete sewerage pipes. The technology provides crucial data, informing timely decisions to save renewal costs and prevent harm to the environment, health and economic activity.

Program Innovation Award (sponsored by Aurecon)
Recycled Water for a Greener Parkes – Parkes Shire Council

The Parkes Recycled Water Scheme provides a new, sustainable and climate resilient water supply to support a vibrant community in central western NSW. The scheme embodies innovative design and embraces a broader approach to infrastructure planning and delivery, engaging the community it supports and enhancing the local natural and urban environments.

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award
Project Gilghi: Modular Self Contained Solar WTP for Remote Indigenous Communities – Aurecon and Ampcontrol

Since installation of the first unit in early 2019, the community of Gillen Bore has had access to a continuous supply of safe drinking water. This project demonstrates a new way of delivering small-scale, deployable water treatment with integrated power systems. It lowers the cost of delivering quality water to remote communities and facilitates meaningful progress towards improving the water outcomes for all people across Australia.

Kamal Fernando Mentoring Award
Daniel Lambert, Australasia Water Leader, Arup

Daniel’s mentorship and infectious passion for the water industry has been invaluable to the career progression of a significant number of engineers within Arup and the water industry more broadly. His forward-thinking and far-reaching approach to mentoring truly sets Daniel apart as an exemplar water industry leader.

Roger Pettitt Award
Ivan Reolon

Ivan is a stalwart of the Australian water industry and has made a long and sustained contribution to AWA’s NSW Branch at both a personal and business level. He served as a member of the NSW branch committee for many years, including as vice president, and has been a great supporter of many AWA events through his voluntary efforts.

Student Water Prize
Optimisation of the Water System at Visy Paper Smithfield (VP3&6) – Alana Saliba, the University of Sydney

Alana is undertaking a combined degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Project Management at the University of Sydney. As one of twelve who received the 2019 Engineering Sydney Industry Placement Scholarship, she’s worked full time for six months at Visy Paper, completing her thesis which considerably assisted the mill in minimising their consumption of fresh water.

Young Water Professional of the Year Award (sponsored by Xylem)
Dr Tanja Rosenqvist, Lecturer – Humanitarian Engineering, RMIT

Tanja has made a substantial contribution to the water sector through her work using human-centred design approaches to improve water and wastewater conditions in low-income communities globally. She has designed innovative water and sanitation technologies for households in Asia and Africa and developed practical tools for increasing the voice of marginalised communities in water governance broadly.

Highly Commended
Jocelyn Ellero, Engineer – Water Resources, SMEC

Water Professional of the Year Award (sponsored by Veolia)
Grant Leslie, General Manager, Balmoral Group Australia

Grant has been a significant contributor to the water sector over the past 30 years with an eclectic career, ranging from sampling trade waste, to policy development, to the economics of water, and many things in between.  During his time at WSAA, Grant was a key driver of change in the education of water industry operators, which is still in affect more than 10 years later. In his current role, Grant provides innovative approaches to the economics of water with one of his recent projects being the first cost benefit analysis that had been carried out on a dam project in the history of WaterNSW. 

2019 NSW Water Awards Winners

Program Innovation Award
Energy Master Plan – Sydney Water

The Energy Master Plan Program provides the long-term vision and direction for delivering customer-focused energy management and fit-for-purpose assets. It balances risk, cost and performance to maximise value for Sydney Water’s customers for generations to come.

Research Innovation Award
R2T2 Rapid Response Robot – For the Non-Destructive Inspection and Assessment of Critical Water Mains – University of Technology Sydney and Sydney Water

R2T2 is a world-first end to end robotic solution to address a global issue by preventing multiple pipe failures in the same geographic area. This new technology gives Sydney Water the ability to quickly assess pipe quality at the point of failure to prevent future breaks and reduce costs.

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award
Green Square Stormwater Drainage Project – City of Sydney and Sydney Water

To ensure liveability and accessibility for its thriving future communities, a new 2.4 km stormwater drainage system was built in partnership by Sydney Water and the City of Sydney. The project is a showcase of the way urban water resources should be utilised and managed in an uncertain environment where climate change plays an increasing role in efficient management of this most precious resource.

Student Water Prize
Real-time Monitoring of Cyanobacteria: Validation of Fluorometers as a Tool for Optimising Treatment Processes – Florence Choo, University of New South Wales

Florence is a final year engineering PhD student at UNSW and was a visiting research student at SA Water. Florence is the recipient of the Water RA Nancy Millis Scholarship award and the UNSW Women in Engineering Award. Her work focuses on monitoring cyanobacteria in real-time for drinking water processes.

Young Water Professional of the Year Award (sponsored by Monadelphous)
Dr Yulia Shutova, Professional Water Engineer, AECOM

Yulia has over 10 years’ experience in water and wastewater infrastructure planning and design. Yulia’s passion for the water industry is evident through her leadership of fundraisers, her active involvement as an AWA committee member and her knowledge sharing with future water professionals. She is also an accomplished researcher and has published a dissertation and over 10 journal and conference articles in collaboration with water utilities, research organisations and universities.

Highly Commended:
Ronica Koey, Communication and Engagement Advisor, Sydney Water

Ronica is a true advocate of the water sector, a born innovator and a natural leader. Ronica has not only contributed professionally by promoting, protecting and engaging the sector, but her passion and drive to make a difference at Sydney Water and beyond is infectious.

Water Professional of the Year Award
(sponsored by TRILITY)
Kevin Young, Managing Director, Sydney Water

Over his 38-year career in the water industry, Kevin has become a truly accomplished industry leader. Most notably he has successfully led Sydney Water’s transformation from an asset-focused utility to being customer-centric which has seen the utility’s reputation amongst its customers reach an all-time high. 

Kevin champions many programs and projects within Sydney Water, including the Keep Wipes out of Pipes campaign which became an international phenomenon. He is currently the Chair of the WSAA Utility Excellence Committee and a Director of WaterAid Australia.

Highly Commended:
Kurt Dahl, Managing Director, Permeate Partners

With over 20 years’ experience, Kurt is a long-term advocate of local water solutions, with a suite of award-winning projects embedding water awareness into the community. Kurt’s contribution to the water sector is exceptional, extending well beyond the market-leading innovation his own business offers. 

Kurt is an exceedingly generous person, persistently contributing leadership and vision, as well as a great deal of action (time, money and knowledge) to charities, industry forums and ongoing development and growth of the local water sector.

2018 NSW Award Winners

The winners of the 2018 NSW Water Awards were announced on Friday, 9 March at the NSW Heads of Water Gala Dinner and Awards.

Program Innovation Award
System Blueprints Program – Sydney Water, AAJV: AECOM-Aurecon Joint Venture, and ENSureJV: GHD-Jacobs Joint Venture

Research Innovation Award
Success in Data Analytics – Sydney Water and Data61 Collaboration – Data61, CSIRO and Sydney Water

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award
Googong Township Integrated Water Cycle – Stantec

Highly Commended:
Parkes Integrated Water Infrastructure Renewal Project – Parkes Shire Council

Student Water Prize
Robust Sensor Technologies Combined with Smart Predictive Analytics for Modelling Concrete Corrosion in Sewers – Karthick Thiyagarajan, University of Technology Sydney

Kamal Fernando Mentoring Award
Saravanamuth Vigneswaran, Director, Centre for Technologies in Water and Wastewater, The University of Technology Sydney

Young Water Professional of the Year Award (sponsored by Monadelphous)
Casey Magee, Senior Process Engineer, GHD

Water Professional of the Year Award (sponsored by TRILITY)
Daniel Lambert, Australasia Water Leader, Arup

For more information about the winners and their winning projects, see the below media release.

Download PDF New South Wales Water Award winners announced

NSW Water Award Winners


2017 NSW Award Winners


The winners of the 2017 NSW Water Awards were announced on Friday 10 March at the NSW Heads of Water Gala Dinner and Awards.
Click here for event photo album

Water Professional of the Year (Sponsored by TRILITY)
Carmel Krogh, Director Shoalhaven Water
Carmel has been a leader in the Water Industry throughout her career. From when she was the first female engineer to graduate from UTS to her leadership as Director of Shoalhaven Water and as a Director of the Australian Water Association. What makes Carmel so effective, is how well she connects with a broad range of people, from employees on the tools through to Chairs of Boards, from individual customers through to Regulators, which she has to manage and influence on a day to day basis. Carmel’s natural ability to engage, has contributed significantly to her many professional successes.

Young Water Professional of the Year Award  (Sponsored by Monadelphous Engineering) 
Shona Fitzgerald, Engineer, Sydney Water
Shona exemplifies the motivated, community-minded, young water professional, with the outcomes of her work always focused on developing human-centred solutions. She has shared knowledge through published work in national and international journals, has presented at conferences across the country and has authored a book chapter for the United Nations University Institute for Water Environment and Health. Her work has introduced more effective ways of improving the environmental performance of wastewater treatment plants and of planning water and wastewater services. Shona’s personal investment in her own growth and development ensures that the impact she makes to the water industry will only grow over time.

Student Water Prize (formerly Undergraduate Water Prize)
Kaitlyn Bell, Shoalhaven Water and the University of Wollongong  - Development of a Performance Measuring Device for Improved Monitoring of Sewer Pump Stations
Kaitlyn’s thesis, addresses the requirement for an accurate and reliable method to measure the operational performance of sewer pumps. Her project delivers a new, revolutionary, mobile method which has significantly changed the accuracy of testing. This device has the potential to significantly reduce operational costs, decrease expensive reactive maintenance, and educate staff on the operation of Sewer Pump Stations in the network.

Infrastructure Project Innovation Award Yamba Sewerage Augmentation - Clarence Valley Council, Public Works Advisory and DPI Water The Yamba Sewerage Augmentation provides treatment capacity for ultimate development, maximises beneficial reuse of recycled water while minimising environmental impacts.  Innovations in community engagement and construction procurement enabled the $43.3 million project to be completed 14% below pre-tender estimate while addressing significant environmental, construction and engineering challenges. Program Innovation Award 
Keep wipes out of the pipes - Sydney Water
Sydney Water’s innovative communications and behaviour change program, ‘Keep wipes out of the Pipes’ - has significantly raised national awareness and advocacy of the many issues associated with wet wipes in the wastewater system. With minimal resources, the program's sustained publicity has broken new ground on customer and industry engagement on the issue.

Research Innovation Award
Better management of sewers – Exploiting Photonics Sensors Research through to its Introduction to the Water Industry, Sydney Water, City University of London and Edinburgh Napier University
Sydney Water annually spends around $60m to $80m on the management and rehabilitation of deteriorated concrete gravity sewers and corrosion at treatment facilities. This collaborative research project has focused on the development of a new class of photonic humidity sensors with specialized, tailored coatings designed specifically to operate under highly biofouling and corrosive conditions. As a result of this successful research Sydney Water will implement these sensors in sewer locations and the findings will contribute to the future design of sewers.


NSW Kamal Fernando Mentoring Award (Sponsored by NSW Public Works Advisory) (State based award only, this award recognises the outstanding efforts of water professionals mentors)
Andrew Francis, Director Infrastructure, Parkes Shire Council
Andrew’s long-term commitment to coaching his staff, not only to undertake their own jobs but to mentor their staff, has resulted in a strong team committed to continuous improvement. As Chair of the Centroc Water Utilities Alliance, Andrew was instrumental in setting up the Training and Mentoring Workforce Resource Sharing Plan and supporting Mentoring templates. His work has resulted in professional development throughout the region and beyond – as these staff take their skills into the wider industry.

NSW Roger Pettitt Award (State-based award only & nominated by the NSW Committee, this award is made to an AWA Committee member (current or past 2 years) to recognise their distinguished contribution to the Australian water industry.)
2016 Winner: Will Strachan (Announced at the NSW Legends of Water)

2015/16 Winners

The following winners were announced on 11 March 2016 at the NSW Heads of Water & Awards Dinner
NSW Water Professional of the Year • Dr Fang Chen, Data61 
NSW Young Water Professional of the Year • Kathryn Silvester, Sydney Water 
NSW Program Innovation Award • Lake Macquarie Sports Field Improvement Program, Lake Macquarie City Council 
NSW Infrastructure Project Innovation Award • Treating high sugar wastewater – BioGill Operations Pty Ltd & Ferrero Australia
NSW Research Innovation Award • Advanced Condition Assessment and Pipe Failure Prediction Project, Sydney Water 
NSW Kamal Fernando Mentoring Award

• Rita Henderson, UNSW