2018 WA Student Water Prize Presentation Evening

20 September 2018 

2018 WA Student Water Prize Presentation Evening

The Student Water Prize aims to encourage and reward students for excellence in water-related studies & research and provides a forum for students to display their academic excellence, innovation, and/or research findings to future employers, clients and the water industry.

The 2018 Student Water Prize, which has been supported by GHD for the last 15 years, was opened by WA Branch President, Rachel Evans, who spoke of the opportunity the event provides for future leaders in the water sector to transition from university into the work place. Mark Shaw, Team Leader - Digital Engineering Task Force, GHD, then welcomed the audience and presenters on behalf of GHD.

2018 saw three (3) students nominate for the WA award, all at various stages of different degrees. It was pleasing to see that all projects involved collaboration with a broad spectrum of the water industry, including water utilities, various research centres & organisations and private companies.

First up presenting was Tom Wheeler an Environmental Engineering student from Murdoch University. Tom presented on the work research he has been a part of in Indonesia, which involved field testing of solar powered reverse osmosis system to determine their feasibility in remote coastal communities. Tom was involved in many aspects of the project, from collection of data and analysis of system performance, developing options for optimising the system and working with the community ensure successful adoption of the technology.

James Pass presented a project he has undertaken as a part his Master of Chemical Engineering at Curtin University, which studied the role of algae in the removal of nutrients from wastewater. Data from three (3) Water Corporation operated wastewater ponds was used to assess the impact algae had on nutrient removal performance. James found there was significant seasonal variation in performance and that better management of algae, can result in improved treatment plant efficacy.  

Rhys Carter presented some of the major findings from his PhD project which he is undertaking at Curtin University. Rhys has been studying the chemistry of swimming pools to minimise chemical health risks, particularly those associated chemical Disinfection By-Products DBP’s. Rhys’ project is one of the first to study the water quality of newly built and filled swimming pools. This has allowed him to discover the potential for building materials to not only act as a source of organic input to swimming pools, but their potential to lead to the formation of DBP’s under conditions commonly employed in Australian pools.

We are pleased to advise Tom Wheeler won the 2018 WA Student Water Prize which was announced at the WA Water Awards Dinner on Friday 26th October. We wish Tom all the best for the national competition, the winner of which will be announced at OzWater’19


View all the photos of the event by clicking on the photo gallery below:

2018 WA Student Water Prize Presentation Evening Photo Gallery

Proudly supported by:


Branch support kindly provided by: