Water experts


Water is one of the major challenges of the 21st Century – the security of supply, the aquatic environment, the impact of climate change and its use in industry.

Murdoch is uniquely placed to find solutions to these challenges, supporting communities by tackling issues of water security and water quality, and tackling environmental issues such as pollution, decontamination and conservation.

Our researchers are innovators, supporting industry with investigations into wastewater and solid waste processing and recycling, hydrometallurgy, the production of biofuels from algae and water use and management in energy, agriculture and mining.

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Alan Briggs

Wendell Ela

Desalination, water quality management, renewable energy integration into water treatment processes, water reuse and recycle.

Professor Wendell Ela is the Chair of Desalination and Water Treatment at the National Centre for Excellence in Desalination Australia (NCEDA).

His teaching, research and consulting focuses on water and wastewater treatment processes. Particular areas of work include desalination technology development and implementation, heavy metals release and removal, treatment and fate of contaminants of emerging concern in natural and engineering systems, decentralized and off-grid water treatment systems, and integrated water/renewable energy solutions for rural communities and agriculture.

Professor Ela is widely published with over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, is co-author of one of the most widely used textbooks in environmental engineering: Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Science, has advised more than 50 Masters and PhD students, and regularly serves on advisory and review committees for regulatory, water management, and environmental research agencies.

Alan Briggs

Neil Palmer

Desalination, water recycling, water capability

Neil Palmer is the CEO of the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia (NCEDA), a federally-funded research centre administered by Murdoch University.

He has had a long career in the Australian water industry in both Government and the private sector as well as serving in a developing country. He has a wealth of experience in development of technological and human resources to solve problems and has a passion for using his skills to grow Australia’s water research and development capability.

Mr Palmer is a member of the Institution of Engineers Australia and a Life Member of the Australian Water Association (AWA). He is a Director of the International Desalination Association, past President of the AWA South Australia Branch and was a member of AWA’s national Board for six years.
Martin Anda

Dr Martin Anda

Sustainable development, governance and environmental technology in Australian Indigenous communities

Environmental engineer Dr Martin Anda is an expert in liquid and solid waste recycling, and energy efficiency in buildings and human settlements.

He says that if only 10 per cent of Perth’s homes were eco-renovated with insulation and solar panels, the equivalent of one new coal or gas-fired power station could be saved and demand reduced on existing ones.

Dr Anda’s research through the Environmental Technology Centre and Remote Area Developments Group is linked to the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre, the Sustainable Tourism CRC, Environmental Biotechnology CRC and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.

Ralf Cord-Ruwisch

Dr Ralf Cord-Ruwisch

Wastewater and solid waste processing

Dr Ralf Cord-Ruwisch is both a hydrologist and microbiologist and has focused for more than 15 years on harnessing the power of microbes to assist with the processing of wastewater and solid waste.

His research interests have included nitrogen removal from wastewater, process modelling, microbial fuel cells for wastewater treatment, biological odour removal, thermodynamics and kinetics of reactions in aqueous systems, biofouling, microbial corrosion and methane production as a renewable energy source.

He has made significant discoveries (leading to several patents) in the role of microbes in removing contaminants from wastewater and soil and in soil solidification for the underground construction industry.

Dr Cord-Ruwisch has developed biological process simulation software to the water and mining industries and sophisticated process control technologies for the water industry.

He has also led the research into the biology of the Dicom process for conversion of municipal solid waste to energy currently being commercialised by Anaeco.

Goen Ho

Professor Goen Ho

Water recycling and sewage treatment; water conservation and accounting

Professor Goen Ho specialises in conserving and reducing water use at the household, community and industrial levels.

Most recently he implemented large-scale water saving initiatives at the BP Oil Refinery in Kwinana, and at Newmont's 5 gold mining and refining operations across Australia and New Zealand.

He also specialises in sewage recycling using subsurface irrigation of vegetation, recycling greywater from laundries, bathrooms and land developments.

He also plans to expand a water accounting tool he developed, which is currently being used by Western Australian Department of Water and the Water Corporation, nationally and internationally. The tool was created to complement new energy and carbon counting schemes.

Richard Harper

Professor Richard Harper

Sustainable water use, salinity

Professor Richard Harper is the Alcoa Chair in Sustainable Water Management at Murdoch University. His current focus is on developing land-use systems that ensure water sustainability in the Peel, a rapidly growing region in Western Australia.

His research interests revolve around improving water yields and protecting water quality through improved land management, and developing policies and land-use systems that will achieve change over large areas.

He has worked on using reforestation and carbon mitigation to overcome salinity, a major issue in inland Australia, and was recently selected as a lead author in the next IPCC Assessment Report.

David Furukawa

Professor David Furukawa

Desalination

Professor David Furukawa has more than 40 years of desalination technology experience in both public and private sectors.

He is Chairman of the Research Advisory Board, National Water Research Institute; Vice-moderator of the Research Advisory Council, Middle East Desalination Research Centre; Past-President and Director of the International Desalination Association and American Desalting Association (now AMTA), and life member of AWWA. He has more than 60 publications and is patented in the field. His company, Separation Consultants, Inc., provides technical, management and strategic business consultancy.

To reach these experts for media enquiries, contact:

Luke McManus
Media & Communications Advisor
Phone: 08 9360 2491
Mobile: 0400 297 221
l.mcmanus@murdoch.edu.au

For all other enquiries, please ring reception on 08 9360 6000.