Murdoch Aspire Award winner uses algae to clean our water

Dr Ashiwin Vadiveloo has received the 2023 Aspire Award from Business Events Perth for his innovative research that aims to clean wastewater.

Dr Vadiveloo is one of eleven researchers who have been recognised as Western Australia’s brightest minds for his work in algal wastewater treatment. 

“The main innovation of this particular system is that it’s not only able to clean up different types of wastewater, but also at the same time we are able to produce algae biomass that can be valuable when you use it as a biofertiliser or animal feed, or even as a source of bioenergy,” he said. 

My work on this algal wastewater treatment will not only help empower local communities, especially communities in regional areas, but also help solve problems that are associated with improper wastewater that’s being released back to the environment.”Dr Ashiwin Vadiveloo, Murdoch University


Dr Vadiveloo is a postdoctoral fellow at the Algae R&D Centre and is affiliated with the School of Environmental and Conservation Science and the Harry Butler Institute. His focus has been on wastewater treatment processes, particularly those innovated by the Algae R&D Centre. 

In collaboration with colleagues from the Schools of Engineering and Energy, as well as the college of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), Dr Vadiveloo actively contributes to advancements in this field, working closely with a dedicated team of biologists and engineers from Murdoch University during his tenure as a postdoctoral fellow.

As winner of the Aspire Award 2023, Ashiwin was given the opportunity to select a global conference to attend and present his research. The trip will be funded by Business Events Perth.   

“Winning the Aspire Award means a lot to me,” Dr Vadiveloo said, “It’s a very valuable journey and award that will not only allow me to participate in a conference of my choice but gives me the opportunity to share my research work with a vast group of experts and researchers in my field of interest.” 

“It provides valuable feedback and also potentially networking would allow us to implement the technology we have developed in different parts of the world.” 

Pro Vice Chancellor of Environmental and Life Sciences at Murdoch University, Professor Jennifer Verduin said that attending conferences allows researchers to connect with other experts and network. 

“It’s great to put a face to a name because often we read some of those scientific articles beforehand and then we meet the actual researchers. 

“It’s fantastic to then actually have something to talk about when you meet them.” 

Winning an award, for a young researcher like Ashiwin, is just fantastic. It’s a promotion of his work and I think it’s great that he now gets to attend one of his favourite conferences and experience that interaction with new researchers and build on his field.” Professor Jennifer Verduin, Pro Vice Chancellor Environmental and Life Sciences at Murdoch University

Business Events Perth CEO Gareth Martin said they are honoured to support and acknowledge a group of Western Australia's upcoming leaders, showcasing the incredible talent here within a diverse range of industries.  

"Dr Ashiwin Vadiveloo's journey in developing a robust and cost-effective microalgae-based tertiary wastewater treatment and carbon capture system is helping cement Western Australia as a global leader in this industry."

We are proud to support his work and professional development as he drives further research in environmentally friendly and sustainable practices that hold immense value to the State."Gareth Martin, Business Events Perth CEO

Large-scale conferences have been held in Western Australia over the years due to the Aspire Awards success, including the 5th International Congress on Biological Invasions (ICBI2025) in which Dr Bob Du from Murdoch University, winner of the 2022 Aspire Award, played an integral role in securing for Perth. 

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Posted on:

14 Nov 2023

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