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Researcher’s work with water recognised with prestigious award

The future potential of CQUniversity PhD student Adam Rose’s research into the health of the CQ region’s drinking water is looking crystal clear after he won the Student Prize at the 2017 Queensland Water Awards in Brisbane recently.

Adam’s research on health risks associated with drawing drinking water from catchments following flood events in the Gladstone Regional Council area was one of eight projects to receive awards during the gala ceremony in Brisbane on 8 September 2017.

The data Adam has collected during the project have already had positive flow-on effects by informing the designs for an appropriate drinking water treatment plant at Miriam Vale.

“It is an honour just to be recognised for my research, but it’s also good for the future of teaching because it will put our local water supplies on the map, rather than teaching students about water supplies in other parts of the world,” Adam said.

“Rocky’s water is so different to water in the Gladstone catchment and the Mackay catchment. I like to use the euphemism that it’s like comparing fine French wines.

“The water in Baffle Creek is the champagne. It’s the same as it was when Captain Cook first arrived and the data being collected from this catchment will help with research into more established catchments.”

Australian Water Association Chief Executive Jonathan McKeown said “the awards recognise the outstanding contribution of individuals and organisations in the water industry across innovation, research, infrastructure and delivery of water projects.”

“In 2017 saw a record number of award submissions across all categories from a range of water utilities, universities, research institutes and local councils. This is testament to the great work being carried out across all areas of the water sector in Queensland,” Mr McKeown said.

Adam, who also teaches Environmental Science as a casual academic at CQUniversity said the award win would spur him on to continue his research.

“I’d like to do similar research because it does have a lot of meaning. I would like to do more research into sub-tropical catchments in developing countries as well, down the track.”

“All of my research will be open to all so everyone can use it, because that’s important.”

Adam’s research supervisors Associate Professor Larelle Fabbro and Associate Professor Susan Kinnear said Adam’s win had set a benchmark for young researchers.

Assoc Prof Fabbro commented that “It is particularly good for a young PhD researcher, but it also puts CQUni’s research up there with national and international relevance and standards. This type of research saves organisations and the public substantial costs as it provides scientifically accurate data upon which management decisions can be based. It shows that at CQU we do research that is very applicable to the world we live in.”

Assoc Prof Kinnear added that “When local researchers are high achievers, it helps provide inspiration to our current undergraduate students – for them to become interested in taking up research projects on real-world problems that can create lasting impacts for our communities. “

“It’s a great recognition for the work CQUni has been doing for many years in the water space.”

The winners of Queensland awards are automatically entered into the National Australian Water Awards, which will be presented at Ozwater’18 in Brisbane in 2018.

Source: CQU

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