Scientia Scholarship at WRL

Prestigious Scientia PhD Scholarship at UNSW Water Research Laboratory now available in project “An innovative fishway to restore migration for freshwater fish

The Scientia Scholarship program is a prestigious program attracting PhD scholars of exceptional quality to work on selected cutting edge research projects. The stipend is A$40K per year with a further A$10K per year available for career development and international collaborations. The tuition fees are also covered for international applicants.

In a cross-disciplinary project, the supervisor team of WRL’s Dr Stefan Felder, Adjunct A/Prof William Peirson and Prof Richard Kingsford from UNSW’s Faculty of Science have combined their expertise to progress an innovative fishway to restore migration for freshwater fish.

Fish are the most threatened of freshwater vertebrates. Internationally, fish populations have declined 76% over the past 40 years. A primary contributor to this loss are dams obstructing migrations critical to many fish life-cycles. UNSW scientists and engineers have developed an innovative fishway to restore migrations over high dams. The project builds on successful fish attraction trials as well as numerical and physical modelling. The study will move to larger scale, optimising fishway design by large-scale experiments with live fish. The objective is a final design to restore fish passage to previously obstructed river systems internationally.

Due to its interdisciplinarity, the project is open for HDR candidates from a range of disciplines within Science and Engineering. While it will be beneficial that the HDR candidate has some understanding and background of either ecology or applied fluid mechanics, the diverse expertise of the project team will ensure that the HDR will receive adequate training in a range of areas relevant to the project. The project will be mostly experimental and the HDR will be based at the UNSW Water Research Laboratory. The HDR candidate would need to be self-driven, motivated and willing to learn new project-related knowledge from both engineering and ecology.

The deadline for prospective applicants to express their interest on this research project is 20 July 2018.

Further information and the expression of interest link are available online.

Application of Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR2016) in Urban Areas Workshop

The ARR Urban Book workshop with the editors is now live for registration.

1:00pm – 5:00pm, Monday 7 May 2018
Engineers Australia, Level 31, 600 Bourke St, Melbourne, Victoria

This is an optional pre-conference workshop as part of the Climate Adaptation Conference taking place in Melbourne from 8-10 May 2018.  Special pricing has been arranged for delegates and EA Members:

  • $200 EA members and/or delegates
  • $250 All others

This afternoon workshop will be presented by the editors and authors of Book 9 of ARR and will cover the philosophy and application of ARR in Urban catchments. The workshop will provide an overview of ARR and its application in urban areas. This workshop will include practical application via examples, open discussion and answers to questions. Importantly, this workshop is an opportunity for practitioners and ARR editors to discuss the objectives, the application and challenges of the new ARR Urban Book as part of completing the Book.

A printable PDF flyer is available for download.

Official ARR 2016 Training Announced

In conjunction with Engineers Education Australia the Water Panel is promoting the upcoming two-day ARR training events that are occurring in Sydney on 21/22 May 2018.  Places are limited, and this is a paid event run by EEA, so check out the summary here but otherwise jump over to their site for full details.

Urban Flooding Image
Urban Flooding

Day One – Introduction and Update
Suitable for all professionals working within the water industry, Day One will deliver an overview of the ARR guidelines and tools, as well as the updates to best practice as detailed in the 2016 edition.

Day Two – Advanced Application
Designed for hydrologists and engineers working within water related fields, this workshop will detail how to practically apply the tools, techniques and software in ARR 2016.

Participants have the option to attend either Day One or Day Two, or the full workshop. Contact EEA to register for a single day.

A printable PDF flyer is also available for download.

Pumped Hydro Videos and PowerPoints

The Water Panel is excited to announce that we have launched our own YouTube channel with the inaugural content being the Pumped Hydro presentations from Andrew Blakers and Nick West.  Please head over, check out the content and subscribe to receive updates.

Nick West Presenting
Nick West Presenting

Also, in conjunction, the presenters have kindly allowed us to post PDFs of their presentation:

The YouTube channel is new and if you have feedback we’d love to hear it.  Please contact Peter Brady with comments and suggestions.

HWRS 2018 Call For Abstracts

HWRS 2018 Logo

Abstracts are invited for Engineers Australia’s Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium (HWRS 2018). The theme of the Symposium is “Water and Communities”.

If you wish to submit an abstract for consideration by the Technical Committee, you must also intend to register for the Symposium. Online submission is the only method of receipt of abstracts.

The deadline for abstract submission is Friday 20 April 2018.

Full details at:


Great Turnout for the Pumped Hydro Talk

Thanks to Professor Andrew Blakers and Nick West for a great talk last night. Also a big thank you to the nearly 100 people that came along to enjoy, what I at least found to be, two really interesting talks.

Audience photo
Audience photo
Ian Rowbottom MC introduces the evening
Ian Rowbottom MC introduces the evening
Professor Blakers Presenting
Professor Blakers Presenting
Nick West Presenting
Nick West Presenting

Pumped Hydro – what is it, why we need it, and the potential barriers


The expansion of variable energy generation (i.e. solar and wind) will require large scale storage to balance periods of low energy production. The potential to utilise pumped hydroelectric storage (pumped hydro) to provide the necessary load balancing storage is growing within Australia.

Work at ANU has identified 22,000 potential pumped hydro sites in Australia, and has shown that the pathway to 100% renewable electricity will cost less than a fossil fuel alternative.

While pumped hydro is a proven technology for storing large-scale clean energy (accounting for 96% of the worlds energy storage) there are few examples in Australia. The potential barriers to developing pumped hydro projects in Australia, such as engineering features, identification of potential sites and environmental considerations, will be discussed based on two case studies; the Kidston project in Queensland and the “Battery of the Nation” initiative.


Professor Andrew Blakers is Professor of Engineering at the Australian National University. His research interests are in the areas of solar photovoltaic energy and sustainable energy policy. He has extensive experience with basic and applied research, and led the team that developed PERC solar cell technology, which currently has approximately one quarter of the worldwide solar market. He is engaged in detailed analysis of energy systems with high (50-100%) penetration by wind and photovoltaics with support from pumped hydro energy storage.

Nick West is a civil engineer at Entura, working primarily in the fields of hydraulics and hydropower. Nick’s skills range from the technical analysis of the layout of hydropower projects to the preparation of contractual project documents and computational hydraulic modelling. Nick was a key team member of the Kidston Pumped Storage Project Technical Feasibility Study and was involved throughout the development and construction of the Neusberg Hydroelectric Project in South Africa. Nick is currently the project manager of the pumped hydro studies under Hydro Tasmania’s “Battery of the Nation” initiative.


Tuesday 20 March 2018

Registration/Networking: 5.30pm
Formal start: 6.00pm

PSA House
Level 10, 160 Clarence Street

Eligible for 2.0 CPD hours

Register at:
Members & Students free
Non-members $30

We have a printable flyer you can download.

A Week to Go For Urban Runoff Presentation and Places are Filling

There is only a week to go for the Urban Runoff presentation to be held a the Sydney Water offices, Parramatta on 23rd Feb, and places are filling fast.  A few days ago we had over 80 registrations.  Full details are available on our previous post but please remember to pre-register as we need to help with the security arrangements at Sydney Water.

Abstract Extension for Climate Adaptation Conference To Feb 9

CA2018 Logo

Climate Adaptation 2018 is the major Australian forum focused exclusively on climate impacts and adaptation. In 2018, NCCARF are partnering with Engineer’s Australia to incorporate Practical Responses to Climate Change and build a bigger, broader program.

Attendees have the opportunity to make oral presentations and posters, as well as to take part in workshops, exhibits, plenary sessions and panel sessions. The day prior to the conference will be a free workshop for early career professionals registered for the conference.

Abstract submission have been extended and must be submitted by midnight 9th February 2018. You can visit the conference website at to submit an abstract or register.

The conference organisers are also looking to feature a selection of videos or animations around climate change and adaptation. Expressions of interest should be sent to by 28th February along with:

  • Video title
  • Short description of video (e.g. intended audience, how made etc.)
  • Sector (e.g. government, community, industry etc.)
  • A link to where we can view the video

Standard Rego Closes Tomorrow (30th January) for WSUD and Hydropolis 2018

Conference Welcome Address: The HON Dave KELLY BA MLA, Minister for Water; Fisheries; Forestry; Innovation and ICT; Science will open the conference

Keynote speakers:

  • Mark Fletcher, Global Water Leader, ARUP
  • Kaia Hodge, Manager City Futures, Sydney Water
  • Jim Singleton, Strategic Planning & Environment, City of Wanneroo

Site Tour: As part of the Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD 2018) & Hydropolis 2018 conference there will be a site tour to Watercorp’s Groundwater Replenishment Plant and Rosehill Waters South Guildford on Monday 12 February 2018 in the afternoon. The site tour is included in the cost of a full conference registration

Workshop session: In addition to the site tour on Monday 12 February 2018 there will be a half day workshop session on ARR16 Urban catchments hosted by Innovyze. Register your interest on the WSUD 2018 website.

Conference Dinner and Awards: The Conference Dinner and Awards will take place on Wednesday 14 February 2018 at Crown Towers from 6.30pm. As part of the conference dinner, we will be announcing the Stormwater WA Awards for Excellence and the Engineers Australia Hall of Fame. Tickets can be purchased for the dinner alone if you are not attending the conference.

Registration: Standard registration ends on 30 January – register now! After this date a late registration fee applies.


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