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Videos From Fish Passage Posted

We’ve now posted the videos from the fish passage presentation in August. There was some audio problems but these should be manageable. PDFs of the presentation slides will be posted shortly.

Check out all three videos on our YouTube channel.

ARR2016 User Survey

This post is on behalf of a researcher at UNSW.

We would like to invite you to complete a survey on how Australian Rainfall and Runoff (2016) is being used and implemented. This research is being completed by UNSW honours research student Michele Guild and supervised by Dr Fiona Johnson. We are interested in the opportunities, barriers and limitations that are facing professional engineers in using ARR2016. If you use ARR we would appreciate you taking the survey. The consent and participant information form for the survey can be accessed via the survey directly or downloaded from

Hydraulics of Fishways

Fishways for Engineers

When: 1st August 2018, 5:30pm for 6pm
Where: PSA Auditorium (see map below)
CPD: 2 hours
RSVP: Online at EA
Cost: $0 for EA members, $30 otherwise
Printable Flyer: Available for download

This presentation will be delivered in three parts followed by a Q&A style session with all three presenters. Across the three sections of this talk we will cover:

  1. A brief overview of the biological issues surronding fishways as well as the critical need to include these structures in all water management plans and designs – particularly to be included at the early project conception stages.
  2. The high capital and maintenance costs of fishways and how smart engineering solutions based on a detailed understanding of the biological needs of different species can, and is, bringing these costs down as well as improving performance.
  3. An overview of the hydraulics classification of fishway structures including rock ramp, vertical slot, fish lock and other fishways.
  4. Presentation of recent collaborative field trials by the Department of Primary Industries and UNSW WRL and their immediate application to design standards
Fishway Design and Example Montage (©NSW Department of Primary Industris, ABC News)
Fishway Design and Example Montage (©NSW Department of Primary Industris, ABC News)


Dr Matthew Gordos, Visiting Fellow John Harris and Dr Martin Mallen-Cooper

This presentation will be delivered in three parts. Dr Gordos is the Senior Manager – Fish Passage Unit and the Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries. John Harris is a visiting professor at the University of NSW and Dr Mallen-Cooper of Fishway Consulting Services. All three presenters have unique experience of both the research and practical applications of fish ladders and hydraulics as well as their design and implementation.

Venue Map

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.

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