Australian Centre for Water
and Environmental Biotechnology

AWMC Researchers Awarded Fellowships In Time For a Happy New Year

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Two researchers from the University of Queensland’s Advanced Water Management Centre have been awarded highly competitive UQ Fellowships.

The AWMC’s Drs Bing-Jie Ni and Sergi Astals-Garcia received the good news in time for the festive season when the UQ Fellowships were announced in late December.

Dr Bing-Jie Ni, AWMC Senior Research Fellow, was awarded a Mid-Career Senior Researcher Fellowship, closely following his Foundation Research Excellence Award earlier in 2015.

His fellowship, awarded for mitigation of emissions from wastewater treatment, will establish reliable guidelines for Australia, while developing new technologies to mitigate the effects of those emissions.

“Bioaerosol emission from wastewater treatment system is creating serious health threats to plant workers as well as the surrounding population, this requires urgent attention and effective management,” said Dr Ni.

“This project will deliver the first comprehensive dataset, new fundamental knowledge and effective technology to support the identification and mitigation of these emissions from wastewater treatment.”

Dr Sergi Astals-Garcia has received an Early Career Researcher Fellowship for his proposal ‘Electrochemically assisted anaerobic digestion to overcome native acclimation thresholds of anaerobic microorganisms’.

Dr Astals-Garcia, whose research at the AWMC focuses on anaerobic digestion and bioenergy production, said the fellowship will extend the AWMC’s existing links with Australia’s agricultural industries.

“The agri-industry sector is Australia’s largest, most diverse, most globally connected economic activity,” said Dr Astals-Garcia.

Agri-businesses generate large volumes of waste that require extensive treatment, but also create opportunities to develop and apply resource recovery technologies to enhance the competitiveness and long-term sustainability of these industries.

“This sector is developing as a major research focus at the Advanced Water Management Centre and has resulted in significant impacts around sustainable technology selection and ongoing industry support.”

The University of Queensland Fellowships aim to foster development of the most promising early career researchers and retain mid-career and senior academic staff of exceptional calibre at the University.