Murdoch announces new Chair of Desalination and Water Treatment

December 1, 2014

Murdoch University’s School of Engineering and Information Technology has appointed an internationally recognised desalination expert who will boost research activity at the National Centre for Excellence in Desalination Australia (NCEDA).

Professor Wendell Ela, who is currently the Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of Arizona, will take up the post of Professor of Desalination and Water Treatment in January 2015.

Professor Ela’s teaching and research focuses on water quality management in particular heavy metals release and removal, organics characterisations and fate in natural and engineering systems, integration of renewable energy into water treatment processes and development and analysis of innovative purification systems for water contaminants.

Professor Ela said he his new position will be integral to desalination and water purification research and technology development.

“The longer I am involved in this arena, the more I see the challenges facing water supply internationally, the more I am convinced that there is a tremendous opportunity now to integrate and better focus our efforts as well as to break exciting new ground,” Professor Ela said.

“This spans the whole spectrum from the most to the least developed countries and the need is urgent.”

Dean of the School of Engineering and Information Technology, Professor Bogdan Dlugogorski said he was pleased to welcome such an accomplished academic and that his appointment would strengthen Murdoch’s reputation as a research intensive University.

“Earlier this year, Professor Ela was the Fulbright Professor of Civil and Water Engineering at the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe,” Professor Dlugogorski said.

“During this time he prepared a proposal to establish a graduate environmental engineering program with a Sub-Saharan Africa regional water emphasis.

“Professor Ela is widely published and is co-author of one of the top three most widely used textbooks in environmental engineering: Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Science.”

“He is highly regarded and routinely serves on expert panels, advisory boards, and review panels”

Professor Ela has been a member of Chemical and Environmental Engineering academic staff at The University of Arizona since earning his doctorate from Stanford University in 1998.

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