Murdoch success at water awards

October 26, 2016

Ashwin Nayak (left) and Dr Martin Anda at the AWA WA Water Awards (Pic: Australian Water Association)

Ashwin Nayak (left) and Dr Martin Anda at the AWA WA Water Awards (Pic: Australian Water Association)

A Murdoch University academic and a graduate have won recognition in the 2016 Australian Water Association (AWA) WA Water Awards.

Environmental engineer Dr Martin Anda was named Water Professional of the Year at the ceremony for his teaching and research efforts in water sustainability and pollution control, his thought leadership in the community and industry and his input into government policy.

Murdoch graduate Ashwin Nayak was also successful in the Student Water Prize for his final year thesis project which developed a tool to support efficient outdoor water use for residents at a LandCorp Development in White Gum Valley.

The awards recognise innovation and excellence in the delivery of water projects and programs across WA and winners are entered into the National Awards, presented at the OzWater conference in Sydney in May 2017.

Dr Anda said winning the award was great recognition for the environmental engineering program at Murdoch’s School of Engineering and Information Technology.

“The design, delivery and ongoing development of environmental engineering at Murdoch is my proudest achievement, and it is wonderful to have this work recognised by my peers in the water industry,” he added.

“This program attracts smart young minds and these people are graduating from the program to find exciting careers in the water industry.”

Dr Anda began the program in 2007, steering it through accreditation with Engineers Australia. He is now supporting the development of two Masters programs in Building Services and Water Treatment and Desalination so that graduates from the course can obtain more specialised education.

“We have such high calibre students coming through the environmental engineering program that last year, all three finalists for the AWA Student Water Prize were from this program. Two of the finalists from this year’s prize came through environmental engineering.”

One of these was 2016 winner Mr Nayak, who graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering First Class Honours in September and who also sits on the Young Water Professionals Committee of the AWA.

His final year project was co-supervised by, among others, Dr Anda and Murdoch alumni and television presenter Josh Byrne, whose PhD thesis with Murdoch was recently submitted.

“The assessment process for the prize included a presentation in front of a judging panel which consisted of numerous water professionals,” said Mr Nayak, who now works as an environmental engineer for Josh Byrne & Associates, and as a research assistant for Dr Anda.

“While it was a challenging experience, it was incredibly fun and an excellent way to finish off my academic career. It was also a great opportunity to make connections and build experience as I begin my career in this industry. I encourage all my peers to put in a submission for next year’s awards as it’s a unique and satisfying ride.

“I’m looking forward to joining Martin and competing against other state winners at the OzWater conference next year.”

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