Students active in sustainable pursuits

October 17, 2013

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PhD student Neville Ellis led a busy month for Murdoch students.

Murdoch students have been taking an active approach to sustainability over the past month, winning awards, hitting the road and even creating art to inspire others to live greener lives.

PhD student Neville Ellis competed to win a scholarship from Sustainable Population Australia (WA branch) to attend the 2013 Fenner Conference in Canberra.

Mr Ellis said the conference complemented his work looking at how climate change may be impacting the sense of place, mental health and wellbeing of farming families in the eastern part of the WA Wheatbelt.

“It was a privilege to hear so many world leaders and inspirational to see them reflect on the need for a trans-disciplinary approach to climate change, which is inherently entwined with the twin pressures of population growth and resource use,” Mr Ellis said.

Meanwhile Kim Cramer, a postgraduate certificate in Energy Studies student, was one of two WA winners in the 2013 Shell Global Energy Forum in Perth for his response to the question, ‘Where should the world get its future energy from?’

Mr Cramer advocated a five-prong approach, including better energy education in emerging economies and decoupling renewable ‘energy cells’ from major grids to improve energy security and reduce transmission loses across long power lines.

“With increasing numbers of catastrophic weather events and natural disasters around the globe, there is a need for greater energy security, which I believe can be achieved by having localised electricity supplies that aren’t reliant on the grid,” Mr Cramer said.

Mr Cramer also said people should be open to advanced or yet unknown energy sources.

This desire for real-world, translational outcomes was demonstrated by a group of Engineering and Renewable Energy students, who hit the road to visit the Greenough River Solar Farm, Walkaway (Alinta) Wind Farm and Mumbida Wind Farm.

Representatives from Verve Energy provided tours and insight, as did Murdoch’s Dr Martina Calais and Adjunct Professor Craig Carter, who worked on the projects prior to his retirement from Verve in 2012.

Finally, students from Regional and Global Sustainability have created an exhibition of creative works designed to inspire and foster pride in the University’s sustainable ethos.

'What is wrong with getting better: Moving beyond efficiency' runs from October 7 to 24 in the South Street Library. Everyone is welcome.

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