Advanced Water Management Centre

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The Urban Water Engineering field of study provides engineers with the integrated knowledge and skills required to grasp the whole urban water cycle and the linkages between its different aspects. Graduates will be equipped with the skills to design, optimise and manage the urban water infrastructure in the cities of the future.

Urban water systems are being challenged by the exponential global population growth, particularly in urban areas, and increasingly frequent extreme weather events. Rising water and wastewater flows, water scarcity and increasingly stricter water discharge limits impose an extremely high pressure on engineers to design, upgrade and manage effective sewer networks, and water and wastewater treatment processes. This Masters program provides all the necessary technical knowledge and skills, together with broader professional development, to address the complex and interdisciplinary challenges of urban water systems.

The program associates courses focused on leadership/process management to highly specialised technical courses in the field. The latter include classical and advanced methodologies for sewer, water and wastewater treatment processes, as well as an integrated management vision, and advanced electives in modelling, control and emerging issues in urban water.

For more information on admission criteria, program details, fees, and commencement dates see the Master of Engineering program page.

Indicative Study Plan

 

Year 1

Semester 1
 

Engineering Innovation and Leadership

Advanced Unit Operations in Water Management

Advanced Wastewater and Biosolids Treatment

Wastewater Modelling and Control

Semester 2

Professional Engineering and the Business Enviro: Global Practice

Impact and Risk in the Process Industries

Drinking Water Supply: Source, Treatment and Distribution

Urban Hydrology

 

Year 2

Semester 1


Engineering Project

Sewer Networks – Design, Operation and Maintenance

Emerging Issues in the Urban Water Cycle and Public Health

Semester 2

Integrated Urban Water Management

Sustainable Resources Engineering

This study plan is an example of the selection of courses you could choose, for a full course list go to the Course list for the Urban Water Engineering Field of Study.

Advanced Unit Operations in Water Management

There is a diverse range of process equipment and a diverse range of process configurations used in the management of water and wastewater. “Unit Operations in Urban Water Engineering” deals with the design, selection and operation of process equipment or process plants used in urban water. In water management, equipment can be combined to make a "unit" in a process with a clearly defined function. The most important and basic unit operations within processes in the Urban Water systems  (transport, primary treatment, biological treatment, sludge stabilisation, disinfection) are governed by the fundamental laws of mathematics, physics, chemistry, thermodynamics and mechanics, which provide an approximate description of the real processes. The 'Unit Operations' concept allows for the analysis of unit operations in terms of fundamental principles such as mass and energy balances, phase equilibria, biology; and transport of momentum, energy and mass. This course examines a systematic way for selection and detailed design of process equipment.

Lecturer: Dr Paul Jensen

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Drinking Water Supply: Source, Treatment and Distribution

This course covers engineering principles and practices associated with drinking and potable reuse water treatment, and their application and impacts in the context of water supply.

Key topics include:

  • Conventional (i.e., surface water and groundwater) and alternative (i.e., desalination and treated wastewater) water supplies: introduction to strategic planning
  • Drinking and recycled water treatment: theory, design and troubleshooting of conventional and advanced treatments
  • Distribution system: design and operation
  • Managing risk and drinking water quality.

Lecturers: Dr Marie-Laure Pype, Dr Katrin Doederer

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Advanced Wastewater and Biosolids Treatment

Wastewater treatment uses a number of interacting physical, chemical, and biological processes to remove contaminants from a treated waste stream. This course covers the key scientific and engineering fundamentals that underpin all stages of wastewater treatment, from primary treatment through advanced tertiary treatment, odour control, disinfection, and biosolid management.

The skills from this course are foundational and essential for a successful career in the Urban Water sector, and the remainder of the ME (Urban Water Eng) program.

Lecturers: A/Prof Stefano Freguia, Prof Jurg Keller, Dr Bernardino Virdis

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Integrated Urban Water Management

In this unit, students will learn advanced water engineering knowledge developed based on the recent research work, and apply it for water sensitive urban design (WSUD) through integrated urban water management (IUWM) approach. It will ‘open’ the modern city’s ‘black box’ and reveal the water and pollutant flows and inventories, as well as the interactions between different parts of the water cycle. Another focus of this course is to provide an overview of urban water system in various scenarios, including centralised, decentralised and hybrid system design in greenfield and existing developments in different regions and countries. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to use IUWM approach for WSUD covering primarily engineering design aspects, and use their knowledge to contribute to the planning guidelines, policies and regulations. Group and individual projects and assignments during the course will also enhance students' communication, presentation and teamwork skills.

Lecturers: A/Prof Stefano Freguia, Dr Shihu Hu

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Sewers Network: Design, Operation and Maintenance

The focus of this course is the design, operation and management related aspects of a sewer system. The course includes different sewer structures, sewer flows and related hydraulics, design of various components of a sewer system, in-sewer biological, physical and chemical processes and critical issues related to sewer operation and management. The major components of wastewater collection system (pump stations, manholes, drop structures, pipes, sewer overflows etc.) are introduced and their hydraulic principles are discussed. The students will obtain working knowledge of the design of various components of the sewer system and in-depth understanding of hydraulic modelling of sewer pipes. The biotransformation processes in a sewer pipe are discussed along with the physical and chemical processes. The key concepts of modelling of these processes are also introduced. The course further includes major operational issues of sewer system including inflow and infiltration; sewer overflows; gaseous emissions and related odour and corrosion problems, and their management. After successful completion of the course, the students will be equipped with the understanding of the sewer system design and the key operational and management issues providing support to the engineering management of an urban water system.

Lecturers: Prof Zhiguo Yuan, Dr Keshab Sharma, Dr Guangming Jiang

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Urban Hydrology

Key concepts from introductory courses in hydrology are applied to urban environments to derive information to inform the design of water cycle infrastructure. Catchment processes including precipitation, evapotranspiration, infiltration and runoff are examined in the context of sustainable urban design. Techniques for statistical analysis of hydrologic data to support hydrologic design are introduced. Principles for the design of infrastructure to address common water quality issues for urban environments as well as water harvesting to offset potable water supply are also examined. Various modelling tools are used to explore different water sensitive design scenarios.

Lecturer: Dr Badin Gibbes

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Wastewater Modelling and Control

Process models and systems analysis are now widely used across industry to understand, engineer and control water and wastewater treatment. It is not possible to optimise wastewater treatment without process control and models have become an enabling tool. This influences traditional aspects such as sanitation and underpins emerging innovations such as resource recovery (energy, nutrients and water). Modelling and control is able to capture complex interconnectivity between technologies and local systems in an integrated manner, which provides holistic understanding and better solutions. The importance of this course is emphasized by the fact that most people in water and wastewater industries frequently use models or model outputs for decision making, and hence need to understand models and their application.

Lecturers: Dr Damien Batstone, Dr Stephan Tait

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Emerging Issues in the Urban Water Cycle and Public Health

In the management of the urban water cycle the engineer is frequently required to address challenges that threat public health and environmental quality.  Graduates will be positioned to understand the sources, occurrence, fate, and health effects of emerging contaminations in environmental settings (in particular in the water cycle). The course will focus on various emerging challenges for public health and environmental quality, as well as current solutions in development worldwide. Emerging issues covered include: 1) antibiotic resistance genes and antibiotic resistant bacteria; 2) Legionella pneumophila in water supply systems and Legionnaires’ disease; 3) nanoparticles ecotoxicity; 4) micro-plastics; 5) pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs);  and 6) other synthetic compounds, e.g.water contamination from firefighting foams. Upon successfully completing this course, the students will be capable of critically evaluate alternative technologies for treatment of individual emerging issues.

Lecturers: Dr Jianghua Guo, Dr Phil Bond, Dr Gilda Carvalho

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