To mark National Science Week, South East Water is excited to announce that the Australian Research Council (ARC) has named Dr Li Gao, South East Water Research Strategist, on its list of 50 inaugural Industry Fellows nationwide.

Funded by the Australian Research Council, Dr Gao’s research into ammonium recovery in partnership with Monash University’s Monash Centre for Membrane Innovation will showcase South East Water’s commitment to drive innovation at scale, protecting the environment and delivering for customers.

Dr Gao’s focus area is ammonium recovery. This is an important priority because excess ammonium in wastewater poses a threat to the environment due to its nitrogen content. Ammonium is the second-most used chemical in the world, and it takes 2% of the world’s energy each year to produce. In the water sector, ammonium removal uses approximately 50% of treatment plant energy.

Simply put, the water industry needs to remove ammonium and industries such as the food and agricultural sector need to use it. Both processes use a great deal of energy.

The overall application success rate for the ARC program is 13.9%, indicating the competition for research funding and the relevance of Dr Gao’s research.

“I'm honoured that the ARC has chosen to invest in the work I'm doing. This research will have real-world impacts on the environment and industry, an area in which South East Water aims to inspire its people to achieve practical outcomes."
South East Water Research Strategist, Li Gao

South East Water General Manager Research, Innovation and Commercialisation, Dan Sullivan heralded Dr Gao’s fellowship as an important step towards greater industry–academia partnerships.

“Li is a rising star in the research and development space, and we’re thrilled to see his research proposal being recognised with a national research fellowship. 

Image above: South East Water Research Strategist, Li Gao.

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