November Research News
Research Newsletter – November 2022
Welcome to our November 2022 research and innovation newsletter.
The most interesting item in this newsletter is the one you spend the most time reading. I can tell you now that it will probably be the one about the new shoes that can make you walk as fast as you can run. See if I’m wrong! 
Oh… and if you see any interesting articles, projects or news about research that others might be interested in, please send to [email protected] – it could even make the next newsletter due in December 2022.
If you’ve stumbled on this newsletter and would like to receive future editions please click this link. Or if you know someone who really needs this: forward to a friend.
Industry Innovation and Resilience
Researchers Hit their Creative Peak Early in their Careers

Researchers at the Ohio State University have shown that as researchers careers progress, they become less innovative. 


The main driver behind this seems to be that early in their careers, researchers show a wide range of innovativeness – but over time, there is a selective attrition of the people who are less innovative.


The research is more nuanced than it sounds and was conducted using 5.6 million biomedical science articles published over a 30-year period.


Read more at Science Daily

Image from Goyder web site
New Research Hub to Support the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth

The Goyder Institute for Water Research will deliver a new water Research Hub in the nationally and internationally important Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth region of South Australia.


The Commonwealth Government has announced $8 million to deliver a four-year research program through the Hub, working with First Nations, local communities, governments and scientists.


Read more at the Goyder Institute

Image from report
Green Bonds for Climate Resilience

Everything you could ever need to know about Green Bonds!


Investor demand for thematic bonds has grown across the globe as a result of the pandemic. Bonds are debt that investors can buy and sell. They’re usually issued for large sums of money where it might otherwise be difficult to find a single investor.


This is really interesting. The green bonds represent a promise to invest in green outcomes and are highly attractive to companies that are keen to show their green credentials.


Read more aht

Image from article

New Sorbent for Removing Antibiotics from Wastewater

Researchers from Russia have created a reusable and environmentally friendly sorbent for cleaning antibiotics from wastewater.


The proposed sorbent, a filter or a suspension of boron nitride nanoparticles, has a number of advantages compared to already known analogs: low production costs, simple design and ease of operation in treatment facilities.


Read more at PhysOrg

water supply and security

Image from paper on PNAS
New Flow Technology Advances Water Harvesting Technology
The University of Texas at Dallas, is working on technology to make it possible for anyone to have an affordable, portable device that could access water anywhere, anytime conceivably using no external energy.
The technology solves a key problem in water harvesting: Collected water droplets form a thermal barrier that prevents further condensation, so they need to be removed from the surface as rapidly as possible to make room for more harvesting.
Image of global sea surface temperatures from article
Study Suggests La Niña Winters Could Keep on Coming

Forecasters are predicting that the northern hemisphere will have the third winter in a row where the Pacific Ocean has been in a La Niña cycle, something that’s happened only twice before in records going back to 1950.


New research led by the University of Washington suggests that climate change is, in the short term, favouring La Niñas.


It seems complex, and it’s full of exceptions and caveats, but this is as exciting as modern climate forecasting gets!


Read more at PhysOrg

Energy and the Circular economy

Image from article
YVW Launching Green Hydrogen Pilot

The Victorian water utility Yarra Valley Water has launched a pilot project to test technology which would enable renewable hydrogen energy to be produced at its Aurora treatment plant.

The Victorian government has awarded $11.9 million in funding to build a permanent renewable hydrogen facility at Aurora if the pilot is successful.


Trials will test a high-tech electrolyser to validate its performance before developing a larger-scale facility.


Read more at Pipeliner

Image of wwt from article
New Research Reveals Wastewater Treatment Plants Can ‘Get Sick’

Research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden reveals that just like humans, wastewater treatment plants can get sick, due to viral attacks.


Researchers found that the more viruses in effluent water, the more dissolved organic carbon and the more oxygen is consumed by microorganisms in the surrounding bodies of water where effluent is discharged.


Read more at PhysOrg


Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement (OAE) – A New Approach to Carbon Sequestration

Wei-Jun Cai from the University of Delaware has suggested a new approach to sequestering carbon, by applying alkaline materials to sewage discharged from wastewater treatment plants to help sequester CO2 and stop it from reaching the atmosphere.


Previous suggestions have been made that we could add alkaline materials directly to sea water, but the unintended consequences are unknown, and it seems very risky.


It seems like a radical idea – but very interesting!


Read more at AZO Cleantech


Your can read more about Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement here

Image from article

Diesel Engines Retrofitted to Use Hydrogen, Increasing Efficiency 26%

Researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have successfully retrofitted a diesel engine to use hydrogen as a fuel to reduce carbon emissions.


The team has retained the original diesel injection and directly added a hydrogen fuel injection to the cylinder.


Interestingly, following the conversion, the researchers reported an increase in energy efficiency by as much as 26%.


Read more at Interesting Engineering

Image from CNN article
Whirlpools to Clean Microplastics from Water
German company Wasser 3.0 thinks it has found the answer to cleaning up microplastic pollution before it reaches the ocean, by using a whirlpool and a specially developed hybrid silica gel.
Wasser 3.0 trades as a not for profit and claims that the product is an affordable, scalable and simple solution to the global problem of microplastic pollution.
Image of the US from article
PFAS Contamination Should Be Presumed at Over 57,000 US Sites

Researchers from Northeastern University in the US claim that over 57,000 sites in the US should be presumed PFAS contamination sites. 


Outputs from the research include a standardised method that can help identify and prioritise locations for monitoring, regulation, and remediation


The most interesting part of this is the map above which shows 4,255 wastewater treatment plants in the US.


Read more at Phys Org

Image from article
Five Things You Need to Know About Digital Twins
  • How to use Digital Twins to accelerate beyond convention.
  • Why your team is more ready than you think.
  • How to start with the tools you have.
  • Setting clear goals and defined outcomes.
  • Why you don’t have to be an expert.

Read more at Brown and Caldwell

Image from paper
Detecting Contaminants Using AI

Researchers from McGill University have developed new artificial intelligence to make the invisible visible using advances in lasers, optics, and mobile technology.


The new technology uses remote sensing and could one day be deployed on satellites to detect, in real-time, contaminants as small as a nanometre to a centimetre in the water systems around the globe.


Read more at PhysOrg

image from article
Satellite Technology a Game Changer for Water Asset Management

The team at Veolia have developed SkyCam satellite image analysis technology to help monitor and prevent blockages in underground sewer networks.


The SkyCam application for tree root inundation detection analyses tree growth around underground sewer networks – when trees begin to grow or show signs of additional nutrients, the algorithm detects a potential blockage or break in the network.


Read more at the AWA

Liveability and health
Image of seven women from article

Seven Cities Appoint Chief Heat Officers (CHOs)

Melbourne is among seven cities around the world who have appointed Chief Heat Officers. The roles are partially funded by the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center from the US. 
In their respective cities, the CHOs are taking action: helping to install cool pavements and rooves; plan cool route mapping systems; and plant trees for canopy.
Working with the community
Leader Interview: Gilbert Trejo On El Paso’s Direct Potable Reuse Project

El Paso Water in Texas is leading with the way with a direct to distribution, also known as direct potable reuse project. In this video Gilbert Trejo explains why water reuse should be developed out of diversification, not desperation.


Gilbert says that El Paso had no other options. The secret to bringing the community along was that they had engaged with the community over many years until it just made sense.


Read more at Aquatech

Some interesting things
Image from article
This Colossal Solar Mountain Can Power Nearly Any Location on Earth

A company called NUDES has designed a revolutionary concept for providing power for the ‘Design the Future of Fly Ranch’s competition.


Fly Ranch is a demonstration project operated by the Land Art Generator Initiative and the Burning Man project. The aim here is to design and test new technology that will create the foundational infrastructure of Fly Ranch.


If you don’t know what Burning Man is, you should. Click here and be amazed by the authenticity of the project, or just type burning man into Google and be more amazed by the ideas and imagery.


The Solar Mountain concept is part energy infrastructure and part community centre. 


Read more about the technology at Interesting Engineering

Image from video on web site
First-ever Shoes that Walk at the Speed of a Run!

Moonwalkers are the first-ever enhanced mobility device that enables you to walk at the speed of a run. The makers claim that they are fast, safe, and nimble, allowing you to navigate busy footpaths easily.


If you’d like to get to your destination in less than half the time with a 250% increase in your walking speed while manoeuvring through crowds comfortably, then Moonwalkers are for you.


Read more at Shift Robotics

The Entire Planet’s Ecosystems Classified for the First Time

A global cross-disciplinary team of researchers led by UNSW Sydney has developed the first comprehensive classification of the world’s ecosystems across land, rivers and wetlands, and seas.


The ecosystem typology will enable more coordinated and effective biodiversity conservation, critical for human well-being.


Read more at Phys Org

Image from website

Early bird registration now open!

22-23 February, Sydney Olympic Park

Your opportunity to hear from water industry professionals and academics from across Australia to discuss the next game-changing research.

WaterRA presents Australia’s leading scientific and technical conference on water research and innovation, Next Water’23, bringing together water industry professionals and academics from across Australia to discuss the next game-changing research.


This two-day conference will feature keynote and invited speakers, scientific and technical presentations, case studies, workshops and panel sessions to support our industry in ensuring public health and safeguarding the sustainability of our water resources.


Read more and register here


African Water Association Knowledge Management Platform

Sharing Africa’s water and sanitation sector knowledge
Australian Government – GrantConnect
Forecast and current Australian Government grant opportunities

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