National prize for UQ wastewater researchers

15 May 2018

This story was originally published on UQ News

A University of Queensland research project to revolutionise the treatment of wastewater has won a national research innovation prize.

The project, led by UQ’s Professor Damien Batstone and Dr Tim Huelsen, won the Australian Water Association’s National Research Innovation Award.

The research aims to develop world-first technology for a next-generation resource recovery process which would replace existing wastewater treatment technology in the not so distant future.

The project is in collaboration with the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities and focuses on purple phototrophic bacteria (PPB).

Dr Tim Huelsen, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UQ’s Advanced Water Management Centre, said the technology had the potential to recover vital fertiliser compounds and bioplastics and provide a sustainable animal feed source.

“We were absolutely delighted to have received the Queensland Research Innovation Award last year, and to go on to win nationally is absolutely amazing” said Dr Huelsen.

“It’s great that the industry has recognised the hard work of the team on the purple phototrophic bacteria concept development, and this award emphasises the relevance of this platform for the industry.

“Our efforts are directed towards real world applications to shape the future of resource recovery.”

Australian Water Association Chief Executive, Jonathan McKeown congratulated all award winners for their outstanding contribution to the sector and the wider community.

 "It is important for the industry to come together to recognise, learn from and be inspired by the individuals and organisations who, in their day-to-day work, are ensuring a secure water future for all Australians," Mr McKeown said.

Media: Tim Huelsen,, +61 7 3346 3214, Sharon James, Advanced Water Management Centre, +61 7 3346 7205.