12 October 2016
Cutting-edge University of the Sunshine Coast research into stormwater management has been recognised with a major industry association award.
USC’s Stormwater Research Centre was named a joint recipient of Stormwater Queensland’s Excellence in Research and Innovation Award, alongside partners from Drapper Environmental Consultants, SPEL Environmental, Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University.
The award was for the group’s extensive research and field testing of proprietary devices – technology that filters pollution out of stormwater – across nine sites from Nambour to Nerang.
Stormwater Queensland said the group had set a new benchmark for field-testing the devices.
Associate Professor in Hydraulic Engineering Terry Lucke, who leads USC’s Stormwater Research Centre, said it was gratifying for USC’s contribution to be recognised at such a high level.
“We’ve been working to collaborate with the engineering industry on some innovative research, and this award shows that we’re heading in the right direction,” Dr Lucke said.
“We’re seeing more and more urban development across Queensland, and with that growth comes a greater volume of stormwater running off hard surfaces, and that water is often polluted.
“The focus of our research is to mitigate those problems that can arise from development. Every time we can improve stormwater, that’s saving marine environments.”
Dr Lucke said USC researchers were in the midst of a range of projects that aimed to improve the health of the environment using stormwater management strategies.
“At the moment, we’ve got a researcher looking into how floating wetland systems can be used to improve water quality at Parklakes 2, which is a residential development in Bli Bli, and we’ll soon be starting a similar project at Pelican Waters in Caloundra,” he said.
“We’re also looking at ways to design better roof drainage systems, and another researcher is looking at how we can improve culverts to prevent flooding.
“These projects we’re undertaking have real life outcomes that affect our community.”
— Gen Kennedy