UTS researchers win at science ‘Oscars’

New Delhi: Dr Wang was awarded the 2020 Macquarie University Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher for his ground-breaking work on green technologies to transform sewage treatment plants into energy producers.

“My goal is to transform the energy-consuming and high emissions sewage treatment process into a zero energy – or, even better, energy producing – low-emissions process,” Dr Wang said.

His pioneering technology aims to maximise energy recovery by recruiting an otherwise unloved by-product of the wastewater treatment process – free ammonia. Laboratory experiments suggest the technology could improve energy recovery from sewage sludge by four to six times.

Dr Wang was joined on the Eureka Prize winner’s platform by Professor David Booth, who was member of a Social-Ecological Research Frontiers collaboration that took out the 2020 UNSW Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research.

The team has assembled datasets on more than 6,000 coral reefs across 46 countries to provide novel insights into the coral reefs that are thriving despite the human and environmental pressures they face.

“The Eureka Prizes are known as the ‘Oscars’ of Australian science for good reason. I congratulate Dr Wang and Professor Booth on their great achievement in winning in their exceedingly competitive categories,” said UTS Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Kate McGrath.

“This award is great recognition of Dr Wang’s exciting new technology that has the potential to revolutionise green wastewater treatment, and Professor Booth’s contribution to an outstanding international collaboration.”

UTS had four finalists in this year’s Australian Museum Eureka Prizes including Distinguished Professor Karu Esselle in the Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers category and Dr Jiajia Zhou in the Emerging Leader in Science category.

A total of 17 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes were awarded across four categories, including research and innovation, leadership, science engagement and school science. Read more information and a complete list of winners at the Australian Museum.