Our people

Researchers at the CWMR possess significant expertise in water conservation, reuse and recycling of water, and sustainability of water resources in South Australia and Australia. The Centre's balance between fundamental and applied research means we attract great innovative minds.

Professor Chris Saint

Chris Saint took up the position of Director at the Centre for Water Management and Reuse in July 2011 having previously been Research, Development & Innovation Manager with SA Water Corporation. His water research interests include: microbiological detection methodologies (including field/on-line monitoring); taste and odour issues; water treatment; wastewater microbiology and pathogens in catchments. Recent involvement has also included issues regarding wastewater reuse and stormwater capture and harvesting.

Chris has over 25 years experience in the supervision of students, technical and scientific staff and has attracted over $10,000,000 in external research funds. He has published over 150 scientific papers, is an Editor of the Journal of Applied Microbiology and Letters in Applied Microbiology and has been an invited speaker at ten international water related conferences. As well as numerous networks in Australia he also has collaborative links in China, US, South Africa, Singapore, France and New Zealand and holds external professorial positions at the University of Adelaide and the Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Beijing, China.

Field of Experience

  • Rapid microbiological techniques for the detection of bacteria in water and wastewater.
  • The biodegradation of compounds of concern to the water industry and biosensor design.
  • The development of field based water quality monitoring.
  • Novel techniques for the assessment of biodiversity in environmental systems.
  • The microbiology of stormwater and re-use water and its implications for treatment and public health.
  • Novel methods for the treatment and disinfection of water and wastewater.
  • Implications of climate change on water quality and the sustainable use of water resources.

Professor Simon Beecham
Head of the School of Natural and Built Environments 

Simon Beecham is currently Professor of Sustainable Water Resources Engineering and Head of the School of Natural and Built Environments at the University of South Australia. Simon is also a Board Director for Water Quality Research Australia Limited. Simon’s research interests centre around the effects of climate change on total water cycle management. He is also a specialist in water sensitive urban design (WSUD).

He is currently Project Leader of the largest climate change project in South Australia, which is coordinated through the Goyder Institute for Water Research. Titled "Development of an agreed set of climate projections for South Australia", this $6.6m research project will improve State Government coordination of planning and policy responses to climate change in South Australia.

Associate Professor John van Leeuwen

Associate Professor John van Leeuwen joined CWMR in 2005, and is leader of the research theme Treatment for Fit for Purpose Reuse. He has over 20 years research experience in water related areas including drinking water quality and treatment, modelling of water treatment processes, domestic and industrial wastewater treatment, fate of pollutants in the environment and water catchment processes.

Current research projects include optimisation of treatment of Murray-Darling Basin waters for potable supply, modelling of disinfectant decay and optimisation of pulp and paper mill wastewaters to minimise impacts on receiving environments. He has authored or co-authored about 120 journal and conference papers and technical reports. Currently he is Chief Investigator of four ARC Linkage Grants, an SA PSRF project and has several research projects with various industries.

John has collaborative research with the Australian water industry, particularly SA Water and its research staff, Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute, national and international universities and the Pulp and Paper Mill industry. He currently supervises eight PhD students, one Master of Philosophy, and annually his group supports several Masters degree minor thesis studies and Civil Engineering final year projects/Honours thesis studies. John is course coordinator for two University of South Australia courses, Water Quality Processes and Water Quality Fundamentals.

David Pezzaniti

David Pezzaniti is a Senior Research Engineer and leads a group of staff members working in the Urban Water Resources Group and the Australian Irrigation and Hydraulics Technology Facility (AIHTF).

Through his activities with the Group, which was previously led by Professor John Argue, David has been involved in numerous urban stormwater projects specifically incorporating innovative Water Sensitive Urban Design concepts and demonstration projects since 1994. He was involved in the development of a national handbook on WSUD source control and is co-author of two chapters in the Australian Runoff Water Quality (Institution of Engineers, Australia) document and stormwater management guidelines for the Transport SA and South Australian South East region.

In the past David has worked with Planning SA and councils in developing PAR guidelines for stormwater management and the Water Sensitive Urban Design Guidelines for the Greater Adelaide Region. David is the author of the PERMPAVE program from permeable paving design assessment distributed in Australia and South Australia by the concrete masonry associations. 

David was responsible for the recent upgrade of the Australian Irrigation and Hydraulics Technology Facility (AIHTF) and is currently the facility’s NATA signatory. Through his involvement with the facility he led several projects the CRC for Irrigation Futures and National Water Commission in field of ‘smart’ metering. He has been a Standards Australia committee member since 2005 for water flow measurement. 

David delivers lectures on WSUD and stormwater modelling. He also supervises several under- and postgraduate students.

Associate Professor Ian Clark

Associate Professor Ian Clark is Associate Head of the School of Natural and Built Environments and Program Director of the Masters of Environmental Management and Sustainability. He has a PhD in geology from the University of Adelaide and teaches geology and soil science in the undergraduate Environmental Science program and aspects of environmental and sustainable management in the postgraduate program. 

His research interests are in hydrogeology, geological education and sustainability and he has active projects and higher degree by research students working in these areas. He is particularly interested in the geological and geochemical aspects of groundwater in fractured rock aquifers and his field research is focussed on the application of this approach to the sustainable management of groundwater in the Flinders Ranges in South Australia.

Dr Guna Hewa

Dr Guna Hewa is known nationally and internationally for her research contribution into low flow and flood hydrology, in particular ungauged catchment predictions. She has completed both Masters and PhD degrees in Hydrology and Water Resources. Regular invitations to review articles for a number of prestigious journals, refereed conferences and to examine Masters and PhD theses of other universities are evidence of her well recognised profile in the field. She is currently a committee member of the Hydrological Society of SA. 

Her research is characterised by strong working relationships with potential postgraduate students and researching into matters that are essential to the sustainable management of scarce water resources. Currently she is a higher degree by research supervisor to five PhD students. 

Guna Hewa has been instrumental in teaching, coordinating water courses and supervising research projects for the Master of Water Resources Management program since her commencement as a lecturer in 2003. She has been the program director for Civil Engineering Masters programs in the school since June 2010 and she represents UniSA at the ICE WaRM Board of Studies (BoS).

Dr James Ward

Dr James Ward studied Civil Engineering and Environmental Management at UniSA, graduating in 2004 and commencing a PhD in theoretical modelling of Aquifer Storage and Recovery systems at Flinders University in 2005. From late 2008 he worked at Flinders University as a research fellow studying coastal groundwater and climate change vulnerability. Later he moved to the CWMR at UniSA, and was appointed as a Lecturer in the School of Natural and Built Environments in 2010. James now teaches introductory hydraulics (second-year civil engineering), environmental engineering and sustainability. 

James’s research interests are in forming better-constrained climate change scenarios considering best available knowledge on future fossil fuel consumption. He conducts peak fossil fuel modelling and studies implications of energy shortages on society. In addition to these big-picture sustainability concepts, James is also interested in technology for sustainable living, with an emphasis on sustainable food production through innovative water recycling and aquaculture, and low-temperature shallow geothermal energy for heating and cooling.

Dr Fatemeh Kazemi 

Dr Fatemeh Kazemi works as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Water Management and Reuse. Her research work includes Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) and optimising the use of water and space in urban landscape development. This includes research into evapotranspiration measurement methods for landscape plantings, studies on retrofitting and performance enhancement of permeable pavements and vegetated WSUD systems and techniques for developing resilient green roofs and green walls in the urban environment. Fatemeh has supervised final years, Honours, Masters and PhD students in the above-mentioned research areas. 

Dr Mohammad Kamruzzaman

Dr Mohammad Kamruzzaman is a prominent early career researcher in climate and rainfall modelling in the Centre for Water Management and Reuse. His research has involved sustainable water management practices in the Murray Darling Basin, and collaboration with Australian Research Council Discovery Groups from UniSA and the University of Adelaide.

Currently, Dr Kamruzzaman is working with the Goyder Institute Climate Change program with Professor Simon Beecham and research activities involving collaboration with leading research institutions in South Australia. Recently, Dr Kamruzzaman has published three journal papers and four international conference papers. 

Dr Wei Zhang 

Dr Wei Zhang obtained his bachelor degrees of Arts and Science from Harbin Institute of Technology in 2004, Master of Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney in 2006 and PhD of Civil Engineering from UniSA in 2011. He is a research associate in the Centre for Water Management and Reuse and his research activities include remote area brackish water desalination and aqueous dissolved organics removal using advanced oxidation process. 

Dr Baden Myers 

Dr Baden Myers is a research engineer investigating aspects of stormwater management, particularly water sensitive urban design. Key research interests include stormwater harvesting and management of urban stormwater pollution. He completed his PhD research in 2011, focussing on the effectiveness of permeable pavements for on-site stormwater harvesting and storage. Since then, he has contributed to several research projects, including the simulation of urban runoff flows for a risk assessment of urban stormwater harvesting, as well as development of water sensitive urban design targets for greater Adelaide. 

Dr Baoping Jia 

Dr Baoping Jia is a research associate in the Centre for Water Management and Reuse, at UniSA. 

His current area of research focuses on novel carbon nanostructures based electrode materials for water capacitive deionisation, with an emphasis on the design and modulation of carbon nanostructures in terms of their surface area, conductivity, wettability as well as internal structural control to obtain optimised ion capacity. His research also involves the synthesis, dispersion and heteroassembly of these carbon nanomaterials. 

Dr Pejman Hojati Talemi 

Dr Pejman Holati Talemi’s research interest centres on carbon nanomaterials and their composites with polymers. During his PhD studies he looked into the application of these materials in electron emission.

In his current position at the University of South Australia, he is working on using these composite materials for capacitive desalination of water. This technology will enable us to find new economic and efficient routes towards desalination of water and provide potable healthy water to remote communities where water sources are limited. The low energy consumption of capacitive desalination compared to conventional desalination methods will address current issues of greenhouse gas emission and climate change.

Adjunct staff

Adjunct Professor John Argue, Formerly UniSA 

Adjunct Senior Lecturer Lynn Brake, Formerly UniSA 

Adjunct Professor Don Bursill, Chief Scientist, DFEEST

Adjunct Lecturer Meng Chong, Monash University Sunway Campus Malaysia 

Adjunct Professor Chris Chow, AWQC, SA Water 

Adjunct Associate Professor David Davey, Formerly UniSA 

Adjunct Senior Research Fellow Mike Dixon, AWQC, SA Water 

Adjunct Associate Professor Mary Drikas, AWQC, SA Water

Adjunct Associate Professor Jinming Duan, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, China

Adjunct Associate Professor Ali Hassanli, University of Shiraz, Shiraz, Iran

Adjunct Senior Research Fellow Lionel Ho, AWQC, SA Water 

Adjunct Senior Research Fellow David Kemp, Formerly Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure

Adjunct Research Fellow Stanley McLeod, Formerly CSIRO 

Adjunct Senior Research Fellow Paul Monis, AWQC, SA Water

Adjunct Professor Dennis Mulcahy, Formerly UniSA 

Adjunct Associate Professor Gayle Newcombe, AWQC, SA Water 

Adjunct Senior Research Fellow Con Pelekani, Adelaide Desalination Plant, SA Water 

Adjunct Senior Research Fellow Rino Trolio, Water Corporation, Western Australia 

Adjunct Professor Dongsheng Wang, Resource Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences (RCEES), Beijing

Areas of study and research

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