NCEDA to fund 20 scholarships for innovative desalination research

The National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia (NCEDA) announced on 17 August 2011 that 20 scholarships for new desalination research worth Aus$ 580,000 (US$ 608,000) will be offered to university graduates.

NCEDA will fund six national PhD supplementary scholarships worth Aus$ 30,000 (US$ 31,400) over three years and five one-year Honours scholarships worth Aus$ 10,000 (US$ 10,500) to investigate improvements in desalination technologies.

In addition, four Western Australian (WA) state government-funded PhD supplementary scholarships for research into innovative desalination have been awarded to graduates from WA’s four leading universities worth Aus$ 50,000 (US$ 52,400) over three years.

NCEDA CEO Neil Palmer says the scholarships represent sound investment in Australia’s scientific and economic future and will build the country’s desalination industry capacity.

Projects funded by the new centre scholarships include investigation of inland desalination systems, novel low-grade heat-driven desalination, brackish-water desalination systems which capture water vapour and hybrid bioreactor systems.

“We’re encouraging more postgraduate science and engineering research and development to help build Australia’s rapidly growing capability in desalination and improve energy efficiency and lower costs,” Palmer said. “Australia is on the verge of having six large desalination plants on its coastline producing more than a third of the country’s urban water needs – by the end of next year the cities of Perth and Adelaide will have up to half of their public water supplied by desalination.”

NCEDA unveils Australia’s first dedicated Aus$ 5 million (US$ 5.2 million) national desalination research facility and Desalination Discovery Centre on 4 September 2011. WA Water Minister Bill Marmion will officially open the new facilities at Murdoch University on the eve of the International Desalination Association’s World Congress in Perth (4-9 September 2011).