UNSW's Water Research Laboratory (WRL) has marked 50 years of providing unique and invaluable advice and analysis on the diverse challenges of managing and understanding our water resources.
Established in 1959 as a means of enhancing collaboration between government and water research investigators, the Manly Vale facility marked its half-century this week with a function attended by NSW Governor Marie Bashir and UNSW Vice-Chancellor, Professor Fred Hilmer.
The Governor paid tribute to the contributions the WRL has made to major infrastructure projects including Sydney airport's Botany Bay runways and the wave deflecting walls around the Sydney Opera House.
"I look forward to the Laboratory continuing its long standing tradition of innovative research and training of the next generations of coastal engineers and scientists so that we can address the challenges facing NSW over the next 50 years," she said.
Associate Professor Ron Cox, a WRL researcher and former director who was recently appointed to lead the Australian Climate Change Adaptation Network for Settlements and Infrastructure, said the lab was well placed to face a new set of challenges emerging as a result of climate change and other factors placing pressure on water resources.
"The lab has the physical modelling capabilities and the supporting instrumentation and equipment that make it a unique facility in Australia and one that is increasingly important," he said.
The WRL conducts research in coastal engineering, groundwater, environmental and civil engineering, and hydrology and water resources.
"There's a unique profile where the laboratory undertakes applied research for government and industry alongside basic research and that gives it a very vital mix," Associate Professor Cox said.
An open day on Saturday, July 4, will give the public the chance to see the extensive resources of the Water Research Laboratory and see a number of demonstrations and models.
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