UNSW's Dr Rita Henderson has been anointed one of the brightest talents in international water research by winning one of the world's premier prizes for young professionals in the water industry.
Dr Henderson, a Senior Research Associate in the Water Research Centre, has won the 2010 International Water Association Young Water Professionals Award for her career achievements to date which include a commercialised water treatment process, 22 published journal articles and conference papers and an active role in public science education.
The two-year award brings with it an ambassador's role which will involve Dr Henderson working overseas to help promote water research.
Dr Henderson, 31, completed her PhD at Cranfield University in England before joining the Water Research Centre, which is within the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in 2007. She is now working on water treatment processes to improve the quality and reliability of drinking water and recycled water, with a focus on removing algal and other organic contaminants.
"There are new contaminants coming through in water systems that we didn't know about before and there are new pressures on water supplies due to climate change," Dr Henderson said.
"We are trying to improve the monitoring of these systems so that, rather than problems being something found out by public complaints or routine checks, we have much more reliable methods in place to ensure quality."
In its citation, the International Water Association noted that Dr Henderson's "success as an academic researcher will, without doubt, significantly contribute to solving the current and future problems facing the water industry".
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