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Dr Collette Burke

Chief Engineer of Victoria


Prof Jiuhui Qu

Tsinghua University

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Prof Benny Freeman

The University of Texas at Austin

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Prof Sandra Kentish

The University of Melbourne

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Prof Ana Deletic

University of New South Wales


Prof Rong Wang

Nanyang Technological University

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Dr Burke is Victoria’s inaugural Chief Engineer. The Victorian Chief Engineer sits within the Office of Projects Victoria and is tasked with providing independent, expert advice on engineering and major projects for the Government. She has more than 25 years’ experience in the engineering & construction industry. With a PhD in risk management, Dr Burke is an internationally-acknowledged researcher and has worked as a senior lecturer and course advisor at University of Melbourne and RMIT University. Dr Burke believes in early exposure to engineering and science, technology, engineering and maths is critical for young people. This is particularly true for improving the representation of women in the engineering workforce.

Professor Jiuhui Qu is a distinguished Professor at Tsinghua University. He is the former Director of the Research Center for Ecological and Environmental Sciences (RCEES) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. He has been a Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, China, since 2009. He serves/served as Vice President of the All-China Environment Federation, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences and the Chinese Society for Sustainable Development. His research expertise is mainly in water pollution control, particularly development of the theories, technologies, and engineering applications relating to drinking water quality and safety. He was awarded the Global and East Asia IWA Innovation Project Awards in 2010. He was elected as the Distinguished Fellow of IWA as well.

Professor Benny Freeman is the Richard B. Curran Centennial Chair in Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. His research is in polymer science and engineering and, more specifically, in mass transport of small molecules in solid polymers. He focuses on structure/property correlation development for desalination and gas separation membrane materials, new materials for hydrogen separation, natural gas purification, carbon capture, and new materials for improving fouling resistance and permeation performance in liquid separation membranes. His research is described in more than 400 publications and 25 patents/patent applications. He has co-edited 5 books on these topics. He is a Fellow of the ACS, AIChE, AAAS, PMSE Division of the ACS. He is also on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Membrane Science.

Prof Sandra Kentish is Head of the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at The University of Melbourne. She has broad interests in industrial separations, particularly the use of membrane technology for energy, food and water applications. She is a Project Leader within the ARC Dairy Innovation Research Hub and a researcher within the Future Fuels CRC. She was the Discipline Leader in the CRC for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) for Membrane Technology from 2003-2015. She was a member of the Research Advisory Committee for the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination from 2010-2016. She was the Deputy Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute from 2009 - 2012. Professor Kentish was selected as one of Australia's Most Innovative Engineers by Engineers Australia in 2017 and as a Woman of Influence by the Australian Financial Review in 2018.

Professor Ana Deletic is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney (UNSW). Until mid-2017 Ana was the Associate Dean of Research Engineering Faculty and the Founding Director of Monash Infrastructure Institute at Monash University. Ana is working on multi-disciplinary urban water issue focusing on stormwater management and socio-technical modelling for the development of a number of green nature based water treatment systems which are now widely adopted in Australia and abroad. Ana is a Fellow of Engineers Australia and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), and Editor of Water Research. In 2012, the Victorian State Government awarded Ana the Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation (Physical Sciences) for her lifelong achievements in stormwater research.

Prof Rong Wang is currently a Professor and Chair in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She also holds the position of Director, Singapore Membrane Technology Centre (SMTC). She is the founding President of Membrane Society in Singapore (MEMSIS). Prof Wang has over 25 years of experience in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Water and Energy related R&D. She specializes in novel membrane preparation and characterization for water and wastewater treatment, liquid purification and gas separation, and in development of novel hybrid membrane systems and process simulation. Prof Wang was a co-recipient of the Minister for National Development R&D Award (Merit) 2013 in Singapore. She was featured among the top 25 leading water researchers globally by Lux Research 2013. In 2016, Dr Wang won a prestigious award, “the Alternative Water Resources Prize” under the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) 2016.

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Plenary Speakers

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