Biosolids Seminar Series – 2024 International Women’s Day

Biosolids Seminar Series - 2024 International Womens Day seminar

Author Editor
Date 5 March 2024

A number of ARC Training Centre’s and Hubs came together on 5 March 2024 to stage a joint celebration of International Women’s Day at a seminar held on the RMIT city campus and on-line. A huge thank you to our organisers, and to panelists and moderator for this year’s International Women’s Day Discussion Panel:

Led by Associate Professor Harriet Whiley, Deputy Director of the ARC Training Centre for Biofilm Research and Innovation at Flinders University, the panel provided invaluable insights in how they’ve succeeded in their own careers and how to inspire inclusion in the sciences.

Panelists included:

Dr Alka Rani Batra, PhD Applied Biology and Project Officer at the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority – who recently attained her PhD at this Training Centre.

Dr Bhavna Middha, Post doctoral Research Fellow at ARC TREMS Hub and ARC DECRA 2024 Fellow at the RMIT Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University;

Dr Indu Chandrashekaran, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the ARC Centre for Fragment-Based Design at Monash University;

Professor Jia-Yee Lee, Director, Centre for Advanced Defence Research and Enterprise at University of Melbourne;

Jana Zielinski, PhD Candidate at the ARC Centre for Personalised Therapeutics Technologies, University of Melbourne;

and our moderator for the day was SEAM’s Vesna Stefanovski, Manager, Major Research Projects and Awards, Swinburne University of Technology.

Our thanks for a great presentation!

EVENT: University of Queensland, Brisbane will host the third Annual Symposium for the ARC Transforming Biosolids Training Centre: 25 to 27 September 2023

EVENT: Third Annual Symposium 2023 at University of Queensland, St Lucia 25-27 September 2023 (Registration closed)

Author Editor
Updated 31 October 2023

UPDATE October 2023: Registrations have closed for this event.


The third Annual Symposium for the ARC Training Centre for the Transformation of Australia’s Biosolids Resource will be held at the University of Queensland’s St. Lucia campus in Brisbane commencing on Monday 25 September 2023.


25 and 26 September – 2 Day Annual Biosolids Symposium.

27 September – Workshop for Industry Partners and Centre Researchers.

REGISTRATION – ONLINE ONLY – Follow the link below to register your online attendance.  

Registration is required to attend this event.

  • In person attendance – REGISTRATIONS HAVE NOW CLOSED.
  • Online attendance – REGISTRATIONS HAVE NOW CLOSED.  

If you have any problem accessing the link above, then please copy the following into your browser to register: (online registration link)


University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus, Queensland

The symposium will be across 2 locations on Campus:

Monday 25 September 2023:

  • Conference Venue: GHD Auditorium, Advanced Engineering Building (49) Staff House Road, UQ St Lucia Campus, Brisbane
  • Conference Dinner Venue: Brisbane City Hall, 64 Adelaide St, Brisbane City QLD 4000 [Note: no late registrations can be accepted for this event – due date 15 September]

Tuesday 26 September 2023:

  • Conference Venue: Room 110-111, ModWest Building (11A) UQ St Lucia Campus, Brisbane

Wednesday 27 September 2023:

  • Workshop Venue: Room 110-111, ModWest Building (11A) UQ St Lucia Campus, Brisbane
  • Site Visit Location (Numbers limited): Urban Utilities Luggage Point Innovation Precinct


Campus Map LINK

Directions to AEB GHD Auditorium (Day 1 Venue) HERE.

Directions to ModWest (Day 2 & 3 Venue) HERE.

Public Transport Information HERE.


See HERE for the Symposium Program. This year’s Program will feature presentations from all our researchers. Check back for Program updates!

ABSTRACTS all researcher abstracts can be found HERE


We welcome Industry Sponsors to support our event and there are still a number of available categories for contributions. Please see HERE for sponsorship opportunities.

For enquiries contact: Prof. Damien Batstone (


A small fee will be charged to non-partner delegates (partners are listed HERE) attending in person based on cost recovery:

  • $100 registration for attending the symposium
  • $100 conference dinner

We are looking forward to the opportunity to continue discussions with our industry partners attending this event. Thank you for your help and support.


PhD opportunity at UNSW – Two positions – Applications close 30 July 2023

Two PhD positions available at UNSW: The role of Biosolids Management in preserving Earth's resilience. Closes 30 July 2023

Author Editor
Date 15 May 2022

Two PhD positions are currently available under Theme 3B within the ARC Training Centre for the Transformation of Australia’s Biosolids Resource. [See also our Training page for further details]

(Click on the respective headings below for detailed project information contained in a pdf attachment):

  1. Modelling nutrients and substances in wastewater treatment plants and biosolids

This PhD project aims to:

  • track and model carbon and nutrient flows in sludge and biosolids composition using bottom-up approaches on a systems scale and top-down approaches on a national scale; and
  • investigate sustainability on a national scale by benchmarking nutrient flows against critical planetary boundaries.
  1. Hybrid life cycle assessment of biosolids processing technologies

This PhD project aims to:

  • develop a hybrid life cycle assessment model that combines bottom-up process data and top-down input-output data to represent the biosolids processing technologies utilised across Australia to evaluate the impacts of biosolids treatment options in multiple dimensions; and
  • model and quantitatively assess different scenarios of treatment option uptake across Australia.

Successful candidates will join the UNSW Water Research Centre (WRC), Sydney and the ARC’s Industrial Transformation Training Centres (ITTC) program.

Candidates should have backgrounds in:

  • either civil, chemical or environmental engineering
  • have the ability to conduct independent research with limited supervision
  • have excellent written and communication skills
  • meet expected requirements to interact regularly with industry partners.

Knowledge of sustainability assessment methods (e.g. material/substance flow analysis, life cycle assessment, input-output analysis and hybrid life cycle assessments) is not required but will be beneficial for this position.

After being selected for the project, candidates will need to be successful in securing a primary scholarship via a Research Training Program (RTP) – Domestic or University International Postgraduate Award (UIPA) or any equivalent. A secondary Top Up scholarship ($5,000) may be available to exceptional applicants. Application deadline for these scholarships is 22 Sept 2023.

Applications should be submitted to Dr Shamim Aryampa (email: with the subject heading “ITTC PhD 3B” and indicating:

  • your specific project of interest (Projects 1 or 2 outlined above)
  • a cover letter
  • academic transcript
  • CV
Please submit your application by 30 July 2023 to the email address above.

This is to ensure that applicants can apply for an RTP scholarship (which closes 22 September 2023) in time to commence their PhD in T1, 2024.


Biosolids Seminar Series – 5 May 2023 Presentation from Dr Aravind Surapaneni, SE Water/ARC Training Centre

Biosolids Seminar Series - National & International Perspectives on the Future of Biosolids - Presenter: Dr Aravind Surapaneni

Author Editor
Date April 2022

Dr Aravind Surapaneni is Deputy Director – Industry for the ARC Training Centre for the Transformation of Australia’s Biosolids Resource” based at RMIT Bundoora campus.

In addition, Aravind is a Program Manager for IWN’s Biosolids and Resource Recovery Program.

He is also Principal Scientist Soils, Biosolids and Groundwater at South East Water where his role is to drive recycled water, biosolids, waste management, soils and groundwater programs that will contribute to the understanding and management of product risk.  He is responsible for leading water industry and academic research programs and collaborations at state and national level.

Aravind also develops business opportunities and creates industry-focused strategies to deal with common industry problems with an aim to developing cost-effective and sustainable solutions to water industry.

From August 2022 until February this year, Aravind had the opportunity to attend 6 conferences in Australia and the UK. He presented his talk to update us on what he learned from these opportunities and to knowledge-share key aspects with industry.

Our recording of Aravind’s presentation and his slides can be found on our Partners & Friends Sharepoint: 4 – Dr Aravind Surapaneni – National & International Perspectives on the Future of Biosolids

Our thanks for a great presentation!

Biosolids Seminar Series – 19 April 2023 Presentation from Dr Laura Carter, University of Leeds

Biosolids Seminar Series - 19 April 2023 Presentation from Dr Laura Carter, University of Leeds

Author Editor
Date April 2022

We were delighted to have the opportunity to include a presentation by Dr Laura Carter from the University of Leeds in our Seminar series during her recent visit to RMIT,  hosted by EPA Victoria.

Laura spoke on ‘The fate of pharmaceuticals in agro-ecosystems’.

Dr Laura Carter is an Associate Professor in Soil and Environmental Chemistry at the University of Leeds. Laura was appointed to the University of Leeds in 2018 as a University Academic Fellow under the ‘250 great minds’ initiative, a five-year development programme for promising early career scientists.

Laura’s research focuses on understanding the risks of emerging contaminants in the natural environment, with particular interests in chemical fate in soil-plant systems, the role of the environment in the development of antimicrobial resistance, and sub-lethal effects of pollutants on soil and plant health. Laura has secured grant income > £3 million and includes a prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship to investigate the risks of pharmaceuticals in agricultural systems, following land application of sludges and wastewater.

In 2019 Laura was acknowledged as an Emerging Investigator, by the Royal Society of Chemistry publication, Environmental Science Processes and Impacts. For her work on pharmaceuticals in the environment, Laura has also been appointed as an Editorial Board Member for the journal Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology and elected as a member of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) UK steering committee.

Most recently, Laura has been appointed to the Hazardous Substances Advisory Committee (HSAC) to advise Defra on how to protect the environment, and human health via the environment, from potentially hazardous substances.

Our recording of Laura’s presentation can be found on our Partners & Friends Sharepoint: 3 – Dr Laura Carter – The fate of pharmaceuticals in agro-ecosystems

Our thanks for a great presentation!

Biosolids Seminar Series – 16 March 2023 “How to write and review abstracts and publications” – Presenter: Prof Damien Batstone, UQ

Biosolids seminar series - How to write and review abstracts and publications - Presenter: Prof Damien Batstone, UQ

Author Editor
Date March 2022

With the upcoming Transforming Biosolids Annual Symposium due to feature many of our researcher’s current work, our Seminar series featured a presentation for all our Training Centre researchers from our Theme 3 lead, Professor Damien Batstone on how to write, and also review, conference Abstracts.

Professor Damien Batstone is Director of the Australian Centre for Water and Environmental Biotechnology at University of Queensland, where he leads environmental biotechnology and resource recovery research programmes. His research work has focused on renewable energy from biomass, production of commodity chemicals from renewable sources, and the water-energy-food nexus, including production of novel chemicals and feeds for aquaculture from gases such as hydrogen. He joined UQ in 2006 as a research group leader, following previous positions at Danish Technical University, and Lund University, and has had a long association with Water Research, having served on the editorial board for over 15 years.

Damien’s presentation provided a practical guide on the key elements required in an Abstract and provided researchers with a template to follow.

Our recording of Damien’s presentation and his Abstract template can be found on our Partners & Friends Sharepoint: 2Prof Damien Batstone – How to Write and Review abstracts and publications

Our thanks for a great presentation!

Biosolids Seminar Series 2023 – International Womens Day 8 March 2023

International Womens Day - 8 March 2023 - Presenter Tracey Slatter, MD Barwon Water

Author Editor
Date March 2022

We were delighted to kick off our 2023 seminar series on International Womens Day with a presentation from Tracey Slatter, Managing Director of Barwon Water and Barwon Asset Solutions.

Tracey is also a Board Director of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria), and Water Services Association of Australia, and the Deputy Chair of the Barwon Regional Partnership. Tracey has extensive and diverse executive public sector leadership experience including as Chief Executive Officer at the City of Port Phillip, Head of Claims at the Transport Accident Commission, Chief Executive Officer at Colac Otway Shire and Director of Primary and Community Health with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

Tracey holds postgraduate qualifications in business leadership and a Master of Commerce. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration, and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Tracey is also a certified Level 2 Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership (IECL) coach.


Tracey presented on the subject: “Inclusion and Diversity – A transformational journey at Barwon Water”.

Tracey’s presentation referenced Barwon Water’s Belonging@Barwon Water Inclusion Action Plan at the following link:

Tracey is a transformational leader who listens to and partners with customers, the community and key stakeholders to identify and act on new opportunities and challenges. She has the distinctive ability to innovate in traditional sectors, delivering exceptional outcomes and services that build trust and confidence. Tracey is committed to good governance and high performance, appreciating the unique talents and perspectives of every person through inclusion and diversity.

The recording of Tracey’s presentation and the Belonging at Barwon Inclusion Action Plan can be found on our Partners & Friends Sharepoint site: 1 – Tracey Slatter – International Women’s Day Seminar

Our thanks for a great presentation!

Day 3 of the Second Annual Symposium 2022

Second Annual Symposium 2022
Day 3 Highlights

Author Editor
Date 23 December 2022

Day 3 – Wednesday 7 September

The final day of the symposium was an Industry Partners and Training Centre-only day with a few workshops and discussions. There was a great turn-out with 63 people attending in person and 54 people online.

Our Theme 3 researchers ran the initial workshop “From acceptance to engagement: new challenges for biosolids management” and were very pleased with the engagement and feedback they received.

Centre discussions were then chaired by Prof Damien Batstone, covering publications, placements, and training opportunities. We also heard from Emily Chang from Cruxes Innovation on their Base program for early career researchers.

A Training Forum for the Post Docs, PhDs and Industry partners was facilitated by Dr David Bergmann from South East Water, Prof Anas Ghadouani (UWA), Prof Lauren Rickards (RMIT), and Carolyn Bellamy, Water RA.

The final session of the symposium was an online Training Lunch on Developing Impact Pathways run by Dr David Downes from RMIT University.

Thanks to everyone for a wonderful symposium for all the hard work done by the organising committee.

To read more about the symposium check out the article written by UNSW researchers about the symposium – Link.

Day 2 of the Second Annual Symposium 2022

Second Annual Symposium 2022
Day 2 Highlights

Author Editor
Date 23 December 2022

Day 2 – Tuesday 6 September

Second day of the Second Annual Symposium was just as outstanding as the first day with another great turnout. There were around 94 in-person attendees and 93 online attendees from across industry and research.

The program included a keynote speech from Prof Glen Daigger, from University of Michigan on the Global perspectives on Thermal Technologies. Glen also provided us with an insightful overview and critique at the end of the day.

The final researcher presentations came from those working on Theme 3: Ensuring Biosolids Sustainability. They did a fantastic job highlighting all the researcher’s work and did some great presentations.

People’s choice topic presentations on the State of Play on Biosolids Management were provided by Richard Lancaster, Technical Director Biosolids, Atkins Global on UK and Europe, and Prof Ian Pepper, University of Arizona on North America and Canada.  Closer to home, representatives from Australian councils and water utilities provided an overview on their management of biosolids across Australian states.

ANZBP ran a 2-hour session for us  in the afternoon, introducing who ANZBP are and then providing insights from some of the research that they have done in conjunction with Industry Partners.

To end the Formal Symposium sessions, we had a wonderful Wrap-up, Critique and Feedback session which showed some of the take-aways of the symposium and provided ideas for the 2023 symposium program and approach.

Many thanks to all our presenters who made the first 2 days such a success. We would also like to thank our session Chairs and the researchers who assisted them by Co-chairing the sessions and helping behind the scenes during the symposium, which ensured the smooth running of the program.

Day 1 of the Second Annual Symposium 2022

Second Annual Symposium 2022
Day 1 Highlights

Author Editor
Date 23 December 2022

Day 1 – Monday 5 September

First day of the Second Annual Symposium, an outstanding first day. Great turnout with around 104 in-person attendees and 151 online attendees.

The program included a keynote speech from Paul Higham, Head of Strategic and Enterprise Planning, from Sydney Water about The Changing Market for Biosolids.

Our Centre researchers working on Theme 1: Improving Biosolids Technologies did an outstanding job, great presentations, and insightful research.

People’s choice topic presentations by Dr Jen Martin from Arcadis Australia Pacific on PFAS and Biosolids and by Craig Bagnall, SEATA Group on Biosolids Biochar Markets provided a great overview of current issues facing the industry.

The program on Day 1 also included some outstanding Forums in the afternoonwe heard views from a wide range of Producers and End-Users of biosolids in NSW, as well as paying a tribute to our Biosolids Industry Legends.

We also had another round of our Centre researchers working on Theme 2: Enhancing Biosolids Product Applications. Again, they did an outstanding job of presenting their research at the symposium.

It was also fantastic to see the conversations that the researchers were having with the Industry Partners that attended. This continued into the evening with a successful conference dinner exchange, where we heard from guest speaker, Dr Michael Crawford, CEO of the Soil CRC.