WRL plays key role in the Faculty of Excellence!

Congratulations to our UNSW Engineering Excellence Award winners – Women @ WRL and the WRL EcoEng group!


Huge congratulations to Women @ WRL for winning the 2021 Faculty of Engineering Equity and Diversity Award and the WRL EcoEng group for winning the 2021 Faculty of Engineering Industry Engagement Award. 

“This is an outstanding recognition of the diversity and breadth of activities we embody at WRL,” said a proud Managing Director of WRL, Professor Denis O’Carroll. “These two teams are outstanding ambassadors for WRL internally at UNSW and also externally.”

The UNSW Faculty of Engineering Excellence Awards recognise and encourage exceptional and outstanding service or work performance by members of the Faculty of Engineering and which are underpinned by the UNSW Values in Action. The awards, which seek to recognise excellence in a broad and diverse range of activities across the Faculty, were awarded at the Dean’s Town Hall this month.

2021 Faculty of Engineering Equity and Diversity Award Winners - Women @ WRL

Some of the current, (future?) and past members of Women@WRL.  (L-R) Priom Rahman, Laura Montano, Kristen Splinter, Coral Johnson, Katie Jacka, Helen Rutlidge, Kristina Palmer (front), Grace Carlino, Margot Mason, Anna Blacka, Katrina Waddington, Mandi Thran, Gabriela Lumiatti and Alice Harrison.

“I cannot think of a group that more broadly reflects the ideals of equity and diversity.”

Women @ WRL is a diverse collaborative team of academics, young researchers, project engineers and professional women working at the Water Research Laboratory of UNSW Sydney. The team meets monthly to discuss trending topics, share personal and professional goals and create a comfortable mentorship environment. 

Since its establishment early in 2018, Women @ WRL meetings have evolved to include TEDx talks, LinkedIn learning courses, guest speakers and WRL social and environmental initiatives. 

Women @ WRL promotes environmental and social goals at WRL; leading the participation and sustainability initiative of WRL in the university-wide Green Impact Challenge of 2019; where WRL won a silver award

Women @ WRL promotes UNICEF fundraiser campaigns at WRL, has planted a herb garden for the benefit of all WRL staff and donated to 'Ladies of the Land' for rural women who were affected by the drought and fires in Australia 2019. Women @ WRL lead the promotion of International Women’s Day events for all at WRL.

Director of UNSW Water Research Centre, Professor Lucy Marshall says she has been “so impressed by how inclusive, supportive, and community-minded the group is. I cannot think of a group that more broadly reflects the ideals of equity and diversity.”

“The group reaches out to all WRL staff, students and academics (regardless of gender) for events and activities and provides leadership opportunities for outstanding women in our faculty.”

2021 Faculty of Engineering Industry Engagement Award Winners - EcoEng @ WRL

Some of the WRL EcoEng team in action:   (Back) Tino Heimhuber, Jamie Ruprecht  (Middle) Thao Le, Kate Waddington, Brad Henderson  (Front) Will Glamore, Danial Khojasteh, Chris Chen, Shuang Liu, Mahmood Sadat-Noori

The EcoEng @ WRL Team is recognised internationally for leading research and industry best practice into the understanding and restoration of tidal ecosystems. The team’s unique combination of blue sky academic research led by A/Prof William Glamore and a team of practicing professional engineers led by Principal Engineer Duncan Rayner has fostered the uptake and application of large scale blue carbon restoration and estuarine investigations. Ongoing excellence in academic research, combined with world leading best practice, has been a major factor in ensuring ongoing engagement with industry and government partners to deliver successful outcomes at many sites.

Principal Engineer Duncan RaynerEstablishing mutual beneficial partnerships has been a key to the success of the team. The team has long-standing research partnerships with a range of entities including NSW Fisheries, NSW National Parks and Wildlife, Hunter Water Corporation and Midcoast Council.  

Team members are regularly sought out for board positions including Ministerial appointments to the NSW Coastal Council, the Marine Estate Expert Knowledge Panel, the PFAS Expert Panel, the Chair of the Tuggerah Lakes Expert Panel, and the World Association for Waterborne Infrastructure (PIANC ANZ).  

One exciting area for EcoEng is the emergence of Blue Carbon markets to drive coastal wetland restoration. EcoEng staff have been instrumental in leading the development of the Blue Carbon Method for the Emissions Reduction Fund with the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Regulator. The development of this new carbon market has significant potential to influence the way the world adapts to climate change.


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