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Solving industry problems through water modelling research

About 2 years ago, the QWMN created an applied doctoral program, the Innovation Program, to play a role in strengthening the integration of water modelling research with the needs of industry and government. 5 Innovation Associates - strongly industry driven research students - have started the Program in collaboration with partners including City of Gold Coast, SEQwater, Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Institute of Marine Science and Queensland Hydrology. We are now looking to expand the Program to help grow the careers of applied water modelling research students in Queensland, and to develop momentum towards a greater funding of and benefit from applied doctoral research by industry and government. Watch out for our Showcase event on 28th July to get involved (details below).

The original aims of the Innovation Program were to:

    1. Develop skilled and competent future water modelling leaders (called Innovation Associates) through intensive learning resulting from engagement across research and practice. The Associates themselves will then be able to multiply the effect of the investment in their learning by;
      • Developing the skills and competencies of staff in the organisations they are placed with and go on to work for, creating a mechanism for;
      • Increasing the knowledge, skills and therefore absorptive capacity of industry (and government) to effectively use and therefore adopt water modelling approaches
    2. Provide a mechanism for scoping, commissioning and delivering innovative user driven water modelling R&D
    3. Strengthen existing and developing new relationships and understandings across the range of actors in the sector including across research and practitioners for the purpose of improving knowledge transfer and innovation across the sector and;
    4. Increase the national and international reputation of QLD as an attractive place to undertake water modelling work, which will grow workforce size and capabilities by attracting talent and economic investment

With a modest but significant investment the Innovation Program recruited 5 Innovation Associates (Laura Bellis, Chao deng, Cherie Sullivan, Chinenye Ani and Filipe Pinhati) who are now well into their respective programs of applied research. You can read more about them and their work here.

Now we are looking ahead. Beyond the current set of Associates. How can we expand the Program, nurture future water modelling leaders and grow both the water modelling and use workforce here in Queensland and the potential for innovation which can arise from applied research?

First of all, under the Co-ordination of Dr Barbara RobsonĀ of AIMS we are going to expand the Program by including a more extensive career development function.

More explicitly we are inviting higher degree by research students who are working on any applied water modelling topic to join the Program. To be eligible, applicants should:

  • Be enrolled in a PhD or research Masters degree;
  • Be researching an applied topic in water modelling (e.g., hydrological modelling, catchment water quality modelling, reservoir modelling, marine receiving water modelling, flood modelling, lake modelling, or integrated water resource modelling);
  • Be enrolled at a Queensland-based university, working with a Queensland-based industry or government partner, and/or studying a Queensland-based water modelling application; and
  • Have an interest in developing their professional networks and increasing the impact of their research beyond academic metrics.

Those students joining the Program will benefit from:

  • Access to online and face-to-face professional development opportunities.
  • Joining a cohort of water modelling students at various stages of their degrees who can share their experiences, share their research and discuss common issues;
  • Networking opportunities through membership of the wider Queensland Water Modelling Network Community of Practice, which includes academics, industry water modelling professionals and Queensland Government water modellers.

Academic advisors of HDRs who join will benefit from:

  • Enhanced opportunities to demonstrate industry impact from the research of their students;
  • Expanded professional and industry networks;
  • Access to additional training and professional development opportunities for their students, particularly for those who may be interested in careers outside academia after their PhDs.

The Program will not provide funding support for HDR projects in this round, but does invite potential industry partners (e.g., state, federal or local government agencies, private sector consulting groups, regional NRM groups, water corporations, sewerage companies and research organisations) to get in touch to discuss opportunities to get involved.

To learn more we invite you to contact us or, even better, to participate actively at the upcoming event on July 28th – ‘Solving industry problems through water modelling research’ – that will be started by the Queensland Chief Scientist, Prof Hugh Possingham.

Full details and registration here.


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