Water is a major focus for Victoria University at both the research and education levels.

We undertake applied research in drinking water, wastewater, recycled water, stormwater and industrial water applications.

We provide industry and community solutions in the areas of:

  • water treatment technology
  • water resources
  • resource management
  • social and behavioural research.

Research areas

We have the capability to develop and demonstrate water and wastewater treatment technologies at both the laboratory and pilot scale. These include desalination and low-pressure membrane systems, which are central to the Institute's research program.

Our research focus areas include:

  • Increase water recovery from desalination processes
  • Scaling and fouling reduction of membrane systems
  • Development of advanced oxidation materials and processes for organics destruction
  • Minimisation of the residuals and residuals treatment
  • Improve the performance and management of small scale treatment systems
  • Industrial water treatment
  • Recovery of valuable resources from domestic and industrial wastewater

Research staff & students

Read about our researchers, and find contact details.


Phone & email

Research interests

Dr Nitin Muttil

+61 3 9919 4251
[email protected]

Hydrologic modelling, urban water management, urban drainage and flood control, water-sensitive urban design, climate change impact studies and hydroinformatics.

Dr Anne Ng
Deputy Leader

+61 3 9919 5507
[email protected]

River water quality, integrated urban water management, water infrastructure management, dendrohydrology and green infrastructure.

Dr Shobha Muthukumaran

+61 3 9919 4859
[email protected]

Integrated urban water management, green infrastructure practices, membrane separation technologies, water and wastewater treatment and advanced oxidation processes.

Dr Dimuth Navaratna

+61 3 9919 5554
[email protected]

Advanced water and wastewater treatment, energy and resource recovery,membrane bioreactors (An.Ae MBR) and other membrane separation technologies.

Associate Professor Ashok Sharma

+61 3 9919 4519
[email protected]

Integrated urban water management, water-sensitive urban design, green infrastructure, decentralised water and wastewater systems, hydraulic design, optimisation and hydrological modelling.

Professor Chris Perera
Emeritus Professor

+61 3 9919 4729
[email protected]

Hydrology and water resources, climate impact studies, integrated urban water management, river water quality, and water asset management.


Thesis topic

Sushil Kumar Das (PhD)

Management of agricultural non-point source pollution - a case study on Yarra River.

Suchana Barua (PhD)

Non-residential urban water demand forecasting using disaggregated procedures.

Seneviratne Banda Abyekoon (PhD)

Decision support system for management of urban stormwater drainage network.

Varuni Jayasooriya (PhD)

Exploration of the application of Green Infrastructure Practices in Industrial Zones.

Marina Perera (Masters)

Third Pipe Project Investigation.

Tasnim Nasrin (PhD)

Optimal strategies for minimizing impacts of sewer overflows.

Sajal Kumar Adhikary (PhD)

Optimal design of rain gauge network to improve streamflow forecasting.

Arief Sutadian (PhD)

Cost effective river water quality assessment through development of a water quality index: A case study of West Java province, Indonesia.

Imran Hosen (PhD)

Mitigation of Urban Heat Island using Green Infrastructure.


Thesis topic

Prasad Inamdar (PhD)

Evaluation of potential stormwater opportunities and sites in an urban development

Sachindra Dhanapala Arachchige (PhD)

Catchment level downscaling of hydroclimatic variables from general circulation model outputs.

Iwan Juwana (PhD)

Development of a water sustainability index for West Java, Indonesia.

Nilantha Gamage (PhD)

Use of remote sensing data for generation of streamflow time series.

Nepi Marleni Ni Nyoman (PhD)

Impact of source management practices on septicity in sewerage pipe networks.

Shishutosh Barua (PhD)

Drought assessment and forecasting using a non-linear aggregated drought index.

Sithranjan Shanmugasundaram (Masters)

Statistical analysis to detect climate change and its implications on water resources.

Stephanie Ashbolt (PhD)

Development of short-term optimal operating plans for water grids.

Walter Godoy (PhD)

Multi-objective optimisation of water supply systems - a shared vision.


Our associates, adjuncts and students provide vital research and support to the research area. As part of our Occupational Trainee program (OT), we receive students from Australia and overseas universities to work on research projects.



Research interests

Dr Sachindra Dhanapala Arachchige

Engineering and Science

Climate change and Hydrology

Professor Stephen Bigger

First Year College

Packaging/Plastic degration

Dr Domenico Caridi

Engineering and Science

Innovative Foods

Dr Efrat Eilam

Arts and Education

Sustainability education

Dr Martin Fluker



Professor Sam Fragomeni

Engineering and Science


Sarah Fraser

Engineering and Science


Professor Anne-Marie Hede

Graduate Research Centre

Consumer behaviour

Dr Kanchana

Academic Support & Development

Food/Water chemistry

Dr Joshua Johnson

Engineering and Science

Plant Biology

Professor Roger Jones


Climate change

Professor Akhtar Kalam

Engineering and Science

Alternative Energy

Associate Professor Wally Karnilowicz

Health and Biomedicine

Cross-cultural and cultural psychology

Professor Jun-De Li

Engineering and Science

Desalination, Renewable energy

Professor David McCallum

Arts and Education

History of human sciences, sociology of law

Professor Terence McCann

Health and Biomedicine

Mental health

Dr Vijay Mishra

Health and Biomedicine

Functional foods and nutraeuticals

Dr Shobha Muthukumaran

Engineering and Science

Membrane technology

Dr Nitin Muttil

Engineering and Science

Urban Rainfall-runoff modelling

Dr Dimuth Navaratna

Engineering and Science

Membrane technology

Dr Anne Ng

Engineering and Science

River water quality modelling

Dr Lawerence Ngeh

Engineering and Science

Water management

Dr Daniel Ooi

Health and Biomedicine

Social and behavioural aspects of water

Professor John Orbell

Engineering and Science

Water management

Dr Megan O'Shea

Engineering and Science

Conservation and restoration of temperate grasslands

Dr Cagil Ozansoy

Engineering and Science

Renewable energy systems

Dr Gitesh Raikundalia

Engineering and Science

Health Informatics

Jeannie Rea

Communication, Culture & Creative Arts

Communication, social action

Dr Gina Reyes

P&C Program Management

Climate change

Dr Randall Robinson

Engineering and Science

Sustainability and enviironment

Professor Vincent Rouillard

Engineering and Science

Stochastic processes

Associate Professor Nick Sciulli


Climate change

Associate Professor Juan Shi

Engineering and Science

Intelligent Control

Dr Xiao Su

Health and Biomedicine

Health and Nutrition

Professor Michelle Towstoless

Health and Biomedicine


Dr Md Nazim Uddin

Engineering and Science


Professor Todor Vasiljevic

Health and Biomedicine

Membrane technologies in dairy processing

Dr Thomas Yeager

Engineering and Science

Membrane fouling

Professor Yanchun Zhang

Engineering and Science



We use adjuncts to source research funding, students, skills, expertise and infrastructure.

Dr Mayumi Allinson

University of Melbourne
Mayumi is currently a Research Fellow at School of Chemistry of the University of Melbourne within the Centre for Aquatic Pollution Identification and Management (CAPIM).

She undertakes analytical method development and validation, including documenting methods to identify research questions in the area of organic contaminants in the environment and design appropriate experimental plans to address these with CAPIM staff and collaborating Japanese organizations, e.g. National Institute for Environmental Studies, Nagasaki University, University of Kitakyushu, Tsukuba University, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Engineering, Chiba Institute of Technology. Mayumi provides leadership, direction and training for CAPIM students and technical staff involved in laboratory work in these areas.

Dr Hal Aral

Jervois Mining Ltd
Hal joined CSIRO Minerals in 1990. He has led numerous projects over a diverse range of disciplines including extraction of salts from Australia's inland saline waters, treatment of waste waters of the gold processing and food industry, and removal of arsenic and heavy metals from various industrial and urban waters.  Hal is currently the R&D manager with Jervois Mining Ltd.

Dr Andrew Barton

Grampians Wimmera Malle Water (GWMWater)
Andrew's main areas of expertise are civil engineering hydraulics, experimental fluid mechanics, integrated water cycle management and general water resources engineering.

Stewart Burn

Stewart was the leader for the "Integrated Urban Water Systems" stream, at CSIRO Land and Water, where he had been employed for the last 28 years. His work includes fundamental research on the development of asset management, planning, prioritisation and risk assessment systems for Water and Energy infrastructure.

Ian Campbell

Ian was a lecturer in the School of Engineering for approximately 27 years and has now retired. Ian is interested in sustainable building projects, as well as designing courses around building services engineering.

Dr Tim Carroll

Fonterra (NZ)
Tim is a senior R&D Manager at Fonterra (NZ) and is an expert on dairy processing.  He is a chemical engineer with international skills, expertise and reputation in processing of dairy products and has developed several new commercial products.

Dr John Cary

John was Interim Director of the Institute for Sustainability and Innovation 2005 to 2006. He has over 30 years of experience undertaking behavioural research related to natural resource management, water use, and public attitude measurement. He is a member of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Social Science Expert Advisory Group and is a FSANZ Fellow.

Nigel Corby

City West Water
Nigel is currently employed by City West Water as the Water Innovation Strategy Leader.

Dr Dharma Dharmabalan

Dharma is currently employed by Tasmania Water as their General Manager, Works Delivery. Previous to taking up this position, he served at Coliban Water, Central Highlands Water for five years and Barwon Water for 13 years. He is an active member with CRC for Water Quality and Treatment and currently Project Leader & Deputy Program Leader, for Distribution systems.

Dr Kein Gan

Melbourne Water
Kein is the Senior IWM Manager and Expert Reviewer for Melbourne Water and he has also worked with Yarra Valley Water for 20 years as Manager in water planning and other water related areas.

Dr Edward (Ted) Anderson Gardner

ex Central Queensland University
Ted was the foundation manager (Chief Scientist) of the Urban Water Cycle Science Group at the Environment Resources Centre at Indooroopilly.   His specialist fields are in system thinking as applied to the Urban Water Cycle, metabolism of ecologically sensitive subdivision (water, energy and nutrient balances), microbiology and quantitative microbial risk assessment of alternative urban water supplies etc.

Dr Andrew Groth

Evoqua Water Technologies
Andrew is the Global R&D Director for Evoqua Water Technologies.  He is a polymer chemist with international skills and expertise in "living polymerisation" process for the control of polymer molecular weights and nanocomposite materials.

Dr Syed Hussainy

ex Melbourne Water
Syed was a senior scientist with Melbourne Water for nearly 30 years. He has over 40 years experience in aquatic ecology, management of algal blooms in reservoirs, waste-water treatment lagoons and recreation lakes. He is also experienced in liquid waste management and the sustainable re-use of the end products of liquid waste management.

Dr Anthony Ladson

Moroka Pty Ltd
Tony is the Director of Moroka Pty Ltd.  Tony has 30 years experience in hydrology and water management and has worked on projects throughout Australia and in the US, Taiwan and PNG.

Dr Eddy Ostarcevic

Eddy is a process engineer specialising in developing, employing, managing and optimising water and wastewater treatment technology to provide solutions to water challenges. He has thirty-four years of experience in the water industry with “cradle to grave” responsibility that extends from client negotiations, conceptual design and proposal development through to commissioning and handover. Specific areas of responsibility include business development, research, research commercialisation, feasibility development and assessment, planning, design, operational reviews and optimisation, risk assessment, Regulator and Stakeholder negotiations, and expert advice on water and wastewater treatment issues to legal counsel.

Dr Shiroma Maheepala

City West Water
Shiroma was a Principal Researcher at CSIRO's Water for a Healthy country Flagship program, and is nationally known for her water resources modelling research. She is an expert in modelling of water demands and yields, and the impact of climate change on these

Dr Muthu Muthukaruppan

City West Water
Muthu is the Manager, water innovation within City West Water and a key research partner of Victoria University.

Dr Eric Peterson

University of Queensland
Eric is a valued contributor to ISI and he has had several research projects with ISI in the area of solar powered desalination, rating tools for sustainable housing. Eric will look for opportunities to collaborate with VU, and having him in Queensland may assist in accessing funds from Queensland that might not otherwise be available to VU.

Dr Harry Ridgway

AquaMem Scientific Consultants
Harry is a senior researcher in the membrane and water industry, and is an expert on biofouling and computation chemistry approaches to modelling of membrane processes.

Professor Jean-Louis Roubaty

Université Paris-Diderot
Jean-Louis is a scientific advisor for a worldwide leader on the environmental market (drinking water, municipal and industrial wastewater, liquid and solid wastes).  He is an honorary professor, supervisor of master and bachelor teaching at Paris-Diderot University.  He does lectures for the doctorate school on the industrial research, management of research contracts between private and public laboratories.  Professor Roubaty is also the scientific and technical advisor for the Saur group on desalination, removal of micro pollutants, sludge reduction, energy reduction and reuse of wastewater.

Grace Tjandraatmadja

Grace is a water professional and consultant, and had worked as Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO for 13 years.  Grace is an expert in water and wastewater treatment, integrated urban water management, decentralised systems and water sensitive urban design.

Industry advisory committee

Our programs are strongly connected to industry partners through the advisory committee and adjunct appointments, and via partnerships on individual research projects.

We also undertake consultancy projects across our broad portfolio of research areas. Our laboratory facilities are available to our industry partners and a list of equipment available is listed below.

  • Barwon Water
  • Central Highlands Water
  • City West Water
  • Coliban Water
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning
  •  Department of Health and Human Services
  • EPA Victoria
  • Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water
  • Integrated Elements
  • Melbourne Water
  • Metropolitan Planning Authority
  • National Measurement Institute
  • Port Philip & Westernport CMS
  • Sonic Essentials
  • South East Water
  • Steripak Pty Ltd
  • Victorian Water Industry Association
  • Water Research Australia
  • Western Water
  • Wyndham City Council

Laboratory facilities

Our laboratory facilities are available to our industry partners and include:

  • laboratory and pilot plant membrane facilities for flat sheet, hollow fibre and ceramic membranes
  • membrane autopsy facilities.

  • X-ray Diffraction (XRD)
  • Perkin Elmer FTIR with ATR and Gas Cell
  • Griswold water systems WAVE - high frequency electromagnetic field generation system for testing reverse osmosis membrane fouling
  • Dolphin water care series 3000 - high pulsed frequency electromagnetic field generation system for testing reverse osmosis membrane fouling
  • ICP (inductively coupled plasma - atomic emission spectrometer) for trace level metals analysis
  • GCMS (gas chromatography - mass spectrometer) for organics identification and analysis
  • GCFID (gas chromatography - flame ionisation detector) for general analysis
  • Single quad LCMS (liquid chromatography - mass spectrometer) including ESI, APCI, for unstable or high MW organics identification and analysis
  • Gradient HPLC (with PDA, ELSD, Electrochemical & Fluorescence detectors) for general analysis
  • Scanning UV/Vis spectrophotometer
  • TOC/TN (total organic carbon / total nitrogen) analyser
  • Ion chromatograph for dissolved anions analysis
  • High temperature GPC (gel permeation chromatograph)
  • Zetasizer nano for measuring zeta potential and particle size
  • Streaming Potential Analyser (SurPASS)
  • Aqualog Spectroflurometer
  • Contact Angle
  • Biogas analyser
  • Moisture analyser
  • TriStar3000 porosity analyser (Micromerities USA)
  • Mettler Toledo Differential Scanning Calorimeter
  • Mettler Toledo Thermogravimetric analyser
  • Instron 5 kN Tensile Testing Machine.


Our staff are experts in their fields of advanced membrane treatment, novel desalination processes, social and behavioural aspects of water use, environment assessment and ecology. 

If you require further information about water research, or would like to know how we can work in partnership with you, please contact us at:

Postal address:
Victoria University
PO Box 14428
Melbourne, VIC 8001

Victoria University
Building 4 (via gate 3), Room 4103 Werribee campus
Hoppers Lane
Werribee 3030

Phone: + 61 3 9919 8248
Fax: + 61 3 9919 7696

Professor Mikel Duke
Professorial research fellow
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 3 9919 7682