The Centre for the Environment's Environmental Monitoring and Remediation Program develops technologies and processes to enable effective environmental management solutions.
Our program includes a diverse range of scientists and engineers who lead monitoring and remediation projects focused on water, soil and air. Our project stakeholders and collaborators include government (local, state, federal, international), other academic institutions and industry. Through our projects, we deliver solutions to address pressing issues including management of environmental pollutants and sustainable development of resources and infrastructure.
Our program also addresses a clear need for more sophisticated environmental engineering solutions in the water sector, as many communities nationally and globally are experiencing critical shortages. Finding optimal solutions for this complicated problem requires the translation of fundamental knowledge in environmental engineering, including water monitoring, modelling and remediation.
Our program focuses on water, soil and air monitoring and remediation, in the following research fields:
- urban water pollution and treatment
- stormwater/wastewater recycling
- integrated water resources management
- treatment of mining wastewaters
- development of water quality monitoring devices
- groundwater monitoring and modelling
- hydraulics and hydrodynamics of estuaries
- monitoring fluid flow
- water quality modelling
- remediation of environmental pollutants
- water treatment technologies
- chemical composition of aerosols (or particulate matter)
- vehicle emissions
- marine aerosols
- building physics
- decision making in the built environment
- sensing and monitoring technologies for mitigating environmental greenhouse gases
- monitoring soil carbon, reactive nitrogen and biogeochemical processes.
Using autonomous vessels to monitor water quality
QUT researchers are trialing the use of autonomous vessels to provide in-situ and real-time water quality monitoring and analysis.
QUT is partnering with international scientists and state authorities to better understand the characteristics of Australian urban ambient ultrafine particles, their main sources, their potential health effects. The project will provide recommendations for legislative approaches to this emerging airborne pollutant.
Traditionally, water flow has been monitored at stationary points with results assumed to represent large regions of water. QUT researchers have developed a moving 'drifter system' that allows real-time flow logging. This enables better management of storm surge, flooding, erosion and dredging impacts, and provides improved validation of hydrodynamic models.
Understanding pollutant transport in estuaries and coastal rivers
QUT researchers are investigating water quality of estuaries and coastal rivers under pressure from urban growth to advance pollutant transport modelling. Waterway health will benefit by allowing the assessment of the effects of catchment and waterway changes on pollutant and sediment concentration.
QUT researchers have studied floating marine debris in Brisbane's Moreton Bay, and visualised how materials are transported within a tidal embayment. This allows experts to better understand and predict the source and fate of such debris, which has considerable environmental, economic and visual importance.
Riverine systems are a major receptor and pathway of plastic debris in the environment, with plastics being retained and accumulated in river sediments. Using Brisbane River as a case study, researchers are investigating the threat of microplastics (>5mm diameter), their abundance, influencing factors, environmental impacts and ultimate fate.
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