UNSW is an international leader in Environmental Engineering. Our researchers develop tools for environmental management, investigate the fate of chemical and microbial contaminants in engineered and natural systems and apply risk assessment and life cycle analysis.

Our experts work closely with the Water Research Centre (WRC) and the Sustainability Assessment Program to tackle the world’s most complex issues affecting the environment today.

The Water Research Centre examines and investigates the fate of contaminants in engineered systems (e.g. water and wastewater treatment plants) and in the natural environment. The Sustainability Assessment Program engages in national and international research to improve sustainability assessment methodology and tools such as hybrid life cycle assessment. This improves the quality and reliability of information for applications such as process assessment, corporate reporting, supply-chain analysis, policy formation, and infrastructure selection.

Research themes

Researchers in the Environmental Engineering group provide research and consulting services to industry and government focusing on our expertise in the areas of:

  • Public and environmental health
  • Water supply despite periods of prolonged drought or population growth
  • Water recycling, wastewater and biosolids treatment
  • Airborne pollutants
  • Environmental input-output and footprint analysis
  • Life cycle assessment, costing and management
  • Integrated sustainability assessment and triple bottom line accounting
  • Multi-criteria assessment and quantitative risk assessment

Research partnerships

The Environmental Engineering Research Group works with several industry and research partners to evaluate the environmental merits of alternative production options to inform sustainable decision-making. Some of our partners include:

  • Australian Research Council-sponsored projects on hydrology, water, wastewater, biosolids, chemicals, materials and cities
  • Environmental Performance of the Australian food industry
  • Environmental Sustainability Assessment Tools for the Water and Construction Industries
  • Methodological improvements on Australian Life Cycle Impact Assessments
  • Nuisance and Harmful Algae Science-Practice Partnership with Melbourne Water
  • Product risk assessment projects with Sydney Water Corporation
  • Wastewater treatment projects with Beijing Origin Water
  • Water quality projects with Water Research Australia