UNSW student Louise Gates has impressed the judges at Sydney Water with a research project investigating how waves will affect our coastline as a result of climate change.

Louise, who is doing a combined civil engineering/law degree, has won the Sydney Water Gold Medal for the most outstanding student in a water-related project or subject.

Sydney Water Managing Director Kerry Schott recently presented Louise with the medal and $2,500 prize at the Australian Water Association's NSW Water Industry Awards and congratulated her on the quality of her research.

"Her work on reliably assessing coastal inundation levels will be anissue of critical importance for adapting major coastal infrastructure to climate change," Dr Schott said.

"Climate change is an issue that is of key interest not only to Sydney Water but to the water industry and society as a whole.

"Sydney Water is proud to support developing engineers like Ms Gates by recognising and encouraging innovative research that contributes to the water industry."

Louise, aged 22, said her motivation for the research was a desire to be better able to predict the effects of waves on coastal structures as sea levels rise under a climate change scenario.

"I'm hoping to combine civil engineering and law to get into the field of climate change adaptation in the future," she said.

UNSW Media Office: Peter Trute | 02 9385 1933 | p.trute@unsw.edu.au