Graduate Certificate in University Learning and Teacing, UNSW (2018)
PhD in Water Sciences, Centre for Water Science (now Cranfield Water Science Institute), Cranfield University, UK (Awarded 2008)
MSc in Water Pollution Control Technology, Cranfield University, UK (2004)
MChem (1H) in Environmental Chemistry with a Year in Industry, University of Edinburgh, UK (2002)
Associate Professor Rita Henderson is an academic in the School of Chemical Engineering, UNSW. She joined the School as a Senior Lecturer towards the end of 2013 after spending 6 years with the UNSW Water Research Centre in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Rita works in both teaching (40%) and research (40%) where her interests are in water supply and biotechnology. She leads the Algae & Organic Matter Laboratory, which is affiliated with the UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology and is Program Leader of the Nuisance and Harmful Algae Science Practice Partnership. In November 2019, Rita was nominated and appointed to the role of Board Director of Water Research Australia, this follows engagement with their Education Program (now Research Leadership Program) first as Committee Member and then from 2016 as Chair. Rita is also a Member of the International Water Association (IWA), the Australian Water Association (AWA) and a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC). Rita is the Editor in Chief of the IWA's new H2Open Journal.
Beyond her research, Rita is a passionate equity and diversity advocate. Having led a UNSW Faculty of Engineering project to enhance gender equity, she has since contributed on the Faculty’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the UNSW Athena SWAN pilot Self-Assessment Team. She is currently Chair of the Faculty's Gender equity Working Group. She is also a School Champion for Humanitarian Engineering.
Prof Gregory Leslie ; A/Prof Rita Henderson ; Prof Ashish Sharma ; Prof Kenneth Grattan ; Prof Tong Sun ; Dr Peter Jarvis ; Dr Heriberto Bustamante ; Dr Peter Cox ; Dr Bala Vigneswaran. Adapting catchment management monitoring and potable water treatment to climate change. ARC Linkage LP160100620.
A/Prof Rita Henderson ; Prof Patrick Cullen ; Dr Stuart Prescott ; Prof Gregory Leslie. Algal control using multi-functional, cold plasma activated microbubbles. ARC Discovery DP200102195
2016: AWA NSW Kamal Fernando Mentoring Award 2016
2015: Finalist for the Australia Museum 2015 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science
2012: AIPS NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Award
2010: IWA Young Water Professional (YWP) Award 2010-2012
2010: Chair of the Organising Committee for the 5th IWA International Young Water Professional conference
2009: ARC Post-Doctoral Industry Fellowship (APDI)
My research interests are in the design, optimisation and monitoring of solid-liquid separation processes designed for microalgae and organic matter in the context of both water treatment and quality and biotechnology. I lead the Algae & Organic Matter Laboratory (AOM Lab) which has four main research themes that explore these research areas: natural organic matter; nuisance and harmful algae; algae harvesting; and resource recovery. Each of these themes are advanced through either one of both of the following: 1) the development and optimisation of physico-chemical separation processes, including coagulation-flocculation, oxidation, flotation, depth filtration and membrane systems; and 2) the application of advanced characterisation techniques to determine the biological and physicochemical properties of algal cells and organic matter. The latter has led to our development of key monitoring protocols for these processes providing early warning strategies for water quality events.
My research in this area has led to the publication of >70 peer reviewed journal articles. I have been awarded $6.5M AUD in research funding ($3.5M as lead) which includes five ARC Linkage grants and one ARC Discovery grant. My research is predominantly undertaken in collaboration with the Australian water industry with partners including Melbourne Water, SA Water, Seqwater and Sydney Water among others.
Term 1: CEIC4001 Process Design Project: Team mentor
Term 2: CEIC3004 Process Equipment Design: Course co-ordinator and lecturer
Term 3: ENGG1000 Design and Innovation: Project co-ordinator