Professor Stuart Khan
Professor

Professor Stuart Khan

Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Professor in the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Director, Australian Graduate School of Engineering (AGSE)

Research interest

My research encompasses the fate of trace organic contaminants during conventional and advanced water treatment processes, with a particular emphasis on water recycling applications. Key areas of research include:

  • Trace chemical contaminants in water
  • Analytical methods (chromatography-mass spectrometry, etc.)
  • Conventional and advanced water treatment processes
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Water quality impacts of extreme weather events
  • Water reclamation and reuse
  • Water treatment process performance validation and reliability assessment
  • Probabilistic modelling
  • Fugacity modelling
  • Chiral environmental contaminants
  • Indirect and direct potable water reuse (water recycling)

Interested research project students

Potential candidates are invited to register their interest in undertaking a research project (Honours, Masters, PhD or other) under the supervision of Professor Stuart Khan at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ResearchEOI

When suitable opportunities arise, I will contact suitable candidates who have previously registered their interest and encourage them to apply. Please note that this not an official UNSW form and its completion is not a formal application for enrollment at UNSW.

Interest in engineering

Why did you get into engineering?

I moved into engineering from a background in science. I did so because I felt the need to really apply technical knowledge and creative ideas in a way that could bring immediate practical benefits to human societies.

What are your research goals?

My overarching research goal is to facilitate the improvement of sustainable urban water management. I do this by improving our understanding of water treatment capabilities, water quality monitoring and risk management. These areas are crucial to support the increased application of more sustainable water supply options such as potable water recycling.

What do people not understand about what you do?

The technical ability to provide extremely high quality safe drinking water from recycled municipal wastewater (sewage) is poorly appreciated by much of the community. Similarly, the potential considerable advantages of some approaches to potable water recycling are commonly not clearly acknowledged. Society has much to gain from an improved understanding of capabilities of engineered urban water supply systems.

Advice for prospective environmental engineers

Environmental engineering requires sound knowledge and understanding of fundamental principles, but also an aptitude for creative thinking. Our challenge is to envision how the world could be and then to identify the practical means of achieving an optimum future for society.

Lectures/courses taught

  • Water & Wastewater Treatment
  • Water & Wastewater Quality and Analysis
  • Sustainability Assessment and Risk Analysis
  • Environmental Principles and Systems
  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Chemical Risk Assessment
  • Hydrogeochemistry
  • Water Recycling and Seawater Desalination
  • Engineering Design Practice

Students

Number currently in lab: 3 PhD students

Number graduated: 12 PhD students

PhD Student projects:

Maher R (2017-continuing) To improve the production of alumina from the Bayer Process by designing an organic removal strategy. PhD in Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales. Principal Supervisor.

Li AR (2017-continuing) Formation of Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) from Soluble Microbial Products (SMPs) in Water Distribution Systems. PhD in Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales. Principal Supervisor.

Michel P (2015-continuing) Optimised Decision Making Framework for Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade and Operation. PhD in Urban Water Systems Engineering, Technical University of Munich. Co-Supervisor.

Wang Y (2014-2018) Improving modelling and prediction of removal of micropollutants during wastewater treatment. PhD in Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, RMIT University. Co-Supervisor.

Carvajal Ortega, GEA (2013-2017) Reliability assessment for direct potable water recycling systems. PhD in Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales. Principal Supervisor.

Li, X (2012-2017) Advanced characterisation of dissolved organic nitrogen in drinking water sources: Implications for mitigating against nitrogenous disinfection by-product formation. PhD in Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales. Joint Supervisor.

Teo, T (2012-2016) Risk Assessment of Chemical Contaminants in Swimming Pools. PhD in Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales. Principal Supervisor.

Kobayashi Y (2012-2016) Deeper and broader life cycle risk assessment - extending the frontier for hybrid methodologies. PhD in Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales. Principal Supervisor.

Wang L (2010-2014) Chiral analysis of polycyclic musks in urban wastewaters. PhD in Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales. Principal Supervisor.

Trinh TT (2010-2013) Process robustness and impacts of hazardous events on membrane bioreactor treatment performance. PhD in Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales. Principal Supervisor.

Singh S (2008-2013) Fluorescence as an online monitoring tool for membrane integrity. PhD in Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales. Principal Supervisor.

Hashim NH (2007-2011) Use of chiral pharmaceutical compounds to characterise sewage treatment processes and sewage contamination in surface water. PhD in Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales. Principal Supervisor.

Hambly A (2007-2012) Fluorescence as a tool for detection of failures in recycled water treatment. PhD in Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales. Principal Supervisor.

Minh NL (2006-2010) Removal of antibiotics in wastewater using activated sludge and membrane bioreactors. PhD in Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales. Co-Supervisor.

Parcsi G (2006-2010) Chemical analysis of odorants from poultry facilities. PhD in Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales. Co-Supervisor.

Professional organisations and contributions

Engineers Australia – Member (MIEAust).

Member of the Water Quality Advisory Committee (WQAC) to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Member of the Project Review Team for Water Research Australia.

Chair of the Management Committee of the Australian Water Association (AWA) Water Recycling Specialist Network Committee.

Member of the Management Committee of the International Water Association (IWA) Specialist Group on Water Reclamation and Reuse.

Current research projects

Khan SJ (2018-2021) Validation and monitoring of advanced oxidation for potable water reuse. ARC Future Fellowships 2017, FT170100371.

Manefield M, O'Carroll D, Khan SJ, Coleman N, Lee M, Huang Q, Schleheck D. (2018-2020) Biogeochemical remediation approaches for PFAS contaminated environments. ARC Linkage 2017. LP170100116.

Leslie GL, Henderson RK, Kaldor JM, Khan SJ, Le Clech P, O’Carroll DM (2017-2018) Arsenic in groundwaters of the Mekong: Morbidity, toxicity, and culturally appropriate solutions. Plus Alliance Collaborative Research Seed Grants.

Khan SJ and Leusch FD (2017-2019) Can wastewater treatment increase the ecotoxicity of chiral chemicals? ARC Discovery Projects, DP170100357.

Khan SJ (2016-2017) Emerging Contaminant Research Prioritisation Decision Framework. Water Environment and Reuse Foundation (WE&RF).

Sathasivan A, Singh B, Khan SJ, Coorssen J, Blackall L, Rittmann B, Ginige M, and Cox P (2016-2019). Smart Management of Disinfectant Residuals in Chloraminated Water-Supply Systems ARC Linkage Projects, LP160100909. $710,000.

Education

Doctor of Philosophy (Environmental Engineering); Faculty of Engineering, University of New South Wales. Conferred on 11th April, 2003.

Bachelor of Science (Hons 1, Organic Chemistry); Faculty of Science, University of Sydney. Conferred on 2nd March, 1995.

Phone
(+61 2) 9385 5070
Location
AGSM Building (G27) Ground Fl, Room G13 Kensington Campus
  • Journal articles | 2015
    Carvajal G; Roser DJ; Sisson SA; Keegan A; Khan SJ, 2015, 'Modelling pathogen log10 reduction values achieved by activated sludge treatment using naïve and semi naïve Bayes network models', Water Research, vol. 85, pp. 304 - 315, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2015.08.035
    Journal articles | 2015
    Fujioka T; Khan SJ; McDonald JA; Nghiem LD, 2015, 'Rejection of trace organic chemicals by a nanofiltration membrane: The role of molecular properties and effects of caustic cleaning', Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology, vol. 1, pp. 846 - 854, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c5ew00170f
    Journal articles | 2015
    Teo TLL; Coleman HM; Khan SJ, 2015, 'Chemical contaminants in swimming pools: Occurrence, implications and control', Environment International, vol. 76, pp. 16 - 31, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2014.11.012
    Journal articles | 2015
    Wijekoon KC; McDonald JA; Khan SJ; Hai FI; Price WE; Nghiem LD, 2015, 'Development of a predictive framework to assess the removal of trace organic chemicals by anaerobic membrane bioreactor', Bioresource Technology, vol. 189, pp. 391 - 398, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2015.04.034
    Journal articles | 2014
    Fujioka T; Khan SJ; McDonald JA; Nghiem LD, 2014, 'Nanofiltration of trace organic chemicals: A comparison between ceramic and polymeric membranes', Separation and Purification Technology, vol. 136, pp. 258 - 264, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seppur.2014.08.039
    Journal articles | 2014
    Fujioka T; Khan SJ; McDonald JA; Roux A; Poussade Y; Drewes JE; Nghiem LD, 2014, 'Modelling the rejection of N-nitrosamines by a spiral-wound reverse osmosis system: Mathematical model development and validation', Journal of Membrane Science, vol. 454, pp. 212 - 219, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.memsci.2013.12.008
    Journal articles | 2014
    Jex CN; Pate GH; Blyth AJ; Spencer RGM; Hernes PJ; Khan SJ; Baker A, 2014, 'Lignin biogeochemistry: From modern processes to Quaternary archives', Quaternary Science Reviews, vol. 87, pp. 46 - 59, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.12.028
    Journal articles | 2014
    Leusch FDL; Khan SJ; Laingam S; Prochazka E; Froscio S; Trinh T; Chapman HF; Humpage A, 2014, 'Assessment of the application of bioanalytical tools as surrogate measure of chemical contaminants in recycled water', Water Research, vol. 49, pp. 300 - 315, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2013.11.030
    Journal articles | 2014
    Monsalvo VM; McDonald JA; Khan SJ; Le-Clech P, 2014, 'Removal of trace organics by anaerobic membrane bioreactors', Water Research, vol. 49, pp. 103 - 112, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2013.11.026