ACWA wins national water research challenge

30 October 2020

From more than 100 entries and eight finalists, the ACWA team has won the Bridge Hub Water Challenge.

The team will receive $25,000 to develop their Advanced Capture Water from the Atmosphere (ACWA) system, an idea first proposed as part of the Sydney Nano Grand Challenge program. The Bridge Hub Water Challenge Australian Research Stream prize was sponsored by the CSIRO. Once the ACWA prototypes are ready for commercialisation, the Sydney team will receive up to a further $100,000 from the Blue River Group.

Read more…

ACWA team made finalist of Bridge Hub 2020 Water Challenge

30 September 2020

The ACWA Sydney Nano Grand Challenge team has been selected as one of 8 finalists for the Bridge Hub 2020 Water Challenge.

The team will participate in research workshops delivered by Bridge Hub in collaboration with Callaghan Innovations and the Canberra Innovation Network for further judging. Their proposal for Advanced Capture of Water from the Atmosphere (ACWA) is in contention for a share in $250,000 research funding.

Read finalists announcement here.


Parin set up two new apparatus

26 May 2020

Two new setups have been recently built by the ACWA team member Dr. Riccardo Parin for studying the response of the ACWA technologies for capturing water from the atmosphere.

The passive cooling performances will be measured 24 hours per day by the new apparatus installed on the roof of the Sydney Nano Hub. The apparatus comes with a weather station for monitoring the weather status (pictured).

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First year Chemical Engineering Students chose ACWA

26 May 2020

When asked to work on a problem relevant to today’s society while applying Chemical Engineering principles as part of their 1st year Introduction to Chemical Engineering course, Yasmin Mohamed and Lucy Simic (pictured), together with Alexander Tandon, Hung Trieu and Hamdam Alyammahi (supervised by Dr Gustavo Fimbres Weihs), chose to assess the water scarcity problem, with an approach very similar to the ACWA one.

They examined different structural designs and materials to maximise water capture from air and built their proposed prototype under a minimum budget and using mostly recycled or repurposed materials. Their proposed design is an inverted pyramid with a 30° slope which aim to collect water passively condensing dew during the night.

Mark Coulton & Martijn de Sterke

Presentation at the Inland Growth Summit 2020

31 January 2020

Martijn de Sterke was invited to present ACWA’s research and aims at the Inland Growth Summit 2020, which was held in Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

The theme of the meeting was the Future of Water, and the impact this precious resource has on inland Australia. The four sessions addressed Strategic, Business, Innovation, and Community aspects. Other speakers included the Hon Mark Coulton MP (pictured left), the Federal Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, as well representatives from business, local government and academia.

The networking session was a good opportunity to get to know some of the major players in this area. In an interview by the local ABC radio station Martijn was able to present the ACWA program to a much larger audience.

ACWA holds first symposium

30 November 2019

Thirty people attended the inaugural ACWA Symposium, which was held yesterday at the University of Sydney’s Nanoscience Hub.

The event introduced guests to the program and saw Dr Wei Li from Stanford University presenting on the topic of “Nanophotonic control of thermal radiation for energy applications”.

The image shows Professor Martijn de Sterke, Associate Professor Chiara Neto and Dr Riccardo Parin.

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Vice-Chancellor’s Recognition Reception

15 November 2019

Chiara Neto, Ming Chiu (pictured) and Martijn de Sterke had the opportunity to represent the ACWA project at last night’s Vice Chancellor’s Recognition Reception, an annual event to thank the University’s supporters and benefactors.

This provided an opportunity to present ACWA’s work and goals to a wider audience. Chiara, Ming and Martijn were busy all night, talking to dozens of interested guests.


ACWA welcomes Dr Riccardo Parin

13 November 2019

We welcome Postdoctoral Research Associate Dr Riccardo Parin to the ACWA team. Riccardo will build our first ACWA prototype.

He obtained his PhD degree in Thermo-mechanical Energy Engineering at the University of Padova (2019). His research focused on the relationship between surface properties (surface energy, wettability, roughness) and two-phase heat transfer processes. In particular, Riccardo studied hybrid organic-inorganic sol-gel silica coatings deposited on metal surfaces (aluminium and copper) for dropwise condensation (DWC) promotion of pure steam.

Goodbye Dr Teh!

21 September 2019

This week we farewelled Dr E-Jen Teh, the industry consultant who has been instrumental in getting ACWA off the ground and talking to industry partners.

Ailsa Chung joins ACWA

7 August 2019

Ailsa Chung has joined ACWA to carry out a year-long research project on water capture with Martijn de Sterke and Rongkun Zheng.

Ailsa is studying for a physics degree from the University of Edinburgh. She is excited for the project as she will be doing simulations to find the best structure for ACWA’s material. She hopes to learn what a career in research would involve and also to travel in Australia and see the culture.

Presentation at Water Use Conference

13 February 2019

Professor Martijn de Sterke was invited to present at the National Water use in Agriculture Research and Development Future Forum.

Hosted by National Water use in Agriculture Research and Development and Extension Committee and Sydney Institute of Agriculture, the aim of this forum is to stimulate thinking around future frontiers related to research and development of water use in agriculture. This forum brings together agricultural industry leaders and scientists, other sectors who face water constraints.