Where better to research effective water treatment than in the driest State, in the driest continent in the world?
Mariya Koleva - a PhD student at University College London’s Australia campus in Adelaide - is delighted at the opportunity to do undertake her research here.
The young Chemical Engineer from Bulgaria is researching ‘optimal synthesis of water purification processes’ and is finding the Australian campus an ideal base for her research.
Having already completed an MEng programme in Chemical with Biochemical Engineering at UCL in London, as well as a BEng degree in Industrial Engineering at the Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria, Mariya says South Australia was a golden opportunity to do her research in an area of great interest to her.
“South Australia has tasted the bitter experience of droughts and floods with records since 1860s. Nevertheless, water adversity has taught the state how to breed innovation in water treatment. That is why, I believe, water engineers and specialists here are quite knowledgeable. They keep up to date with advances in water technologies and are happy to discuss matters with researchers. In a nutshell, to me South Australia is the best place to learn in.” she says.
“Not only in Australia but also worldwide, the importance of water should be recognised at every institutional level and therefore, more research should be fostered on novel ways of high salinity water purification, optimisation of water treatment processes, integrated water resources management, water storage, etc.”
Already, in less than 12 months at UCL Australia, as a BHP Billiton scholarship recipient, Mariya has had some small breakthroughs in her research.
“I am developing a model that is able to recommend the most economic path of treating various sources of water to meet different fit-for-purpose standards.,” she says.
“Essentially it’s a tool that decreases the complexity of water purification systems and thus, secures efficient , effective and safe water provision.”
Mariya says UCL Australia’s multidisciplinary atmosphere enriches her research.
“There are many aspects that I need to consider in my study. It’s not only the technical aspects, I’m also looking at environmental, regulatory and social challenges, and for each one of these aspects there is an expert here, on campus, I can talk to,” she says.
The lifestyle the Australian campus offers is also a bonus.
“I find it beautiful here!” Mariya says.
“Adelaide is lovely to live in because it offers plenty of activities and at the same time you can easily get away from the hustle and bustle. It’s quiet, it’s close to the sea, it’s picturesque, there are many young people here, there are many events to socialise and network.”
Maria has recently presented at The 20th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM 2013) on A Mixed Integer Linear Programming (MILP) model for cost-effective water treatment synthesis. Read about her MODSIM 2013 presentation.