UWA Convocation Council member Dr Raj Kurup has been selected as one of Australia’s top 30 Most Innovative Engineers 2019 by the Institution of Engineers Australia, an honour for which he was previously recognised in 2017.
Now in its fourth year, the annual program is run by the Create magazine, the official publication of Engineers Australia. The aim of the list is to recognise skilled engineers across the nation in ten categories from across the profession. This year, the list features innovative applications as diverse as flexible food sensors, diamond based medical implants and ocean clean-up technology.
Dr Kurup was chosen as the topmost innovator in the mining, oil and gas category this year for his innovative work treating alumina refinery wastes. Refining bauxite in order to create alumina generates sodium oxalate waste (SOW), which can affect product quality and also causes environmental management challenges. Dr Kurup led the development of a novel solution, the Smart Priming Oxalate Removal Enabler (SPORE). The SPORE enables SOW storage lagoons to be converted into anaerobic reactors that produce valuable by-products such as methane and sodium carbonate.
"This technology could generate millions of dollars in returns for the refineries," said Dr Kurup, "and the payback period of the investment for the treatment plant is within two years."
Dr Kurup is the Director of Perth-based company Environmental Engineers and has been a dedicated Convocation Council member since 2017. Within the Council, he has been actively involved in facilitating internship and job opportunities for UWA students and fresh graduates, and selecting the recipients of various Convocation scholarships.
The winners of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers 2019 were showcased in the July 2019 issue of create magazine and online at www.createdigital.org.au