Finding a solution to the environmental deterioration resulting from extensive industrial and mining activities and prolonged drought will be the focal point of a new international research project headed up by Deakin University’s Professor Lingxue Kong.
Professor Kong from the Centre for Material and Fibre Innovation within the University’s Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (ITRI) will lead the collaboration after being awarded an Endeavour Executive Award.
This prestigious award is part of the newly-announced Australia Awards that have been established to maximise the benefit to Australia of its extensive scholarship programs, and to support enduring ties between Australia and its neighbours.
“Water shortages due to drought and water and soil contaminations from mining and industrial activities have become common challenges in both China and Australia,” says Professor Kong who will collaborate with scientists from two leading Chinese institutions – The Chinese Academy of Sciences and The Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences.
“The Award will certainly improve our understanding of conservation of water and land and allow us to collaborate on the development of engineering solutions in addition to biological remediation.”
As part of the project Professor Kong will visit two regions in China, - northeast China and southwest China – both with unique environmental and demographic characteristics.
As a traditional heavy industry region and being dry all year around, northeast China has been heavily contaminated with heavy metals from the mining industry and also from various metal processing industries.
Contrary to the experience in northeast China, southeast China had traditionally been mild and more environmentally responsibly maintained.
However, due to recent mining expansion, and a recent severe drought in this region, rapid environmental deterioration has also now taken place.
“We will work together with our Chinese colleagues to understand the impact of drought on key environmental issues such as water and land,” Professor Kong said.
“We will explore the opportunities to collaborate between Australia and China on remediation of contaminated water and land.
“Both countries have been addressing the same problems and I am sure we both have a lot we can offer each other.”
Professor Kong has been a main player for Deakin in helping develop a wide range of projects in China, including with the Chinese automotive industry.
This includes the Sino-Australia Initiative for Automotive Materials and Technologies (iAMT) in Hefei.
The iAMT is a research consortium between Deakin University and Hefei University of Technology (HFUT) in advanced automotive materials and technologies. It is one of the most important recent developments for both the Australian and Chinese automotive industries and was headline news in national media in China.
China now rivals the United States in motor vehicle sales.
HFUT is located in Anhui province, 300km from Shanghai and is home to the two most popular Chinese automotive brands, Chery and JAC.
The collaboration between Deakin and HFUT will help both the Australian and Chinese automotive industry in developing new and lightweight materials and introducing green manufacturing technologies.
Australia is a very attractive partner for the Chinese. It is one of the very few countries in the world that has the technologies and capacity to build cars from concept design to manufacturing.
Strongly supported by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments the iAMT will work with Australian components companies and Chinese motor companies on the most challenging issues including emission control and efficiency improvement of vehicles, light metals and green manufacturing.
“This will support Australian components companies in accessing the huge Chinese market,” said Professor Kong who is Deakin’s coordinator for the iAMT.
Other Deakin researchers to receive Endeavour Awards included:
- Endeavour Research Fellowship – Dr Asim Bhatti
- Prime Minister's Australia Asia_PG Outgoing – Michael D’Rosario
Michael D'Rosario's achievement was an exceptional one. He is one of just a few Higher Degree by Research students in Australia to win a Prime Minister's Award.
There will be a feature story on his research in the Febreuary edition of the newsletter.
Information on Endeavour Awards can be found from: