As part of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan, engineering students from Murdoch University went on an exciting trip to various locations in Indonesia and India.
For the first three weeks of December last year, one group of environmental and renewable energy engineering students travelled through Indonesia.
The first stop was Les village in Bali, where students presented drinking water treatment technology in the form of a portable RO unit from Moerk Water in Perth, designed to produce safe World Health Organisation-standard drinking water immediately from sea water. The goal was to help the local community understand the process of desalination and to prove high-quality fresh water after treating with the RO unit, which is powered by solar.
The students were also involved in plastic pollution control and recycling, and coral reef conservation works.
In Ubud, the students were involved in a workshop with a local NGO, undertaking village-based waste recycling and water supply projects. Students participated in a village-based waste-to-energy project in Klungkung, and preparations for the installation of a solar PV-powered drinking water treatment unit for a school in Nusa Lembongan, again provided by Moerk Water in Perth.
In Sumba, students visited a solar micro-grid project in a traditional village with no power or water. From there, they visited Makassar, Sulawesi where they attended a workshop and saw a new waste-to-energy project. In South Sulawesi, the students visited traditional villages and boat building yards, and saw a demonstration of the village’s solar-powered drinking water supply.
To finish off the trip, students were invited to a dinner with the Australian Consul General Richard Mathews and his family and colleagues.
The second group of students flew into Amritsar, India to commence their journey in January from the famous Golden Temple in Punjab in the north to Kerala in the south. Along the way they visited a range of MBBR wastewater treatment plants installed and maintained by local company eWalts in partnership with Aquaeneer from Australia.
After visits to the Taj Mahal, the National Institute of Solar Energy and many temples, a highlight of the trip was a stay at the Carmel College of Engineering. There the College Director and former director of the state’s water utility, Professor Susan Jacob, set the students up with a range of water laboratory practicals and site visits to village water supply projects with community participation.
Students enjoyed an overnight trip by houseboat down the canals of Kerala.
You can read more about Murdoch University’s involvement in the Indo-Pacific here.