+ OzTrekk Educational Services Home
 
 

Articles categorized as ‘Monash University Environmental Sciences’

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

New policy to steer Monash University’s attack on climate change

The Monash University Environmental, Social and Governance statement (ESG) will tackle climate change through its teaching, research, engagement, investments and campus operations.

The new policy statement commits Monash, Australia’s largest and most global university, to heightened levels of environmental and social sustainability.

New policy to steer Monash University’s attack on climate change

Monash has set infrastructure goals to monitor its transition to a net zero carbon emissions organisation

Monash University has an annual operating revenue of more than $2 billion and generates $3.9 billion worth of economic activity each year. It has more than $3.75 billion in assets.

The Chancellor of Monash University, Simon McKeon AO said the commitments contained in the environmental, social and governance policy statement applied across the full scope of the university’s operations.

“The time for action to fight climate change is now. Our new policy statement will influence our research, teaching, investments and how we engage with our industry and government partners and the broad community. It will also impact on our campus facilities,” Mr McKeon said.

“Very few organisations in Australia have anywhere near Monash’s breadth of capability. The implementation of the new policy will see Monash use that capability to help combat the effects of global warming.

“We’ll seek to influence the transition to a net zero carbon economy by engaging with governments and businesses and utilising the technologies developed from Monash’s world-class research programs.” Mr McKeon said.

The President and Vice Chancellor of Monash University, Professor Margaret Gardner AO said the new policy would also see Monash set five year infrastructure goals to measure and monitor its transition to a net zero carbon emissions organisation.

“Monash will commit itself to achieve net zero emissions and we will announce that target date for its achievement early next year,” Professor Gardner said.

“Under the new policy announced [today], the university will review every year the environmental, social and governance factors relating to our direct and indirect investment portfolios.

“Already, Monash has no direct investments in companies whose primary ongoing business is production of fossil fuels. Further, Monash has been successful in excluding companies whose primary activity is coal production from more than 90 percent of our indirect investment portfolio. The university will be working with fund managers to exclude all companies whose primary activity is coal production from our indirect investments,” Professor Gardner said.
*

Find out more about studying climate change at Monash. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Environmental Sciences Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Water key to cooling Australian cities

A group that comprises Australia’s top water experts has welcomed a federal government plan to make cities greener and cooler.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC), which includes researchers from universities across Australia and experts from local and state governments, and water utilities and private industry, welcomed the plan announced in Sydney by acting Cities Minister Mr Greg Hunt.

Australian Environmental Sciences

Water plays a key role in making cities and towns more livable

The Centre’s acting chief executive officer, Professor Jurg Keller from the University of Queensland, said water played a key role in making cities and towns more livable.

“Heat waves are an emerging urban health crisis, and greening our cities helps reduce the problem,” he said. “Trees and green parks need water. They save energy, improve our comfort and foster a social and active lifestyle, so greening our cities is critically important for our well-being.”

Professor Keller said the CRCWSC was a well-connected, national research centre, and was keen to work with the federal government on efforts to create to greener, healthier cities.

“Delivering green cities requires integrated and coordinated action by councils, urban water authorities, state governments and private industry, so it’s encouraging to hear that the federal government will develop a vision for greener Australian cities and work with the states to implement this vision.”

CRCWSC urban climate researcher Professor Nigel Tapper, from Monash University, said there was strong evidence that a green, leafy park, tree-lined street or urban waterway could drop the local temperatures by several degrees.

“This cooling is extremely important for reducing heat-related deaths, particularly during the very hot days of the year, which we’re seeing more often and for longer periods nowadays,” he said.

“Just as households and industries, the vegetation in our cities depends on water. We need to make the most of what is a limited resource, and the Centre is identifying novel solutions to keep our cities green using new water sources and efficient water usage.”

CRCWSC urban planning expert Professor Darryl Low Choy, from Griffith University, said it was important to incorporate water into all facets of planning from strategic regional and metropolitan scale plans, through to district and suburban plans, right down to subdivisional and site scale plans.

“This enables cities to maximise the benefits of all sources of water, including stormwater, groundwater and new water supplies such as desalination and water recycling,” he said.

“If water is added as an afterthought in the planning process, we miss major opportunities of the integrated approach.”

*

Would you like to receive more information about environmental science degrees? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Environmental Sciences Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Monash University researchers collaborate to solve global sustainable development challenges

Leading researchers at Monash University have identified five key principles to facilitate collaboration between biophysical and social scientists to help solve the world’s urgent sustainability problems. They have also issued a call for action, urging others to follow suit.

The invited comment, published recently in a special issue on Interdisciplinarity in the prestigious Nature journal, illustrates the highly successful collaborative approach Monash University researchers have taken to bridge the divide between the biophysical and social sciences to achieve solutions-focused research outcomes that deliver real-world impact.

Monash University environmental sciences

Monash researchers hope to solve the world’s urgent sustainability problems

Professor Rebekah Brown, Professor Ana Deletic and Professor Tony Wong have revealed how a shared mission and constructive dialogue between researchers, policy makers and industry have been crucial to supporting the development of water management strategies which have now been successfully adopted in cities across Australia, as well as in Singapore, China and Israel.

Professor Brown, who recently took part in a Parliamentary briefing in Canberra regarding Australia’s role in achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, suggests that if we are truly committed to solving the world’s sustainability problems then interdisciplinary collaboration needs to become mainstream.

“Despite our rewarding experiences, interdisciplinary research that brings the more diverse disciplines together is still on the margins and must be encouraged and supported if we are to achieve significant research breakthroughs and tangible global outcomes that benefit people and the planet,” Professor Brown said.

Professors Brown, Deletic and Wong also praised Monash University’s support to facilitate this important work.

Provost and Senior Vice President, Professor Edwina Cornish said “Monash University is committed to fostering interdisciplinary research excellence and will continue to invest in creating opportunities that empower researchers across all disciplines to engage effectively despite their different approaches.”

Professors Brown, Deletic and Wong are continuing their successful interdisciplinary approach with new impact-focussed research projects in sustainable water management supported by the Australia-Indonesia Centre and the Asian Development Bank.

Monash asks the tough questions

  • How do you make Australia’s economy carbon neutral?
  • How do we solve the water crisis?
  • What does a sustainable city look like?

While the researchers, educators, partners and funders may speak different “languages” (science, the arts, engineering and policy for example) they are working together to achieve a common purpose.

The Monash Sustainability Institute programs and initiatives investigate how to build water-sensitive cities and better manage water resources. They are catalysing action across Australia’s economy to reduce greenhouse emissions and valuing and integrating indigenous knowledge to help manage natural resources, putting environmental sustainability at the centre of decision making. Monash is understanding and influencing human behaviour, training and educating the next generation of leaders in sustainability, and much more.

Apply to a Monash University Environmental Sciences Programs!

*

Would you like to study environmental sustainability? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Environmental Sciences Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Monash unveils Earth Sciences Garden

Sept. 15 marked the opening of the new Monash Earth Sciences Garden at the university’s Clayton Campus in Melbourne; the first of its kind in Australia and the most comprehensive worldwide.

Monash University Environmental Sciences

Monash Earth Sciences Garden is the first of its kind in Australia and the most comprehensive worldwide. (Photo credit: Monash University)

Inspired by the geology and physical geography of Victoria, Australia, this ‘living’ geological map comprises a stunning arrangement of nearly 500 rock specimens, weighing up to 14 tons, laid out to represent a pattern of rock outcrops and set amongst beautiful native plants representing each geographical region.

Monash University’s Head of School, Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, Professor Sandy Cruden, who was part of the team of earth scientists who developed the Monash Earth Sciences Garden concept, said the Monash Earth Sciences Garden establishes a brand new, hands-on approach to teaching geology, physical geography and atmospheric sciences.

“The Earth Sciences textbook is brought to life by this dynamic outdoor classroom which offers a practical approach to learning field measurement and mapping techniques, and rock and mineral recognition skills. It reflects the Faculty of Science’s wider approach to teaching science in more innovative and engaging ways,” Professor Cruden said.

Officially opening the Monash Earth Sciences Garden, Director of the Geological Survey of Victoria Paul McDonald welcomed the innovative new teaching resource and what it means in training future geologists.

“More than ever we need graduates in geological sciences who are ‘field ready’ and capable of stepping straight into the diverse range of careers this dynamic area of science offers. The Monash Earth Sciences Garden provides this crucial hands-on exposure to the Earth’s rich geological formations and will inspire future generations of Earth Scientists.”

Aimed primarily at undergraduate students as well as secondary and high school students, the 120 by 30 metre Monash Earth Sciences Garden also provides a beautiful relaxation space for students and visitors.

The rock specimens represent a variety of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks found in Victoria. Highlights include

  • 125-million-year-old Cretaceous sandstone from the Otway Ranges, where significant dinosaur fossils have been found and continue to be studied at Monash University. These dinosaur and early mammal remains are from creatures that lived near the South Pole in a large, forested river system that developed as Australia and Antarctica began to break apart, offering unique insights into life on a significantly warmer Earth. An important dinosaur fossil, Noddy, will be displayed for photography and filming purposes at the launch and palaeontologists will be on hand for interviews.
  • Large black volcanic ‘bombs’—approximately 1 metre in diameter—from an 8,000-year-old volcano near Colac. This volcano is located in the Newer Volcanics Province (NVP), which stretches from Melbourne’s CBD to Mount Gambier in South Australia and contains at least 437 volcanoes ranging in age from 8 million years to just 5,000 years, some of which are still considered to be active. The basalt lava that erupted from these volcanoes forms an integral part of Victoria’s rich historical heritage as the rock, commonly called bluestone, is used extensively in building, paving and roads.
  • Dramatic basalt columns similar to those located within the Organ Pipes National Park (near Calder Racetrack). These represent lava flows from the NVP volcanoes, which filled in valleys and created western Victoria’s flat landscape.
  • Spectacular 400-million-year-old limestone from Buchan in eastern Victoria, comprising fossils of marine creatures that were building reef systems in tropical seas when Victoria straddled the Equator.
  • Folded rocks and quartz veins representing the geology of the Victorian Goldfields. The abundant gold in Victoria made Melbourne the richest city in the world for a while, and provided the foundation for growing the world’s most liveable city.
  • A seasonally dry, mud billabong that reflects the semi-dry south-eastern Australian climate. The billabong fills with water during wet weather and naturally dries up at other times, forming large mud cracks. This enables students to study how present day events may be recorded and traced back through geological time.

*

Do you think you may be interested in studying science at Monash University? Contact OzTREKK Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free 1-866-698-7355. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Monash turns the spotlight on water

The impact of rapid urbanisation and climate change mean cities all around the world are at risk of becoming dramatically less liveable, unless fundamental changes are made to the way we plan and design our cities.

The next Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) by Monash University, provided through the Future Learn platform, will explore these issues further with a central focus on water.

Water for Liveable and Resilient Cities commenced March 2 and will give students the opportunity to explore the concept of water sensitive cities with some of the world’s leading experts and researchers, both from Monash and international institutions.

Monash University Environmental Sciences

How can we use water to plan more liveable cities in the face of climate change and population growth?

The course will be lead by Monash University Professor Rob Skinner, Director of the Water for Liveability Centre, who said the course will explore the complex and multidisciplinary nature of designing cities that are resilient to the impacts that prolonged periods of drought—such as the millennium drought in Australia—can have on the liveability of urban areas.

But climate change is not just about hot and dry weather—cities also need to be resilient to the impacts of more frequent and intense flooding events. Water sensitive cities provide for more effective management of all aspects of the water cycle.

“The MOOC will have a widespread international audience and enable Monash to showcase interdisciplinary research and practice in areas that we have become a world leader in,” Professor Skinner said.

“The MOOC is another way that our work can be brought to a broad audience and hopefully establish a new cohort of enthusiasts—people who want to leave this world with more liveable and resilient cities for their grandchildren,” he said.

The course will address issues such as: how can cities be designed to better protect themselves from climate extremes and flooding; how we can better harvest and recycle stormwater; and how can we use water to plan more liveable cities in the face of climate change and population growth.

Drawing on case studies from around the world, students will apply principles of water sensitive urban design in the context of the towns and cities where they are living. The course will also address the ultimate question: what are the institutional, regulatory and cultural preconditions required to ensure successful transitions to water sensitive cities? To answers questions such as this, the MOOC will look at leadership at all levels of government and society.

Water for Liveable and Resilient Cities asks students to network, share ideas, debate issues and challenge the status quo. No previous experience or knowledge is required, with only a commitment of a few hours a week required.

Monash Water for Liveability

The vision endorsed by Monash Water for Liveability is to transform cities and their communities in ways that will help them to live in harmony with natural water environments.

Monash Water for Liveability will play a pivotal role in transforming Australian cities to become resilient to current and future challenges.

The centre is building Australia’s capacity to advance sustainable urban water practices through
(1) research excellence;
(2) engagement with planning, development and water management professions; and
(3) supporting the development of government policies.

*

Would you like to receive more information about environmental science degrees at Monash University? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Environmental Sciences Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Monash researcher honoured as leader in sustainability

Environmental business magazine WME has announced its Leaders List for 2014, with the Director of the Monash Sustainability Institute (MSI), Professor Dave Griggs, taking out the X-Factor category.

Monash University Environmental Sciences

Study sustainability at Monash University

The annual WME Leaders List awards, running since 2008, honour individuals who have provided extraordinary environment leadership in business, the environmental services sector, government and non-government organisations.

This year’s program attracted more than 1500 votes by readers to determine ‘leaders’ in the categories of Corporate Sustainability, Energy and Carbon, Resources and Waste, Urban and Industrial Water, and the X-Factor.

Managing Editor at WME, Richard Collins, said the awards were about recognising leadership qualities and the industry electing those that stand out above the rest.

“Now is a critical time in environmental leadership in Australia,” Mr Collins said.

“It’s important to identify those outstanding individuals who are working towards a truly sustainable future.”

Professor Griggs, who has spent decades warning the world about the threat of climate change, is a former leading figure in the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Part of Professor Griggs’ mission when he came to Australia from the UK in 2007 to head up MSI was to create an international community of ‘smart’ people, working together on the community’s most intractable sustainability issues.

“My focus has been on sustainable development in the broadest sense: environmental, social and economic. When I came here I wanted to make MSI a real interdisciplinary effort,” Professor Griggs said.

Professor Griggs has been heading Monash University’s widely lauded Sustainable Development program alongside Sir Bob Watson (named a UN Champion of the Earth last month), and Professor John Thwaites, chair of MSI and a previous winner of the X-Factor award.

“It is obviously a great honour to receive this award, but I would like to acknowledge Monash University, who had the vision to create a sustainability institute, and my MSI colleagues, who have made it such an exciting and rewarding place to work,” Professor Griggs said.

Monash University Provost and Senior Vice-President, Professor Edwina Cornish, said the award was recognition that Professor Griggs has had wide-ranging impact across academia, government, industry and the community sectors.

“Monash has been enriched by his leadership and I am delighted that this award celebrates the unique contribution he has made to Australia,” Professor Cornish said.

Professor Griggs is stepping aside as Director of MSI to take on a more research-based role with the Institute. He will be replaced by Professor Rebekah Brown in February next year.

About the Monash Sustainability Institute

Climate change and sustainability, and their intrinsic multiple crises, are some of the most challenging issues facing society today. Many of these issues however often end up in the “too hard” basket. Monash, through the Monash Sustainability Institute, is tackling these great challenges head on with a unique and distinctive interdisciplinary approach.

The institute brings together the best minds from multiple fields of endeavour in world-leading cross-disciplinary programs and centres of excellence. Monash has pulled together scientists, lawyers, economists, psychologists, biologists, engineers, health professionals, training experts and more to nut out the ‘wicked’ problems.

*

Contact OzTREKK to find out more about  Monash University and about other Australian universities that offer sustainable development and environmental sciences programs. Email OzTREKK’s Australian Environmental Sciences Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Monash appoints new Sustainability Institute head

Renowned Monash University water researcher Professor Rebekah Brown has been appointed Director of the Monash Sustainability Institute (MSI).

Monash University Environmental Sciences

Australia must guard its water resources

Professor Brown is recognised internationally for her scientific innovation and world-leading research in urban water and sustainability. She will be taking over the position from Professor Dave Griggs, who is moving to a more research-focused role within the institute.

Monash University Provost and Senior Vice-President Professor Edwina Cornish said the appointment was a great outcome for the university.

“Rebekah has an outstanding record of scholarship, a great record of research impact and an outstanding ability to lead interdisciplinary research with industry,” Professor Cornish said. “I am very pleased to have such an acclaimed and accomplished researcher leading one of the university’s stand-out institutes.”

MSI Chair Professor John Thwaites said he was excited by the unique skills and exemplary industry engagement experience Professor Brown brought to the role and was looking forward to working with her to consolidate and build upon Monash Sustainability Institute’s success.

“Rebekah’s research and her role as a leader at the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Water Sensitive Cities, has set a benchmark in research translation and industry collaboration. It makes her ideally placed to lead MSI into the future and to help us translate our work into practical real-world outcomes,” Professor Thwaites said.

“Professor Dave Griggs has been an outstanding leader at MSI and built its excellent reputation. We are very pleased that he will stay on with MSI in a more research-focused role including his work on the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Professor Brown has successfully founded and facilitated a number of large multi-stakeholder consortiums, and played a central role in bringing together more than 70 organisations to invest in the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, one of the largest interdisciplinary research centres in Australia.

Professor Brown said she felt privileged to be given this opportunity and looked forward to harnessing the significant scope and calibre of Monash expertise in tackling some of the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges.

“I’m very much looking forward to joining the MSI team and building upon the many notable achievements to date,” Professor Brown said.

Professor Brown is also a co-founder and Associate Director of the multi-disciplinary Monash Water for Liveability Centre. She has been honoured with research and industry awards and her innovative approach has been recognised by a number of international scientific communities. Her work has influenced policy and international funding programs to improve water resources in developing countries.

About the Monash Sustainability Institute

Climate change and sustainability, and their intrinsic multiple crises, are some of the most challenging issues facing society today. Many of these issues however often end up in the “too hard” basket. Monash, through the Monash Sustainability Institute, is tackling these great challenges head on with a unique and distinctive interdisciplinary approach.

The institute brings together the best minds from multiple fields of endeavour in world-leading cross-disciplinary programs and centres of excellence. Monash has pulled together scientists, lawyers, economists, psychologists, biologists, engineers, health professionals, training experts and more to nut out the ‘wicked’ problems.

Together, world-leading experts from the Monash Sustainability Institute combine with the best from across Monash University, industry, academia and civic society to envisage and create the world of the future.

Monash asks the tough questions

  • How do you make Australia’s economy carbon neutral?
  • How do we solve the water crisis?
  • What does a sustainable city look like?

While the researchers, educators, partners and funders may speak different “languages” (science, the arts, engineering and policy for example) they are working together to achieve a common purpose.

The Monash Sustainability Institute programs and initiatives investigate how to build water-sensitive cities and better manage water resources. They are catalysing action across Australia’s economy to reduce greenhouse emissions and valuing and integrating indigenous knowledge to help manage natural resources, putting environmental sustainability at the centre of decision making. Monash is understanding and influencing human behaviour, training and educating the next generation of leaders in sustainability, and much more.

Find out how to apply to Monash University Environmental Sciences Programs!

*

Are you eager to study environmental sustainability? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Environmental Sciences Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Monash says tropical Pacific “sweet spot” partly responsible for Arctic warming

An international team of scientists estimate that up to half of the recent global warming in Greenland is caused by natural climate variations.

Monash University Environmental Sciences

How will global warming affect our Canadian winters?

The research, published recently in the journal Nature, sheds new light on the rapid melting of Greenland’s glaciers. Crucially it indicates that global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions may not be the only factor responsible.

Dr Ailie Gallant from Monash University School of Geography and Environmental Science said these natural variations stem from an unusually warm tropical Pacific Ocean, east of Papua New Guinea. This “sweet spot” is partly responsible for Arctic warming.

“A lot of the time, major climate changes are attributed to global warming caused by carbon emissions. But we can’t forget that natural climate variations can also have a significant part to play,” Dr Gallant said.

“Carbon dioxide emissions remain the key cause of global warming. But if we can learn more about how and why natural climate variations occur, we can better understand what we might expect from future climate changes and put plans in place to minimise or potentially reduce impacts.”

The team focused on the Arctic region, which has warmed more rapidly than the Earth as a whole. Greenland and parts of eastern Canada have experienced some of the most extreme warming since 1979, at a rate of 1 degree Celsius per decade—twice the global average.

Examining atmospheric temperature and pressure data from 1979 to 2012, the scientists discovered evidence that natural climate variations are impacting on this area of the Arctic at the same time as human-induced climate change.

Professor David Battisti from the University of Washington said that the data indicates that roughly half of the recent warming in Greenland is due to natural climate variations; the other half is caused by carbon emissions from humans.

“Nothing we have found challenges the idea that globally, glaciers are retreating. We looked at this place because the warming there is really remarkable. Our findings help us to understand on a regional scale how much of what you see is human induced by the build up of CO2 and how much of it is natural variability,” Professor Battisti said.

Scientists have known about these natural variations for some time. Until now little was known about their role in climate change in this region.

The team used observations and used advanced computer models to reveal that a warmer western tropical Pacific Ocean has caused atmospheric changes over the North Atlantic, warming the surface by about half a degree per decade since 1979.

What remains unknown is whether the enhanced warming in Greenland will continue.

Professor John Wallace from the University of Washington said that if ocean surface temperatures in the Pacific changes, it could result in a reduction in the amount of warming in Greenland.

“Ice is exquisitely sensitive to temperature, more than we ever would have thought. Natural variations could either accelerate or decelerate the rate of melting of Greenland’s glaciers in coming decades, but in the long run, the human induced component is likely to prevail,” Professor Wallace said.

Environmental Sciences at Monash University

Studying environmental science at Monash University means students will be focusing on research and education that makes a difference. Monash has a focus on finding real solutions to global challenges and they encourage their students to do the same. Monash is making a difference in contributing to knowledge that will contribute to improvements for a sustainable future and improved world health.

Monash University Environmental Science Degrees

Master of Science (Research)
Master of Sustainability – 3 streams:

  • Environment and governance
  • Corporate environmental and sustainability management
  • International development and natural resource management

Apply to a Monash University Environmental Sciences Program!

*

Would you like to receive more information about environmental science degrees at Monash University? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Environmental Sciences Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Monash joins leading experts in heatwave discussion

As our climate continues to change and extreme weather patterns become more frequent, increasing pressure will be placed on Melbourne’s resources to combat resulting issues.

Monash University Information Technology School

Study IT and environmental sciences at Monash University

On Monday, March 31 at Federation Square, Dr Ariel Liebman from the Monash University Faculty of Information Technology joined a panel of leading experts in the City of Melbourne’s event, Not So Hypothetical – A Heated Conversation.

In a hypothetical-style event, based on a 10-day heatwave over 40 degrees, representatives from the business, environment and civic sectors addressed the threats heatwaves trigger in their respective areas.

As the director of energy and carbon programs at Monash University, Dr Liebman is researching the impact extreme energy demand caused by extreme weather can have on energy supplies and cites the problem as quite complex.

“Supply adequacy depends on several factors: electricity demand, generation capacity, high-voltage electricity transmission capacity, low-voltage electricity distribution network capacity, and consumers’ ability to reduce load,” Dr Liebman said.

The experts explored strategies for coping with extreme heatwaves and address the immediate and lasting effects past heatwaves have had on Melbourne. Forecasts and strategies were exchanged between panel members to explore what the future holds for Melbourne and the world when encumbered by the crippling effects of heat waves.

The panel aimed to advise audiences on how to prepare for adverse scenarios inevitable during a heat wave, as well as exploring the influence multiple sectors have on the overall functioning of a city’s urban life.

A heat wave increases water consumption, strain on public services and infrastructure failure.

“Smart grids can relieve congestion in the network and ultimately benefit the entire supply chain. When deployed grid-wide, this will reduce the absolute level of peak demand for a given level of energy demand and thus require less infrastructure to support,” Dr. Liebman says.

Monash University Faculty of Information Technology

Monash University is the only Go8 university with a dedicated IT faculty. Monash is ranked as one of the top 50 universities in the world by the 2013 QS World University Rankings for Computer Science and Information Systems, which means Monash IT graduates hit the global marketplace with a globally recognized degree.

Dr Ariel Liebman is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with the Faculty of Information Technology in this role he is coordinating Monash University‘s development of an energy market modelling and analysis capability. This includes wholesale market price projections, carbon price simulation and Smart Grid Modelling. Ariel is an energy industry professional with 15 years’ experience in the National Energy Market; combining real-world energy market experience with strong training in analytic and quantitative scientific research. He specializes in electricity and energy market modelling, price forecasting and portfolio analysis, and advises on the various components of the electricity supply chain and impacts of economic regulation of electricity networks on the delivered electricity price. He uses a modern, state-of-the-art energy price modelling software tool called Plexos; provides a strategic view of the end-to-end supply chain price impacts of market trends and government policies; and helps energy industry stakeholders including generators, retailers, and consumers develop a better understanding of the impacts of energy policy on their businesses.

*

Would you like to learn more about Information Technology and environmental science programs at Monash University? Email OzTREKK’s Australian Information Technology Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com, or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355. Find out how you can study in Australia!

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Monash’s Sustainable Development Goals featured in After Earth movie

Hollywood has taken notice of research on sustainable development by Professor Dave Griggs, featuring it in promotional material for a new science fiction blockbuster.

After Earth, starring Will and Jaden Smith and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, opened in Australian cinemas last week. The movie follows two soldiers—a father and son—who crash-land on Earth 1,000 years after the planet was abandoned because of environmental cataclysm.

A website linked to the movie features information on the environmental challenges currently facing our planet, including climate change and biodiversity loss. It notes that the film’s fictional backstory bears “a disturbing resemblance to certain current, real-world scientific findings.”

Research Professor Griggs, Director of Monash Sustainability Institute, and international colleagues, in which they put forward six Sustainable Development Goals, is featured on the “Take Action” section of the site.

Sustainable development goals are important because they will drive the global development agenda, and all the investment that goes with that, for the next twenty years,” Professor Griggs said.

Sustainable development goals are currently being developed under United Nations auspices to replace the Millennium Development Goals, which are due to expire in 2015. The aim is to ensure that progress made in reducing poverty is not undermined by environmental degradation related to human activities.

The goals proposed by the Monash professor and his colleagues were published in the prestigious journal Nature and also presented at a UN-sponsored meeting. The researchers advocate a new way of thinking about Sustainable development, nesting economic concerns within social and environmental concerns.

“We now realize that we can’t deal with development and environment separately. A healthy environment, and all the services it provides, is a prerequisite for future development,” Professor Griggs said.

Sustainable Development Goals matter for all of us because, unlike the Millennium Development Goals that only applied to developing countries, these will apply to all countries, including Australia.”

Monash is one of the first universities to be selected to lead a regional UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network hub. As part of the UN role,  Monash University will mobilize research centres, industry and community organizations to develop practical pathways to end extreme poverty, increase social inclusion and sustain the planet.

*

Curious about how you can help the environment? Contact OzTREKK to find out more about  Monash University and about other Australian universities that offer sustainable development and environmental sciences programs.