SENG QLD Season Greetings and Newsletter

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SENG QLD Newsletter - December  2018

Welcome to Newsletter Number 75
Dear SENG Qld members and friends,

Summer is upon us and the festive season is here. We wish you all a safe and happy holiday and look forward to coming together again in 2019.
As professional engineers and members of communities and society - who plan, design, construct and manage public and private infrastructure - we are very well-placed to influence society to reduce its environmental impacts by applying scientific understanding and innovation. Particularly if we collaborate.

The Sustainable Engineering Society Qld Branch would like to thank all of its members and supporters for working together to maintain SENG's mission and help achieve its honourable objectives. 
If you would like to join the committee, or just get more involved, come along to the 2019 SENG season launch in February and connect with other like-minded professionals. Or else get in touch with us via the details below. 
This month's newsletter includes:

2018 Qld Environmental Student Award Night

Upcoming SENG Events

Other Events

Sustainable Christmas Ideas

Interesting Snippets

Open for comment

David's Blog

As always, we welcome input from members regarding topics or speakers of interest. Please contact one of the Qld committee members or consider coming along to a committee meeting, held at Engineering House prior to each of our technical seminars. We hope to see you there!

Kind regards,

Sustainable Engineering Society

Qld Branch
Engineers Australia.

18 Qld Environmental Student Award Night

The 19th Annual SENG Student Award evening was held at the Griffith University EcoCentre in mid-October of this year. The event was won by Mr Jordan Maultby of the Central Queensland University for his final student Undergraduate Report detailing an understanding and appreciation of the hydrogeomorphic processes within the Moores Creek Catchment of Rockhampton, Queensland.

Moores Creek is a dynamic system with a stream length of about 17km which collects runoff from its 30.6km2 catchment. Much of the catchment fall within Mt Archer National Park with the lower segment of the creek meandering through the Rockhampton suburbs of Norman Gardens, Frenchville, Park Avenue and Berserker before eventually discharging into the Fitzroy River.

The Rockhampton region has been heavily impacted by notable flood events with more recent events resulting from Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald in 2013, Tropical Cyclone Marcia in 2015 and Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie in 2017. Such defined rainfall events advanced the interdisciplinary science of Hydrogeomorphology through the study of various hydrologic and geomorphic processes to better understand the surrounding watercourses and their catchments. This enables better comprehension of the anthropogenic impacts within such catchments and how these impacts may be mitigated.

With assistance from the Central Queensland University and utilising existing LiDAR aerial imagery, Mr Maultby was able to estimate the key grain size for various soil profiles utilising photosieving as well as calibrate the existing Moores Creek TUFLOW flood model to the TC Marcia flood event to an average difference of +60mm and -20mm during the Ex-TC Debbie flood event. The resulting detailed model enabled the quantification of the change in volume over time (Sediment Flux) of the sediment profile of the channel (both erosion and deposition).

As a result, the Study found that Moores Creek lost over 80,000m3 of soil sediment across the Ex-TC Oswald and TC Marcia rainfall events. More than 60% of this soil loss occurred within the urbanised section of the catchment, which eroded approximately 4.5 times faster than the upstream segment (within the Mt Archer National Park). The largest change correlated with areas of high weed infestation and stream velocity.

Further, flow competence analysis was used to predict when stream bed material will begin to erode. Various methods such as stream velocity, stream power etc are utilised for this analysis. This Report looked at 8 of the leading models in this field and identified that a particular bed shear stress model provided just over an 80% correlation with field observations whilst other models only achieved precisions of 65% or lower. Flow competence thresholds were then tested at 26 locations throughout the creek, revealing that in the vast majority of instances, event magnitudes with as low a frequency as 1 in 10 years was able to mobilise the entire bedload fraction.

The total energy of a stream along with the average stream power serve as a tool for evaluating a rainfall event’s geomorphic effectiveness in changing the form of the waterway channel. Specific stream power trends calculated using the modified TUFLOW model were integrated over time above the widely- adopted alluvial erosion threshold of 300W/m2. Assessment of the Ex-TC Oswald and TC Marcia flood events revealed that the longer Ex-TC Oswald event had 20MJ more energy available to effect geomorphic change despite TC Marcia having the higher recorded flood heights and a higher average stream power. As such, EX-TC Oswald was more likely responsible for the majority of sediment flux in Moores Creek between 2009 and 2016.

The Report demonstrated the practical application of existing, inexpensive data capture techniques to existing hydrological models to enable a better understanding of anthropogenic impacts upon Moores Creek within a tropical environment. The Report enables the quantification of sediment and vegetation loss and the future risk caused to the community and its infrastructure. The practical applications identified in the report are recommended for all areas where anthropogenic impacts may lead to degradation of receiving natural environments.

The presentation of this report by Mr Maultby was of high standard and well received by the audience. SENG looks forward to encouraging fantastic new research during the 20th Annual Environmental Student Award Night to be held in 2019.

Upcoming SENG Events 

SENG 2019 Launch

Date:              Tuesday 19th February 
Time:              6:00 - 7:30pm
Presenter:      SENG QLD committee
Venue:            Green Beacon, 26 Helen St, TENERIFFE
Cost:               Free 

This social event  will include drinks and networking where we will discuss the future direction of SENG. There will be a presentation by a current member and we will also be inviting people to join the committee.  Purchase your own drinks, nibbles will be provided. 

Sustainable Infrastructure Supporting Resilience 

Date:              Wednesday 13th March
Time:              6:00 - 7:30pm
Presenter:      Panel Discussion
Venue:            Engineering House, 447 Edward St, BRISBANE
Cost:               Free

This technical event will include a panel discussion addressing recent innovations and best practice tips for engineering sustainable infrastructure to encourage more resilient systems. More details soon. 

Other Events

World Engineers Convention Australia 2019
20 - 22 November 2019
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
1 Convention Centre PlaceSouth Wharf, VIC 3006

Co-hosted by Engineers Australia and the World Fderation of Engineering Organizations, this event comprises a waste summit conference, a wastewater summit and waste evolution seminars. The waste summit conference will include case study presentations, ministerial addresses, panel discussion and keynote presentation. The wastewater summit will confront the challenges and opportunities in wastewater treatment through technology, strategy and compliance. The waste evolution seminars showcase new technologies, products and processes touted to change waste management and resource recovery in the near future. Find out more and register here.

IAIA19 - EVOLUTION or Revolution: Where Next for Impact Assessment?
29 April - 2 May 2019
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Suite 3 Tonella Commercial Centre
This event is hosted by the International Association for Impact Assessment and will address some of the challenges facing Impact Assessments in the 21st Century. These include attacks from project and policy proponents for impeding the development of projects, and also from environmental and community criticising impact assessments for failing to meaningfully influence project decision-making processes and protect environmental and social values. Both groups criticise impact assessments for being costly, overly procedural and political, and question the value it adds to development and environmental outcomes. Find out more about the event here.

Sustainable Christmas Ideas

Not done your Christmas shopping yet!?  That's good!  Before you hit the shops please consider - do your loved ones really need more stuff!?
Get things in perspective by watching the Story of Stuff (youtube)video or reading more on the Story of Stuff website.

If you're a long term member of SENG, you probably remember these "Green" christmas hints from last year and the year before. We like them - so here they are for you again.

1. Buy practical gifts that will last or give an "activity" gift rather than a "thing"
Gifts that are useful, serve a purpose, and will last a long time are ideal. An activity based gift, like a day out at a theme park, or a night out at a concert, are also usually well received. 

2. Save trees by viewing catalogues on-line instead
Put up a "no junk mail" sticker on your letter box and instead check the catalogues on-line. 

3. Recycle everything you can
Wrapping paper, Christmas cards, jars, plastic drink bottles, cans and glass bottles… remember to put everything that can be recycled into your recycling bin or in the 'Planet Ark' bins (for cards) at supermarkets. Put all your salad and veggie scraps into a compost bin or worm farm and get free fertilizer!
- Op shop dining table ideas to reduce consumption.
- Christmas Presents with a conscience
- Do it yourself christmas decorations

4. Crank the fan instead of the air conditioner
When it's hot use a fan instead of an air conditioner to save power and CO2 emissions. A pedestal or ceiling fan might use 90 watts on high, whereas a wall mounted reverse cycle air conditioner may use 2,000 watts and a big ducted system may use 5,000 watts!

5. Buy locally produced fresh food
Locally produced fresh food usually has lower carbon miles and is often better for you.

6. Eat fish, native meats, and veggies instead of beef and lamb
The production of beef and lamb results in large amounts of greenhouse gas. Choose veggies, native meats, chicken or seafood instead.

7. Choose sustainably caught or farmed fish
Ocean fish stocks of many species are under significant threat. Choose species such as:
• Whiting
• Australian Sardine
• Mussels
• Calamari, and
• Blue Swimmer Crab

Do not choose:
• Orange roughy (deep sea perch)
• Swordfish
• Gemfish/Hake
• Bigeye Tuna, or
• Shark/Flake

For a complete list of species have a look at the Australian Marine Conservation Society Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide 

8. Now is the time to use the beer fridge
If needed, plug in the second fridge over the Christmas period, then once all the family have left, all the beer is gone, and you really don't need a second fridge, unplug it and save yourself $50 to $140 a year in electricity costs.

9. Drinking alcohol? Choose a Green Beer or Green Wine!
The two big brewers in Australia both produce a carbon neutral beer; Lion Nathan produce Bare Cove Radler (beer with a twist of lemon) while Fosters are responsible for Cascade Green (premium beer with low carbohydrates). For exampleTaylor's Eighty Acres wine is 100% carbon neutral.

10. Use the microwave or BBQ instead of the oven
Ovens use a large amount of electricity and they pump out waste heat (making your house even hotter and more difficult to keep cool). Cook using the microwave or barbie where possible.

11. Buy gifts on-line
The lack of a retail outlet means on-line shopping results in lower CO2 emissions. Legally downloaded music and film is even better as there is also no packaging.

12. Don't buy foil wrapping paper
It may look nice, but it isn't recyclable. Stick with the paper.

13. Plant a native or fruit tree
If you have room in your yard, why not plant another tree? A native tree will suck up CO2, provide habitat for native wildlife, and provide you with shade. Bigger trees like eucalypts are better but if you don't have the room go for a smaller native like a grevillea, wattle, bottlebrush or lily pilly. Or plant a fruit tree, that'll provide some of the same benefits but also give you free food.

14. Buy green energy to power the Christmas lights
If you have lots of Christmas lights, consider purchasing Green Power to power all the lights. Some energy retailers can supply a proportion of green power for no additional cost (it may even be cheaper than your current deal). Compare your current electricity retail deal with others here:

15. Switch off the Christmas lights overnight
Save money on the power bill and minimise CO2 emissions by turning off the Christmas lights before you go to bed.

Going away for Christmas? Don't forget to ... 
1. Kill the standby power

Remember to turn all non essential appliances off at the power point before you go. Things like computers, TV's, DVD players, microwaves, stereos, washing machines, and plug-in clocks.

2. Don't heat water while you're away
If going away for a fortnight or more, turn off your electric hot water system. For everyday its on yet no water is getting used it'll still use an extra 20 cents worth of electricity and 1.4 kg's of CO2. Flick the hot water switch in your power box to turn it off.

3. Offset your air travel
If you forgot to offset your air travel for these holidays it's probably too late to now, but for next time, remember to buy a carbon offset with your plane ticket.  It'll render your flights carbon neutral and will probably only cost $5 extra.

4. Drive safely and efficiently
Drive to anticipate conditions. Brake and accelerate the least amount possible. An aggressive driver uses up to 30% more fuel than a moderate driver! Check that your tyres are inflated to the correct and equal pressure, and remove any needless items to reduce weight and drag. These will all save fuel.

5. Ask a neighbour to water your veggie patch
Don't have a veggie patch? Plant one! They're rewarding, get you out exercising in the back yard, the food produced is "low carbon", the food is very healthy, and if you get it working well the food is very cheap.

Sustainable Christmas Ideas
Are you looking to make a Christmas donation or two?  Find a cause that you believe in.

Of course there are many many more worthy charities. Please accept our apologies if your preferred charity has not been included on the list.  (Send it to us for next time!)

Interesting Snippets

For your interest, horror and amusement.
SENG makes no claims regarding the accuracy or currency of these items, but always refer to authoritative sources.

The Christmas Day Recycling Guide
Live For Less Brisbane empower the Brisbane community with tools & knowledge to make affordable, valuable choices that reduce environmental impact. Click here to find some great tips and easy steps for living lightly this Christmas, and afterwards.

Federal Approval for Snowy Hydro 2.0 
The Snowy 2.0 scheme, which plans to create 2000MW of “on-demand” generation and 350,000MWh of storage, has been approved by the Australian Government and is pending only Shareholder Approval. Read more about the proposed project here.

The World's Most Efficient Solar Powered Car
A multi-disciplinary team of University of NSW students have made the Guiness World Records by from Perth to Sydney on just 3.25 kWh/100 km, around 17 times less than the average Australian car. Find out mopre details here.

QLD Container Refund Scheme Has Begun 
From November 1st 2018, participating container refund points in Queensland will pay 10 cents per eligible 150 mL to 3 L container. Find more details about the scheme here.

Awards and Open for Comment

Petition to enact legistlation to ban new investments in coal - Sign the  petition here for the Queensland Government to enact legislation banning all new investment in coal, oil, and gas projects within Queensland, that contribute to global warming.

Moment for Action 

Sign the petition

David's Blog

Keep up to date by reading David's Blog on the SENG website. Log in using your to post comments or questions.

Join the conversation on our LinkedIn group page

If you have an idea to share, an issue you would like feedback on, or just want to follow the conversation, click here to join the group.

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