Friday 20 September 2019 – Impressive leaps in technology and understanding of contamination and its remediation were awarded at the CleanUp 2019 conference last week.

For the first time the CARE Award was jointly awarded to the two finalists: BeneTerra and ALS. This award recognises technologies and innovations in the area of contamination assessment and remediation of the environment.

BeneTerra were recognised for their technology BeneVap, which evapo-concentrates landfill leachate while removing heavy metals, ammonia, volatile organic compounds and pathogens, leaving behind 5 per cent of the original volume and reduced toxic elements. ALS were recognised for the ALS Compass app which makes collecting samples in contaminated areas more efficient and effective while eliminating opportunities for human error.

The Agilent Award for Innovation in Analytical Science was awarded to Dr Liang Wang from the Global Centre for Environmental Remediation at the University of Newcastle. This award recognises technologies and innovations in the area of analytical science pertaining to measurement of emerging and known contaminants. Dr Wang was recognised for developing irCARE, a technology that is able to quickly and efficiently quantify petroleum hydrocarbons in soil in a way that is non-destructive and does not require sample preparation, solvent extraction or extensive training.

The winners for the CRC CARE High School Essay competition were also announced. Students from years 7 to 12 from every state in Australia entered the competition to win cash prizes and a trip to Adelaide for the CleanUp 2019 conference gala dinner.

The CRC CARE award of $500 for writing that seeks to answer the question of “How can we ensure a clean and safe environment for future generations?” was awarded to Stephen Burg, aged 15, from St Mary MacKillop College in Canberra for his essay on climate change.

The Dr Roneal Naidu award of $1000 for writing on chemical contamination and its effect on food quality and human health was awarded to Aaron Avenido, aged 16, from The Illawarra Grammar School in Wollongong, NSW, for his essay critiquing consumerism and its influence on environmental contamination.  For her outstanding essay on the harmful effects of plastic packaging, CRC CARE decided to award a runner-up prize of $500 to Tessa Quinlan, aged 15, from Victory Lutheran College in West Wodonga, Victoria. This was the second time Tessa received the runner-up prize, which she also won in 2017.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) hosted CleanUp 2019 – the 8th International Contaminated Site Remediation Conference incorporating the 2nd International PFAS Conference – in Adelaide from 8 to 11 September.

Media assistance: