Prestigious Nancy Millis Memorial PhD Award 2021 recipient announced

February 10, 2021

A WaterRA BIG Team congratulations to Kaili Li who has been presented with this year’s Nancy Millis Memorial Award.

University of Queensland PhD candidate, Kaili Li, has been awarded Water Research Australia’s 2021 Nancy Millis Memorial Award.

The award, presented annually, is for a student who has demonstrated initiative, has exceptional qualities and a passion for research. It honours Nancy Millis who was a microbiologist of international repute who made enormous contributions in agriculture, environmental protection, medicine and engineering.

“Being a WaterRA student is fantastic,” award winner Kaili said. “I’m passionate about my project and the opportunities are great.

“I am very honoured and excited to receive the Nancy Millis Memorial Award and have my work acknowledged by the water industry.”

Kaili is currently helping Icon Water develop efficient mitigation strategies for greenhouse gas emissions of Canberra’s sewage treatment at Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre.

Icon Water’s Sustainability and Resource Recovery Coordinator, Dr Joel Edwards, said Kaili is a dedicated, energetic and knowledgeable student with a clear passion for creating a more sustainable and less polluting world.

Her important research will allow Icon Water and the water industry to better understand the complex dynamics of nitrous oxide air emissions during wastewater treatment,” he said. “Helping to measure and manage actual greenhouse gas emissions is critical to reduce the global warming impact from biological nitrogen removal processes worldwide.”

Kaili’s supervisor, Professor Zhiguo Yuan from the University of Queensland, said Kaili is a talented, highly motivated and hard-working student.

“I am very pleased that Kaili has been selected for the Nancy Millis Award,” he said. “She is passionate about environmental research, with a strong determination to make her contributions to a carbon neutral water industry.

“Her research on N2O mitigation is an integral part of the global effort to reduce the carbon footprint of wastewater systems and this award will enable her to work even more closely with industry partners, delivering industry-relevant research outcomes.”

The late Emeritus Professor Nancy Millis AC MBE was appointed Chair of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Quality and Treatment (CRCWQT) from 1995 until 2008 and subsequently maintained her involvement through the Education Program and on the Scientific Advisory Committee following the inception of Water Research Australia.

To find out more about the late Professor Nancy Millis, her extraordinary life, and successful career as a leading female researcher click here.