Scientia Professor honoured with prestigious Jiangsu Friendship Award

28 Mar 2024
Professor David Waite receiving the Jiangsu Friendship Award from Deputy Mayor of Wuxi Wendong Zhou

Scientia Professor David Waite has been recognised for his work on transformational environmental technologies that have helped communities in Jiangsu Province, China.

Professor Waite has received the prestigious Jiangsu Friendship Award for his contribution and outstanding work in environmental protection, technology innovation and addressing energy and climate challenges in Jiangsu Province.

The award is the highest honour bestowed by the Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government on foreign experts, scholars and scientists for their significant contributions to communities in the province.

Prof. Waite is a Scientia Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Chairman and Executive Director of the UNSW Centre for Transformational Environmental Technologies (CTET) in Yixing, Jiangsu Province.

The centre was established in 2018 and was UNSW’s first research and commercialisation centre outside Australia.

Prof. Waite said he was grateful to be recognised for his work in the region.

“It’s an honour to receive this award. The establishment of CTET in Jiangsu Province has enabled us to attract talented researchers to this Province and, with their input, develop a range of water treatment technologies that may well have global impact.”

Under Prof. Waite’s leadership, CTET has developed multiple projects involving cross-disciplinary collaborations in the areas of water and wastewater treatment. The centre’s work has enabled access to safe drinking water in remote communities.

“CTET’s purpose is to transform environmental technologies from low technology readiness level (TRL) to technologies that are close to market ready. These technologies build on UNSW’s strengths in water treatment and facilitate their application to solving real-world problems,” he explained.

Prof. Waite ranks in the top 0.12 per cent of international scholars according to the latest Stanford University rankings. He has mentored more than 120 PhD students and postdoctoral research fellows over the last 30 years.

New centre will support the commercialisation of UNSW innovations

Deputy Mayor of Wuxi, Wendong Zhou presented the award to Prof. Waite during a UNSW delegation visit to the city.

The delegation, led by Professor Nicholas Fisk Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise), aimed to facilitate the landing of research projects from UNSW in Wuxi and to achieve in-depth industry collaboration in innovation and technology.

The visit has led to the signing of a term sheet around the creation of the UNSW Wuxi Technology Commercialisation Centre, which will support the commercialisation of UNSW innovations and technologies more widely.

Prof. Fisk reflected that Wuxi, a city of 8 million people in Jiangsu Province, is the birthplace of commerce and industry in China and home to CTET, UNSW’s flagship translational Torch activity. 

“Building on this success under David Waite, our aim is to increase the market pull for UNSW push technologies in the sustainability and environmental domains,” he said.