Michael Barry and Peter Coombes win Engineer’s Australia’s GN Alexander Medal

BMT’s Michael Barry and Urban Water Cycle Solutions Peter Coombes were awarded the Engineers Australia GN Alexander Medal at the 2018 Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium.

8 December 2018

Water and Environment

Michael Barry and Peter Coombes win Engineer’s Australia’s GN Alexander Medal

BMT’s Michael Barry and Urban Water Cycle Solutions Peter Coombes were awarded the Engineers Australia GN Alexander Medal at the 2018 Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium. 

The medal is awarded every 18 months or so for the best paper in hydrology and water resources within an Engineers Australia publication. In their paper Michael and Peter argued that a robust understanding of water security, and the potential contributions made by alternative management strategies, is needed for a world challenged by population growth and climate-driven resource scarcity. This understanding is vital for realising our visions and plans to build future sustainable and resilient cities that have lesser impacts on increasingly scarce environmental and economic resources. They investigated the implications of making average demand assumptions on water security predictions and distribution patterns using calibrated bottom-up multi-scale numerical (Systems Framework) models of the Greater Melbourne and Sydney water networks and observed demand data.

Michael Barry, Chair of BMT Global Innovation Council, commented:

I am pleased that Peter Coombes and I were awarded the GN Alexander medal last night at the 2018 Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium. Our paper demonstrated the need to move away from applying top down (average) assumptions within water resource analyses, and highlighted the imperative of moving towards using bottom up methods based on systems thinking.

Peter Coombes, Director of Urban Water Cycle Solutions, stated:

I am humbled by acceptance by our peers of the quality of our Systems Framework research.  More than a decade of investigations by Michael and I led to the current publication. We concluded that the application of average assumptions of any kind is problematic and has the potential to heavily influence infrastructure investment, policy direction and cannot account for integrated solutions.

The GN Alexander Medal for Hydrology and Water Resources was created in 1987 and is dedicated to the memory of Mr Geoffrey Newman Alexander (1908-1975), in recognition of his contribution to Australian hydrology. The Award takes the form of a bronze inscribed medal(s) and certificate(s) which is/are conferred by Engineers Australia and is presented at each Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, held approximately at eighteen month intervals.

Share this

Related articles