About us

About us


WRC had its beginnings over 60 years ago and in that time the scope of research and activities has broadened substantially. Today we are one of the largest centres at UNSW and we have two locations serving more than 50 staff and supporting more than 80 PhD Students.

Our history as a leading Australian water research organisation forms the base on which we have grown – now we are able to apply our experience and critical thinking across more than just water, into diverse (yet related) fields.

  • Civil and environmental hydraulics
  • Water quality and treatment processes
  • Lifecycle assessment and sustainability
  • Waste management
  • Hydroclimatology  
  • Carbon and water footprinting
  • Issues concerning atmospheric emissions and odour
  • Coastal engineering
  • Risk assessment

Two research locations

WRC operates out of two locations.

Kensington campus (established in 1987) at UNSW Australia, is home to WRC researchers and academics who conduct pure research and applied research using virtual laboratories and simulators.

Water Research Laboratory at Manly Vale (established in 1959) which houses a range of facilities including wave basins, a well tank, soils lab, centrifuge permeameter, a chemistry laboratory and various wave flumes.

Focus on multidisciplinary research and collaboration

The Water Research Centre remains at the forefront of multidisciplinary research in water resources, engineering, management and the development of tools for environmental management and sustainability for improving the aquatic and atmospheric environments.

As an externally funded research centre within the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, WRC interacts and collaborates with industry, both State and Federal governments, and research groups in other universities across Australia and overseas.