Fast water, brown slime & hydropower!
Dr Jessica Andrewartha, 26, is a Civil Engineer and the API Research Fellow in the Centre for Renewable Energy and Power Systems at the University of Tasmania. She developed a keen interest in the physical sciences during her secondary years at Ogilvie High School and Elizabeth College. She decided to study engineering at university because it takes the fundamentals of maths and science and applies them to solve real world problems. Jess graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering with First Class Honours in 2005 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 2010, both from the University of Tasmania.
Jess' research is in renewable energy and experimental fluid dynamics and she is investigating methods to make the delivery of water from dams to hydropower stations more efficient. Biofouling (a.k.a. brown slime!) increases the friction between flowing water and canals and pipelines, and reduces the amount of renewable energy that can be generated. Jess spends a lot of time both in the field and in a high-tech laboratory, investigating how biofouling and algae affect water flow in pipes and canals!
Jess has presented her research at several international conferences and was awarded the 2010 Southern Cross Tasmanian Young Achiever Award in the Science and Technology category. She lectures at the School of Engineering in fluid dynamics and is actively involved with Engineers Australia and was elected the 2011 Chair of Young Engineers Australia representing over 40,000 engineers nationally. In her spare time, she enjoys playing hockey, bushwalking and travelling.
Find out more about the Centre for Renewable Energy and Power Systems at www.creps.utas.edu.au