Process Modelling for Water Treatment Professionals

Date From: 07 November 2018
Date To: 08 November 2018
Location: Australia
Description: An interactive course built around forecasting water quality and addressing treatment plant performance issues arising from changing feed water conditions.
Event Type: IChemE Course
Venue: Brisbane, Australia
Organiser: IChemE
Contact Name: Natalie Graser
Contact Phone: +61 (0)3 9642 4494
Contact Email:

Book Event


An interactive course built around forecasting water quality and addressing treatment plant performance issues arising from changing feed water conditions. Engineers will learn to understand the influence of water chemistry on process design and how to use this knowledge to optimise performance. Participants will also design new treatment plants and size equipment using comprehensive software that integrates material and heat balancing, equipment sizing, stream property and solubility prediction.

Each module includes realistic scenarios for advanced water treatment applications including boiler feedwater, cooling water blowdown, industrial wastewater, seawater desalination, mine dewatering and brine management. Up to 21 technologies in water treatment will be explored during the sessions. Participants will receive detailed notes for each module and a three month free subscription to AqMB™ process simulation software for water treatment.

Course outline

Day 1

Module 1 – Water chemistry essentials

  • A comprehensive overview of essential water quality properties for  treatment plant design
  • Basic theory around chemical equilibrium, reaction kinetics and redox potential
  • An introduction to solubility modelling, the impact of dissolved gases on redox and equilibrium chemistry and how process kinetics can affect scale formation and corrosion

Module 2 – Unit operation types

  • An overview of most technologies used in water treatment
  • Modes of action defining separation for each technology
  • Key advantages and disadvantages of each technology
  • Guidance on technology selection

Module 3 – Configuring flowsheets for process design

  • Developing a feed water scenario for typical and boundary conditions
  • Process design considerations, constraints, performance objectives and assumptions
  • For a given feed water specification, generate a first pass integrated process design and mass balance
  • Identify which parameters impact equipment performance and treated water quality

Day 2

Module 4 – Process modelling for performance optimisation

  • An overview of each unit operation, their key process parameters (design/operational) and how they are used in each model simulate equipment performance
  • Learn how to optimise a process design for performance objectives by refining process design parameters for each unit operation
    Conduct a solubility survey to understand the interaction of inorganic/organic species under different conditions and what does this really mean for the performance of each unit operation
    Model boundary conditions to establish the performance limitations of a process design

Module 5 -  Process economics and lifecycle evaluation

  • Produce vendor data sheets and RFQ documentation for equipment pricing
  • Calculate power, chemical and consumable operating costs
  • Estimate turnkey capital costs for a greenfield application
  • Produce a lifecycle cost evaluation for the project

Module 6 – Creating a process design or scenario modelling report

  • Documenting the basis of design
  • Key elements of a process design report
  • Addressing process risk through scenario modelling

Who will benefit

Process engineers, consultants and operators involved in concept design, sizing and/or operation of existing physico-chemical water treatment plants involving conventional (settling, filtration), membrane, resin, electrolytic or thermal technologies. 


  • IChemE member: AUD$2200 (inc. GST)
  • Non member: AUD$2860 (inc. GST)


Discounts are available to companies booking more than one place:

  • 2 places – 5% discount
  • 3 places – 10% discount
  • 4 or more places – 15% discount


Multiple places must be booked at the same time to qualify.

Course presenters

Darren Szczepanski CEng, MIChemE, MIEAust

Darren has many years of project experience in the field of membrane, resin, electrolytic and thermal technologies within the water, wine and dairy industries. His process design experience includes installations in coal seam gas water, acid mine drainage, seawater, potable drinking water, industrial and municipal tertiary effluent, pharmaceutical, brewery waste, NBC contaminated waste and cooling tower blowdown applications.

Darren has worked on the characterisation of water and brine, developed detailed design and functional specifications, and led the evaluation of complex competing process designs from major thermal technology vendors.

Darren holds a Bachelor of chemical engineering from The University of Queensland.

Matthew Brannock CEng, CSci, MIChemE, RPEQ

Dr Matthew Brannock has a wealth of experience in water and wastewater plant design and brine characterisation. He is a very capable modeller with extensive experience using chemical speciation and computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models for process simulation both for academic and process design applications.

Matthew holds a PhD in environmental engineering from The University of Queensland. His research saw him develop CFD tools for the design of wastewater treatment and membrane systems. He has published more than 20 papers in respected journals such as Water Research, Desalination and the Journal of Membrane Science.

Following his academic career, Matthew has spent 10 years in the consulting engineering industry specialising in process design of water and brine treatment systems.

Duration for CPD recording purposes: up to 16 hours.

If you are recording mandatory CPD you should refer to your own regulator’s requirements as recognition of CPD hours may vary.

IChemE member? Log your CPD via mycareerpath >>


IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).