ECAN Engineering

Engineering Early Career Academic Network

The Engineering ECAN (Early Career Academic Network) is working to improve communications between ECAs within Engineering and ensure that opportunities are provided for ECAs to develop networks and gain knowledge in academic career development.

What is an ECA?

UNSW Early Career Academics (ECAs) meet all of the following criteria:

  • UNSW Academic staff within seven years (relative to opportunity) of having been awarded a PhD or recognised equivalent;
  • Appointment is at Level A-C.

The term ECA includes any employee who fits the requirements above, irrespective of whether the employment is:

  • in a research-focused role, an education-focused role, or a combined research and education role; and
  • in a continuing or fixed-term position.

Additionally, you must also take into account your relevant career opportunity and interruptions.

If you have any questions, please email us at

What does ECAN do?

We provide support to ECAs and opportunities for young academics to create new collaboration within the Faculty and across Faculties.

We run a lot of events throughout the year including a promotions event and speed mentoring. To stay up to date subscribe to our email list by contacting HR or contact us via email.

Stay Connected!

  Join the Eng. ECAN's Teams here!


Networking Morning Tea

[COVID-19] Morning coffees are moving online! Join us for a morning coffee to meet your fellow Engineering ECAs.

Our virtual coffee breaks are hosted on the Eng ECAN Teams, every other Fridays at 10am. Join the next one and get more info on Teams.

CONNECTIONS Seminar Series

We run the seminar series CONNECTIONS. The seminars are around the faculty of Engineering priority areas: Biomedical and Health, Civil Environment, Enabling Technologies, Energy, and Water. The speakers are early ECAs and everyone across the faculty is invited to attend.

[COVID-19] The seminar series will be hosted as webseminars. Stay tuned more information to come on this page as well as through our mailing list, Yammer and Eng. ECA Teams.


Coming up: July 10th, 12-1pm, Seminars on Water

Link to join on MS Teams meeting

Dr. Valentin Heimhuber

Changing the game for water resources management – from global to local scales


Abstract: Water resources management, the activity of planning, developing, distributing, and managing the optimum use of water resources, is as old as human civilization itself. But while our capabilities for engineering, monitoring, accounting, and management of water resources have advanced dramatically in recent history, ongoing global population growth and climate change are pushing river systems around the world towards collapse. Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin is the perfect example of this global paradox, where despite a more than 13 billion-dollar investment and unprecedented scientific and political efforts, the river system is now in its worst state since European settlement. So how can we escape this paradox?

This is not an easy or straightforward question, but I have made it the very goal of my academic career to provide at least some possible answers. By integrating novel remote sensing techniques and process-based water modeling with ecosystem service accounting, my research aims to find a balance between what is needed by humans and what is needed in the environment so that ultimately, river systems are truly managed for the common good, from the source to the sea. In this talk, I will provide an overview of my research on novel remote sensingbased and other modeling techniques for holistic management of rivers and estuaries under climate change and rapid population growth.


 Dr. Clare Stephens

How might climate change impact conceptual hydrologic models? An ecohydrologic experiment

Clare_Stephens.jpg Abstract: Engineers are tasked with translating climate change research into real-world adaptation, but there is often a mismatch between the latest scientific knowledge and available engineering tools. For example, while it is well understood that ecological changes will influence water availability in the future, these effects are not accounted for in hydrologic models. In fact, even the literature testing the performance of hydrologic models under climate change neglects these impacts by assuming models will transfer as robustly to an altered climate as to a similarly wet/dry past period. There are three weaknesses here: 1) unlike periods of past variability, climate change will persist long-term; 2) the climate will be warmer in the future, and 3) CO2 levels will be higher in the future, impacting vegetation behaviour. We test the importance of these overlooked factors for future catchment response using a detailed ecohydrologic model that simulates dynamic vegetation growth, nutrient cycling and subsurface water storage/transport.



Our Next Connections

Month Date Theme Guest Speakers
June 19-Jun-20 Biomedical and Health

Dr Saabah Mahbub (GSBME)

Dr Anna Guller (GSBME)

July 10-Jul-20 Water

Dr Valentin Heimhuber

Dr Clare Stephens

August 14-Aug-20 Enabling Technologies  
September 11-Sep-20 Civil and Environment  
October 09-Oct-20 Energy  
November 13-Nov-20 Biomedical and Health  
December 11-Dec-20 Water  

If you are interested to present your work, don't hesitate to contact us by MS Teams or email us at



Past Connections

June 19th 2020 - BioMed and Health



March 13th 2020 - Civil and Environment



November 8th 2019 - Enabling Technologies




October 11th 2019 - BioMedical and Health



September 13th 2019 - Water



June 7th 2019 - Energy



ECAN Engineering Committee Members







Sandhya Clement

Dr Sandhya Clement

Biomedical Engineering

Dr Susann Beier

 Dr Susann Beier

Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (Chair)

Loves coffee, triathlons and is passionate about computing blood flow


Dr Emma Lovell

Dr Emma Lovell

Chemical Engineering


Dr Ruth Fisher

Dr Ruth Fisher

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr Yu Jing

Dr Yu Jing

Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering


Dr Ran Chen

Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering


Dr Wafa Johal

Computer Science Engineering

♥ robots and travels

Dr Arash

Dr Arash Khatamianfar

Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications


Dr Mahmood Sadat-Noori

Civil and Environmental Engineering