GSP-NUCE: Energy Optimization in Operation and Management of Bac Ninh Wastewater Treatment Plant (Vietnam)


Electricity is the main energy source required in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), accounting for around 25–50% of the operating costs of traditional activated sludge plants. It was reported by recent research that most impacting elements in the energy consumption of a conventional WWTP are the aeration of mixed liquor (55–70%), primary and secondary settling with sludge pumping (15.6%) and sludge dewatering (7%).

Bac Ninh WWTP is located in Bac Ninh province – 40 km from Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. The company wishes to engage RMIT students in a research project aiming to evaluate current energy use and propose solutions for energy saving.

As it is impossible to travel overseas at this moment, students will conduct the research from Australia. However, they will be collaborating with Bac Ninh’s WWTP staff and National University of Civil Engineering (NUCE) students in collecting data and organizing project activities.

–         Investigation of energy used in the plant

–         Review the potential process optimization solutions for energy saving and reuse in the plant

–         Proposal of most practical options for Bac Ninh WWTP case

–         Present the results to WWTP, RMIT and NUCE

–         Write a paper for a specialized journal


No. Main Deliverable Description Estimated Timing
1 Project Plan Students discuss RMIT and NUCE academic supervisors about ideas that would lead to detailed and implementable project plans. February 2021
2 Literature Review Current situation and practices. March-April 2021
3 Data Collection and Analysis In collaboration with NUCE’s staff and students, collect the data for analysis. April – August 2021
4 Draft reports Drafting reports September 2021
5 Presentation Presentation on research findings October 2021
6 Final reports Final Research Theses* End October 2021

* ideally, the theses would provide scope for one or more peer-review publications


  • Students enroll in a relevant course and will be supervised and assessed by an academic at RMIT.
  • Students will work remotely to implement this project. Bac Ninh WWTP and NUCE staff will be remote co-supervisor during the project.
  • Students will have remote check-ins with RMIT and partners on a bi-weekly basis.
  • Data collection will be assisted by Bac Ninh WWTP and NUCE’s staff and students. This include surveys, interviews, and consultation workshop/seminar.


The project is fully funded by the New Colombo Plan, which will cover all project-related costs.
Only Australian undergraduate students are eligible for this project.


  • Students submit EOI together with their latest CVs and academic records to Dr. Nina Nguyen at
  • Students are selected subject to approval from partners.


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