• Shankar Sankaran University of Technology Sydney
  • Kumi Abeysuriya Univeristy of Technology Sydney
  • Janice Gray University of New South Wales
  • Anthony Kachenko Nursery & Garden Industry Australia


Sustainability, Systems Thinking, Action research, Urine Diversion


This paper will explain a research project being carried out in Sydney, Australia at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) highlighting the systems thinking principles and action research methodology being adopted in this project. UTS is set to participate in an Australia-first research project, led by the Institute of Sustainable Futures (ISF), exploring the use of innovative urine diverting toilets in an institutional setting. A UTS Challenge Grant (an internal grant scheme to promote innovative collaborative research) has been awarded to the project which will enable safe nutrient capture and reuse from urine diverting toilets installed on campus for a trial period. The Challenge Grant has some enthusiastic industry partners including the local water utility Sydney Water; the sanitaryware manufacturer CaromaDorf; the Nursery and Garden Industry Association; government partners (NSW Department of Health, and City of Sydney) and the UTS Facilities Management Unit. Researchers from the University of Western Sydney and University of New South Wales in Australia as well as Linkoping University in Sweden are collaborators in this research.

Author Biographies

Shankar Sankaran, University of Technology Sydney

Associate Professor in the School of the Built Environment teaching Systems Thinking and Management Modelling in Project Management Programs. Course Director for Project Management Programs. Supervise doctoral students using systems thinking in their research. Hold Masters Degree in Systems Engineering and PhD in Business and Management. Member of System Dynamics Society. Presented/published refereed papers in journal related to systems thinking and action research. Worked as a control systems engineer and project manager for large scale distributed systems in oil, gas, petrochemical and power industries.

Janice Gray, University of New South Wales

Janice Gray is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. She specialises in Property Law and Water Law and is the co-author of three books in these fields. She has also published book chapters and journal articles nationally and internationally. Janice is particularly interested in sewage law and waste re-use. She is available for doctoral supervisions in the broad areas of property, water, sewage and sustainability. Her work makes links with both the hard and soft sciences.

Anthony Kachenko, Nursery & Garden Industry Australia

Anthony Kachenko is the National Environmental and Technical Policy Manager for Nursery & Garden Industry Australia. He holds an Honours Degree in Horticultural Science, a PhD in Agricultural Science, is a Certified Nursery Professional (CNP) and Member of the Australian Institute of Horticulture (MAIH). His research interests included soil remediation, plant physiology and environmental science. He has authored/presented several peer reviewed scientific papers in these fields.



How to Cite

Sankaran, S., Abeysuriya, K., Gray, J., & Kachenko, A. (2010). CLOSING THE LOOP:A SYSTEMS THINKING LED SUSTAINABLE SANITATION PROJECT IN AUSTRALIA. Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2010, Waterloo, Canada, 54(1). Retrieved from