Personal details

Dr Jay Rajapakse
Science and Engineering Faculty,
School of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Discipline *
Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering
+61 7 3138 9154
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Identifiers and profiles

PhD (University College London)

Professional memberships
and associations
  • Hon. Senior Lecturer (since 2007), University College London (University of London)
  • Fellow, Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management (FCIWEM), CEng
  • Institution of Civil Engineers (MICE)
  • Eur Ing (FEANI)
* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Jay Rajapakse is a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, UK and is a Lecturer in the School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment at QUT. On gaining a doctoral degree in public health engineering, as a Deans Scholar from University College London (UCL), he worked as a post-doctoral researcher in water treatment at UCL and at Imperial College London, jointly with Anglian Water Services Plc (Alton Water Treatment Works).  He was the project engineer for Salford Civil Engineering Ltd (SCEL, UK) for two years and subsequently joined the PNG University of Technology as a Lecturer in 1997 rising to be an Associate Professor in 2008.  On leaving PNG, Jay spent a year at Cambridge University on a sabbatical attachment investigating new filter media for water filtration while gaining an MPhil degree in engineering from Cambridge University before joining QUT in 2010.  Between 2005 and 2007, Jay won three competitive international awards: two from UNESCO-Daimler Chrysler (Water treatment solutions for remote communities, Mondialogo Engineering Award, Berlin 2005 and India 2007); and one award from the World Bank (Innovations in Water and Sanitation), Washington DC, in 2006.
Broad area of research: Infrastructure Main areas of research

  • Public health engineering (filtration and pre-filtration), Remote community water treatment

Selected list of awarded grants

  • 2018: Low energy water treatment solutions for remote Australian communities (AU$125,000)
  • 2018: Seqwater – Clarifier modification at Beaudesert water treatment plant (AU$10,000)
  • 2015: DFAT-Australia Awards Fellowships, AU$219,000 (Total value: AU$377,500)
  • 2013: BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi, AU$63,000
  • 2013: Seqwater, Water Treatment-pebble matrix filtration, AU$30,000
  • 2012: AusAID, ALAF, AU$ 180,000
  • 2008: Country coordinator for Papua New Guinea, ACP-EU Cooperation Program in Higher Education (EDULINK), COllaborative curriculum Development on Waste management in Africa and the Pacific region (CODWAP), Collaborators: Papua New Guinea, Australia, Germany, Greece, Sierra Leone and Mauritius. 2008-2009, EUR 586,715
  • 2006: World Bank Development Marketplace Award, US$130,000.

Awards and recognitions

  • 2016: QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence nominee: Partnerships, Engagement and Research
  • 2014: QUT Science and Engineering Faculty Award for Postgraduate Research Supervision
  • 2006: World Bank Development Marketplace Award, Innovations in Water & Sanitation
  • 2007:  UNESCO-Daimler Chrysler Mondialogo Engineering Award
  • 2006: Vice Chancellor’s 30th PNG Independence Anniversary Special Award for teaching and research
  • 2005: UNESCO-Daimler Chrysler Mondialogo Engineering Award
  • Dean’s Scholar, University College London.

Career history

  • 2008 – 2009: Visiting scholar, Cambridge University, UK. Investigation of the use of recycled crushed glass and brick balls as an alternative filter media to sand and pebbles. Three joint refereed papers published; One, in the ASCE Journal of Environmental Engineering, (2011) and two, in the Journal of Geomechanics and Engineering (2012 & 2015) as listed in eprints.
  • 1997 – 2008: Teaching and research, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Technology, PNG
  • 1994 – 1997: Post-doctoral research fellow (water treatment), University College London
  • 1992 – 1993: Post-doctoral research associate (water treatment), Imperial College London /Anglian Water Plc
  • 1990 – 1992: Project Engineer, Commercial Testing, Salford University Civil Engineering Ltd (SCEL), Salford, UK.

Career Publications

  • Patents

Rajapakse, J.P.,Coconut fibre-Charcoal (CoCo-Coal) FILTER-SEPARATOR, Innovation Patent, IP-Australia, Patent No: AU2003100868, 2003-2006.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Refereed Journals

  1. Rajapakse, Jay, Rainer-Smith, Semone , Millar, Graeme J. , Grace, Peter , Hutton, Allison , Hoy, Wendy , Jeffries-Stokes, Christine , & Hudson, Brian (2018) Unsafe drinking water quality in remote Western Australian Aboriginal communities. Geographical Research (Q1). (published online 26 October 2018)
  2. Syeda Nishat Ashraf, Jay Rajapakse, Les A. Dawes and Graeme J. Millar (2018) Coagulants for Removal of Turbidity and Dissolved Species from Coal Seam Gas Associated Water, Journal of Water Process Engineering (Q1), Accepted: 26 October 2018, Vol 26, Dec 2018, p187-199.
  3. Moragspitiya, Chathurani, Rajapakse, Jay, Senadeera, Wijitha, & Ali, Imtiaj (2017) Simulation of dynamic behaviour of a biological wastewater treatment plant in South East Queensland, Australia using bio-win software. Engineering Journal (Q2), Vol 21, No 3, June 2017.
  4. Rajapakse, Jay, Gallage, Chaminda, Dareeju, Biyanvilage, Madabhushi, Gopal, & Fenner, Richard (2017) Estimation of Poisson’s ratio and variation of tensile yield strength of composite clay balls used in pebble matrix filtration. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering (Q1), Vol 29, Issue 9, September 2017.
  5. Rajapakse, Jay, Millar, Graeme, Gunawardana, Chandima, & Roux, Annalie (2016) Applicability of pebble matrix filtration for the pre-treatment of surface waters containing high turbidity and NOM. Desalination and Water Treatment (Q2), Vol 57, Issue 52.
  6. Cardenas, Miguel Antonio Reyes, Ali, Imtiaj, Lai, Foon Yin, Dawes, Les, Thier, Ricarda, & Rajapakse, Jay (2016) Removal of micropollutants through a biological wastewater treatment plant in a subtropical climate, Queensland-Australia. Journal of Environmental Health Science and Engineering (Q1), 14, Article no. 14.
  7. Chaminda Gallage, Golam Mostofa, David Vosolo and Jay Rajapakse (2016) A new laboratory model of a slaking chamber to predict the stability of on-site coal mine spoils, International Journal of GEOMATE, June, 2016, Vol. 10, Issue 22, pp. 2065-2070, Geotec., Const. Mat. & Env., ISSN: 2186-2982(Print), 2186-2990(Online), Japan.
  8. Subramaniam, D., Mather, P., Russell, S., & Rajapakse, J. (2016) Dynamics of nitrate-nitrogen removal in experimental stormwater biofilters under intermittent wetting and drying. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 142(3).(doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0001043)
  9. Rajapakse, Jay, Gallage, Chaminda, Dareeju, Biyanvilage, Madabhushi, Gopal, & Fenner, Richard (2015) Strength properties of composite clay balls containing additives from industry wastes as new filter media in water treatment. Geomechanics and Engineering, 8(6), pp. 859-872.
  10. Subramaniam, Daniel Niruban, Egodawatta, Prasanna, Mather, Peter, & Rajapakse, Jay (2015) Stabilization of stormwater biofilters: Impacts of wetting and drying phases and the addition of organic matter to filter media. Environmental Management, 56(3), pp. 630-642.
  11. Subramaniam, Daniel, Egodawatta, Prasanna, Gallage, Chaminda, Mather, Peter,  & Rajapakse, Jay (2014)  Significance of drying periods on nitrate removal in experimental biofilters.  Journal of Water Management and Modeling.
  12. Rajapakse, Jay, Madabhushi, Gopal, Fenner, Richard, & Gallage, Chaminda (2012) Properties of hand-made clay balls used as a novel filter media. Geomechanics and Engineering, 4(4), pp. 281-294.
  13. Rajapakse, J.P. and Fenner, R.A., Evaluation of Alternative Media for Pebble Matrix Filtration Using Clay Balls and Recycled Crushed Glass, Journal of Environmental Engineering, Vol. 137, No. 6, pp 517-524, June 1, 2011. ©ASCE, SSN 0733-9372/2011/6-517–524.  DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0000350.
  14. Rajapakse, J.P. and Sumanaweera, S., Pretreatment Ahead of Slow Sand Filtration at Kataragama Water Treatment Plant, Sri Lanka, Journal of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka, vol xxxx, No. 2, pp. 53-57, issue April 2007.
  15. Rajapakse, J.P., Jovanović, B. & Ljubisavljević, D., Field trials of a simple surface water treatment package for rural supply (Part II), Pebble Matrix Filtration Field Trials in Serbia and Montenegro, The Environment Engineer, Journal of the Society of Sustainability and Environmental Engineering, Institution of Engineers Australia, Vol 6 No 3, pp.17 – 19, ISSN 1447-9435, Spring 2005.
  16. Rajapakse, J.P.  and Ives, K.J.,  Field Trials of a Simple Surface Water Treatment Package for Rural Supply, J. Env.Eng. Soc, IEAust,  The Environmental Engineer, Vol.4, No.1, pp.16-20, ISSN 1447-9435, Autumn 2003. (
  17. Rajapakse, J.P., Pebble Matrix Filtration in Papua New Guinea,  Waterlines, International Journal of Appropriate Technologies for Water Supply and Sanitation, Vol.21, N0.4, pp12-14, ISSN 0262-8104, April 2003.
  18. Rajapakse, J.P. and Scutt, J.E., Biological Denitrification using Natural Gas  and New Plastic  Growth Media,  Water Research, Vol.33, No. 18, pp. 3723-3734, Elsevier Publication  1999.
  19. Rajapakse, J.P. and Ives, K.J., Prefiltration of very highly turbid waters using pebble matrix filtration, Journal of Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management, 4(2), 140-147, 1990.

International Conferences / Proceedings

  1. Jay Rajapakse, Herath Manthrithilake, and Brian Hudson (2018). Unsafe water, poor health and low life expectancy in remote communities, Safe water summit, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, 29-30 November 2018.
  2. Rajapakse, Jay, Wilde, Lara, Kitzelmann, Michael, Waterman, Peter & Samarasekera, Rohana (2017) Providing secure and safe domestic water for rural and remote regions: An overview. In Charters, Kate (Ed.) SEGRA Issues Papers 2017: Sustainability, SEGRA, Bathurst, NSW.
  3. Ashraf, Syeda Nishat, Rajapakse, Jay, Millar, Graeme & Dawes, Les (2016) Performance analysis of chemical and natural coagulants for turbidity removal of river water in coastal areas of Bangladesh. In 1st Australian Institute of Sustainable Development (AISD) International Multidisciplinary Conference on Sustainable Development (IMCSD 2016), 22-23 January 2016, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  4. Gallage, Chaminda, Mostofa, Golam, Vosolo, David, & Rajapakse, Jayasiri (2015) Laboratory investigation on the effects of overburden pressure, water, and time on slaking induced material property degradation of coal mine spoil. In Hossain, Zakaria, Kobayashi, Akira, & Inazumi, Shinya (Eds.) Geotechnique, Construction Materials and Environment, The Geomate International Society, Osaka, Japan, pp. 395-400.
  5. Rajapakse, Jay, Waterman, Peter, Millar, Graeme, & Sumanaweera, Sumitha (2014) Emerging water treatment technologies for decentralised systems : an overview of selected systems suited for application in towns and settlements in remote and very remote regions of Australia and vulnerable and lagging rural regions in Sri Lanka. In Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA) 2014 Conference Proceedings, SEGRA, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia.
  6. Gabrilaitis J., McInnes D., Omelaniuk S.J. and Rajapakse J., (2014), The Use of New Generation Geosynthetics in Water Treatment, 10th International Conference on Geosynthetics, 10 ICG, Berlin, 21-24 September 2014, Germany (Paper Ref: 573, Peer Reviewed).
  7. Subramaniam, D., Egodawatta, P., Mather, P.,  & Rajapakse, J. (2014) Stabilization of experimental bioretention basins during intermittent wetting and drying. In 2014 Stormwater Queensland Conference : Visions to Realities, 6-8 August 2014, RACV Noosa Resort, Noosa Heads.
  8. Roshani, A., Mirfendersk, H., Rajapakse, J., & Gallage, C. (2013). Groundwater Table response to Sea Level Rise and its Impact on Pavement Structure. i3r2 conference, July 2013, Brisbane, Australia.
  9. Rajapakse Jay, Liyanage Ruwan, Tindale Neil and Waterman Peter, (2013), Secure and Safe Water Supplies in Remote Australian and Rural Sri Lankan Regions: Common Issues and Emerging Responses, Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia (SEGRA) Conference Proceedings 2013, Coffs Harbour, 16-18 October 2013.
  10. Rajapakse, Jay, Egodawatta, Prasanna, Mirfenderesk, Hamid, & Goonetilleke, Ashantha (2012) WSUD application audit at Gold Coast City. In 34th Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, CD rom publication, Engineers Australia, Sydney, NSW.
  11. Mangangka, Isri R., Egodawatta, Prasanna, Rajapakse, Jay, & Goonetilleke, Ashantha (2012) Understanding treatment characteristics of constructed stormwater wetlands. In Proceedings of 34th Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, Engineers Australia, Sydney, NSW.
  12. Rajapakse, J.P. (2011), Handmade Clay Balls and Recycled Crush Glass as Alternative Media in Water Filtration, ICWEE 2011 : International Conference on Water, Energy and Environment, Phuket, Thailand, December 21-23, 2011, Proceedings of World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology (WASET), Issue 60, pp. 1391-1396.
  13. Verrills, J., Sawang, S. and Rajapakse, J., (2011), Can water security be achieved in the urban environment through the implementation of the Neo Institutional theory; government regulation and legislation?, Achieving sustainable water management in the built environment through legislation and regulation, Master of Architecture Research Conference, School of Design, QUT, Brisbane, 11 November 2011. 
  14. Rajapakse, J.P., Sumanaweera, S, Gallege, S and Thillainathan, V., First full-scale trials of pebble matrix filtration, ICENV2010: International Conference on Environment 2010 – Green technologies for the benefits of bottom billions, 13-15 December 2010, Penang, Malaysia,
  15. Puvanachandran, V.M., Rajapakse, J.P. and Mandawali, E.,  Civil Engineering Solutions for Alleviation of Poverty; The Papua New Guinea Experience,  The Role of Civil Engineers in the Alleviation of Poverty, Institution of Civil Engineers (London) Regional Convention, New Delhi, India, 13-15 January 2006.
  16. Rajapakse, J.P., Jovanovic, B., and Ljubisavljevic D.,  Pebble Matrix Filtration for Protecting Slow Sand Filters in Developing Countries; Mondialogo Engineering Award, Finding Sustainable Solutions, Water Supply Sector, Award Winner, Berlin,, May 2005.
  17. Schäfer, A., Richards, B., and Rajapakse, J.P.,   Remote Community Field Trials of Solar Powered Water Treatment for Remote Communities in Papua New Guinea, Mondialogo Engineering Award, Finding Sustainable Solutions, Water Supply Sector, Award Winner, Berlin,, May 2005.
  18. Rajapakse, J.P.,  A New Way of Protecting Slow Sand Filters During Rainy Periods in Developing Countries,  IRC-COSI-WSSCC International Workshop on “Scaling-up Community Water Supply Projects”,  24-28 Nov 2003, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
  19. Rajapakse, J.P.,  The Use of Natural Gas in Biological Denitrification, The Natural Gas Based Industry in the 21st Century:  A Challenge for Engineeriing Education in the Free Trade Era, Proc. Association of Engineering Education in South East Asia and the Pacific (AEESEAP) Conference 2000,  Aug 23-25,  Bali, Indonesia, pp 53-59.
  20. Ives, K.J. and Rajapakse, J.P.,  Pebble Matrix Filtration:  Application to very high turbidity monsoon waters, Proce. Int. Conf. Water Resources Management in Intermontane Basins, Water Research Centre, Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University, Thailand, pp. 81-97,  Feb. 1999.
  21. Rajapakse, J.P. and Ives, K.J.,  Application of Pebble Matrix Filtration to Mine Wastewater treatment,  in Wetlands & Remediation (JL Means & RE Hinchee Eds), Proc. Int. Conf. On wetlands and remediation, Battelle, 16-17 Nov.1999, Utah, USA, pp 415-422.
  22. Rajapakse, J.P., A new non-chemical pretreatment technique for slow sand filtration, UNESCO/UNEP/UNDP International seminar on “Environmental Impact Assessment-methodology and practical applications” Moscow, USSR, 25-29, Nov 1991.
  23. Rajapakse, J.P. and Ives, K.J., Features of the Pebble Matrix Filter, Aktualniya Problemi Fundamentalnikh Nauk (Ed., Dr.G.P.Pavlikhin), Baumann Technical University, Moscow (in Russian), 1991.

Books / Chapters

  1. Rajapakse, J.P. and Rychnovsky, M., Health and Water, (Chapter) Community Water Supply, A guide to planning, building and maintaining village systems in PNG, Appropriate Technology and Community Development Institute (ATCDI), Papua New Guinea, 2000, pp 1-14.
  2. Rajapakse, J.P. and Ives, K.J., Pebble Matrix Filtration, (Chapter) Pretreatment methods for community water supply, WHO – International Reference Centre for Community Water Supply and Sanitation, Hague, The Netherlands, 1989, 163-174.
  3. Ives, K.J. and Rajapakse, J.P., (Chapter) Pretreatment with Pebble Matrix Filtration, in Slow Sand Filtration – Recent Developments in Water Treatment Technology, Graham, N.J.D. (Ed.), Ellis Horwood Limited, 1988, 141-152.

  Other Publications

  1. Goonetilleke, A., Egodawatta, P. and Rajapakse, J. (2011), Water sensitive urban design (WSUD) application auditing, A report prepared for the Gold Coast City Council, School of Urban Development, Queensland University of Technology, December 2011, pp114.
  2. Rajapakse, J.P., Pebble Matrix Filtration in Papua New Guinea, Water & Env. Manager,  Vol.8, No.9, Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, UK, October 2003.
  3. Rajapakse, J.P., New Development in Rural Water Treatment, Institution of Engineers (PNG), IEPNG Newsletter, Aug 2003.
  4. Rajapakse, J.P., Transferring Water Treatment Technology, The Reporter, PNG, 18 July 2003.
  5. Bein, F.L. and Rajapakse, J.P., Opening the University to the Non-traditional Student, Proc. 3rd  Huon Seminar, Unitech Press, 2000, pp. 116-121.
  6. Rajapakse, J.P., Slow sand filter research for rural water treatment, The Reporter, PNG, 6 Aug 1999.
  7. Rajapakse, J.P., Slow Sand Filtration Field Trials at 14 mile, Lae, Papua New Guinea, Research News, Vol.9, Issue 4, 2001, PNG University of Technology, ISSN 1607-5315, pp155-160.
This information has been contributed by Dr Jay Rajapakse.


Teaching areas

  • Public health engineering
  • Engineering Hydraulics
  • Water resources engineering.
This information has been contributed by Dr Jay Rajapakse.


Interests and community service

  • Community water supply and sanitation in developing countries.


This information has been contributed by Dr Jay Rajapakse.


For publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.