Dr Dawit Bekele

Dr Dawit Bekele

Research Fellow

Global Centre for Environmental Remediation

Career Summary

Biography

Dr. Dawit N Bekele (Ph.D, PE, WRM), research career over last 10 years has been strongly based on cutting-edge research on contamination risk assessment and remediation. End-user-driven research has remained the enduring strength of his research career. On completion of his PhD, he took up a research- position, the areas of his work include the development of models to predict migration of subsurface vapours to structures and the implementation of field monitoring studies to evaluate this transport pathway. His research focuses on soil and groundwater remediation, contaminant hydrogeology and vapour intrusion risk assessment and mitigations. He has consulted on various contaminated site investigation and remediation projects focusing on creating value at every stage of a project through quality driven, sustainable and cost effective solutions.  He played pivotal role, in his team, in developing and implementation of several cost effective, innovative, green remediation technologies on field for the rehabilitation of contaminated sites. Dawit has published a number of referred journal articles and book chapters. Dawit is a registered Professional Engineer and an active member of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) and served as committee member for Australian Society of Soil Science Inc., South Australia Branch (ASSS). 

Research Expertise

Principles and practices in environmental remediation, Fate and transport of subsurface contaminants, Vapour intrusion health risk assessment and mitigations Environmental Monitoring, and Environmental Sciences.

Research Interests

  • Conceptual site model development, contaminated site characterization for environmental remediation
  • In-situ and ex-situ environmental remediation
  • Source, fate, transport and remediation of environmental contaminants

Expertise for Media Contact

I am able to provide media comment in the following areas of expertise:

Discipline: Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering

  • Principles and practices in environmental remediation
  • Fate and transport of subsurface contaminants
  • Vapour intrusion health risk assessment and mitigations


Keywords

  • biogeochemistry of organic compounds
  • contaminant hydrogeology
  • environmental risk assessment and remediation
  • vapour intrusion
  • water resource management

Languages

  • Amharic (Mother)
  • English (Fluent)
  • German (Working)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
050204 Environmental Impact Assessment 30
050209 Natural Resource Management 30
050207 Environmental Rehabilitation (excl. Bioremediation) 40

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Research Fellow University of Newcastle
Global Centre for Environmental Remediation
Australia

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
13/05/2015 - 13/07/2016 Research Associate University of Newcastle
Global Centre for Environmental Remediation | University of Newcastle | Australia
Australia
13/01/2013 - 26/05/2015 Research Associate University of South Australia
Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation (CERAR)
Australia
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Chapter (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Naidu R, Bekele D, Birke V, 'Permeable Reactive Barriers: Cost-Effective and Sustainable Remediation of Groundwater', Permeable Reactive Barriers: Sustainable Groundwater Remediation, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL 1-24 (2014)
Co-authors Ravi Naidu
2014 Bekele D, Ravi N, Volker B, Sreenivasulu C, 'Choosing the Best Design and Construction Technologies for Permeable Reactive Barriers', Permeable Reactive Barrier: Sustainable Groundwater Remediation, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL 41-62 (2014)

Journal article (6 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Besha AT, Gebreyohannes AY, Tufa RA, Bekele DN, Curcio E, Giorno L, 'Removal of emerging micropollutants by activated sludge process and membrane bioreactors and the effects of micropollutants on membrane fouling: A review', Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 5 2395-2414 (2017) [C1]

© 2016 Published by Elsevier B.V. Recently, emerging contaminants such as micropollutants presence in water poses significant challenge to regulators, engineers and scientific co... [more]

© 2016 Published by Elsevier B.V. Recently, emerging contaminants such as micropollutants presence in water poses significant challenge to regulators, engineers and scientific community. Micropollutants are introduced in the aquatic environment primarily from discharge of treated effluent from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). Advanced treatment processes: reverse osmosis, and membrane bioreactor (MBR) can achieve higher and more consistent micropollutants removal. Despite the used technology, the removal of micropollutants depends on phsyico-chemical properties of micropollutants and the treatment conditions. Several advantages make MBR to be recognized as the next generation for wastewater treatment. However, its efficiency is limited due to the presence of micropollutants, causing peculiar membrane fouling. This review compares MBR and conventional activated sludge (CAS) for wastewater treatment and discusses problems arising from the presence of emerging micropollutants, such as the low removal efficiency for certain types of compounds. Mechanisms of micropollutants removal are summarized and related to MBRs operational conditions based on the vast literature existing in this topic. Adsorption and subsequent biodegradation of the micropollutants have been identified as the dominant removal processes, and they are influenced by operational conditions such as solid retention time, biomass concentration, temperature, redox conditions and pH. The review also provides a detailed overview of the effects of micropollutants on microbial activities, since microorganisms respond to environmental stress by producing different polysaccharides and proteins that have a direct impact on membrane fouling. Finally, pertinent issues that must be addressed in order to increase the market share of MBR in the removal of emerging micropollutants are highlighted.

DOI 10.1016/j.jece.2017.04.027
2016 Bekele DN, Naidu R, Chadalavada S, 'Influence of soil properties on vapor-phase sorption of trichloroethylene', Journal of Hazardous Materials, 306 34-40 (2016) [C1]

© 2015 Elsevier B.V. Current practices in health risk assessment from vapor intrusion (VI) using mathematical models are based on assumptions that the subsurface sorption equilib... [more]

© 2015 Elsevier B.V. Current practices in health risk assessment from vapor intrusion (VI) using mathematical models are based on assumptions that the subsurface sorption equilibrium is attained. The time required for sorption to reach near-steady-state conditions at sites may take months or years to achieve. This study investigated the vapor phase attenuation of trichloroethylene (TCE) in five soils varying widely in clay and organic matter content using repacked columns. The primary indicators of TCE sorption were vapor retardation rate (R t ), the time required for the TCE vapor to pass through the soil column, and specific volume of retention (V R ), and total volume of TCE retained in soil. Results show TCE vapor retardation is mainly due to the rapid partitioning of the compound to SOM. However, the specific volume of retention of clayey soils with secondary mineral particles was higher. Linear regression analyses of the SOM and clay fraction with V R show that a unit increase in clay fraction results in higher sorption of TCE (V R ) than the SOM. However, partitioning of TCE vapor was not consistent with the samples' surface areas but was mainly a function of the type of secondary minerals present in soils.

DOI 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2015.12.002
Citations Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Ravi Naidu
2015 Dong Z, Liu Y, Duan L, Bekele D, Naidu R, 'Uncertainties in human health risk assessment of environmental contaminants: A review and perspective', Environment International, 85 120-132 (2015) [C1]

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Addressing uncertainties in human health risk assessment is a critical issue when evaluating the effects of contaminants on public health. A range of uncerta... [more]

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Addressing uncertainties in human health risk assessment is a critical issue when evaluating the effects of contaminants on public health. A range of uncertainties exist through the source-to-outcome continuum, including exposure assessment, hazard and risk characterisation. While various strategies have been applied to characterising uncertainty, classical approaches largely rely on how to maximise the available resources. Expert judgement, defaults and tools for characterising quantitative uncertainty attempt to fill the gap between data and regulation requirements. The experiences of researching 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) illustrated uncertainty sources and how to maximise available information to determine uncertainties, and thereby provide an 'adequate' protection to contaminant exposure. As regulatory requirements and recurring issues increase, the assessment of complex scenarios involving a large number of chemicals requires more sophisticated tools. Recent advances in exposure and toxicology science provide a large data set for environmental contaminants and public health. In particular, biomonitoring information, in vitro data streams and computational toxicology are the crucial factors in the NexGen risk assessment, as well as uncertainties minimisation. Although in this review we cannot yet predict how the exposure science and modern toxicology will develop in the long-term, current techniques from emerging science can be integrated to improve decision-making.

DOI 10.1016/j.envint.2015.09.008
Citations Scopus - 9Web of Science - 9
Co-authors Luchun Duan, Morrow Dong, Yanju Liu, Ravi Naidu
2015 Wang L, Liu E, Cheng Y, Bekele DN, Lamb D, Chen Z, et al., 'Novel methodologies for automatically and simultaneously determining BTEX components using FTIR spectra', Talanta, 144 1104-1110 (2015) [C1]

© 2015 Elsevier B.V. This study introduced a patented novel methodological system for automatically analysis of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR) spectrum data locat... [more]

© 2015 Elsevier B.V. This study introduced a patented novel methodological system for automatically analysis of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR) spectrum data located at 'fingerprint' region (wavenumber 670-800 cm < sup > -1 < /sup > ), to simultaneously determinate multiple petroleum hydrocarbons (PHs) in real mixture samples. This system includes: an object oriented baseline correction; Band decomposition (curve fitting) method with mathematical optimization; and Artificial Neural Network (ANN) for determination, which is suitable for the characteristics of this IR regions, where the spectra are normally with low signal to noise ratio and high density of peaks. BTEX components are potentially lethal carcinogens and contained in many petroleum products. As a case study, six BTEX components were determinate automatically and simultaneously in mixture vapor samples. The robustness of the BTEX determination was validated using real petroleum samples, and the prediction results were compared with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

DOI 10.1016/j.talanta.2015.07.044
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Ravi Naidu, Megh Mallavarapu, Liang Wang, Zuliang Chen, Dane Lamb
2014 Bekele DN, Naidu R, Chadalavada S, 'Influence of spatial and temporal variability of subsurface soil moisture and temperature on vapour intrusion', Atmospheric Environment, 88 14-22 (2014)
DOI 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2014.01.053
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 4
Co-authors Ravi Naidu
2013 Bekele DN, Naidu R, Bowman M, Chadalavada S, 'Vapor Intrusion Models for Petroleum and Chlorinated Volatile Organic Compounds: Opportunities for Future Improvements', VADOSE ZONE JOURNAL, 12 (2013)
DOI 10.2136/vzj2012.0048
Citations Scopus - 11Web of Science - 9
Co-authors Ravi Naidu
Show 3 more journal articles
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 11
Total funding $1,498,874

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20174 grants / $280,561

Development of Two Dimensional Vapour Intrusion Model for Real-Time Risk Prediction$109,701

Funding body: CRC CARE Pty Ltd

Funding body CRC CARE Pty Ltd
Project Team Doctor Dawit Bekele, Professor Ravi Naidu, Dr Sreenivasulu Chadalavada
Scheme Research Project
Role Lead
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1700321
Type Of Funding CRC - Cooperative Research Centre
Category 4CRC
UON Y

Integrated decision-making methodology and tools for groundwater remediation at Defence Site$82,060

Funding body: CRC CARE Pty Ltd

Funding body CRC CARE Pty Ltd
Project Team Professor Ravi Naidu, Doctor Dawit Bekele, Doctor Jianhua Du
Scheme Research Project
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1700319
Type Of Funding CRC - Cooperative Research Centre
Category 4CRC
UON Y

Finucane Island and Nelson Point vapour modelling and site assessment$61,200

Funding body: CRC CARE Pty Ltd

Funding body CRC CARE Pty Ltd
Project Team Doctor Dawit Bekele, Professor Ravi Naidu, Doctor Yanju Liu, Doctor Mezbaul Bahar
Scheme Research Project
Role Lead
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1700831
Type Of Funding CRC - Cooperative Research Centre
Category 4CRC
UON Y

Remediation Action Plan for OFTG, Nelson Point$27,600

Funding body: CRC CARE Pty Ltd

Funding body CRC CARE Pty Ltd
Project Team Doctor Mezbaul Bahar, Doctor Dawit Bekele, Doctor Yanju Liu, Dr Sreenivasulu Chadalavada, Dr Prashant Srivastava
Scheme Research Project
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1700832
Type Of Funding CRC - Cooperative Research Centre
Category 4CRC
UON Y

20165 grants / $1,104,478

Development of a risk based land management tool to assist decision making at derelict mine sites$354,000

Funding body: CRC CARE Pty Ltd

Funding body CRC CARE Pty Ltd
Scheme Research Project
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo
Type Of Funding CRC - Cooperative Research Centre
Category 4CRC
UON N

Innovative Bioremediation technologies for TCE contaminated groundwater$293,492

Funding body: CRC CARE Pty Ltd

Funding body CRC CARE Pty Ltd
Project Team Professor Ravi Naidu, Doctor Dawit Bekele, Doctor Thava Palanisami
Scheme Research Project
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1501243
Type Of Funding CRC - Cooperative Research Centre
Category 4CRC
UON Y

Human Health Risk Assessment from Old Railway Sleepers - Port Hedland and Newman Mainline, WA$158,300

Funding body: CRC CARE Pty Ltd

Funding body CRC CARE Pty Ltd
Project Team Doctor Dawit Bekele, Professor Ravi Naidu, Doctor Morrow Dong, Doctor Yanju Liu, Doctor Jianhua Du, Doctor Mezbaul Bahar, Dr Prashant Srivastava
Scheme Research Project
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo G1600616
Type Of Funding CRC - Cooperative Research Centre
Category 4CRC
UON Y

Portable GC-MS system for onsite real-time monitoring of semi-volatiles and volatiles at contaminated sites$155,671

Funding body: CRC CARE Pty Ltd

Funding body CRC CARE Pty Ltd
Project Team

Dr Dawit Nega Bekele, Prof Ravi Naidu, Dr Liang Wang

Scheme Research Project
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2017
GNo
Type Of Funding CRC - Cooperative Research Centre
Category 4CRC
UON N

Enhanced In situ Bioremediation of TCE towards closure of Site 14, EDP Edinburgh $143,015

Funding body: CRC CARE Pty Ltd

Funding body CRC CARE Pty Ltd
Project Team Doctor Dawit Bekele, Professor Ravi Naidu, Doctor Mezbaul Bahar, Dr Sreenivasulu Chadalavada
Scheme Research Project
Role Lead
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo G1700313
Type Of Funding CRC - Cooperative Research Centre
Category 4CRC
UON Y

20152 grants / $113,835

Development and validation of indoorCARETM model for assessing vapor intrusion health risk$87,835

Funding body: CRC CARE Pty Ltd

Funding body CRC CARE Pty Ltd
Project Team Doctor Dawit Bekele, Professor Ravi Naidu, Dr Sreenivasulu Chadalavada
Scheme Research Project
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1501240
Type Of Funding CRC - Cooperative Research Centre
Category 4CRC
UON Y

Integrated decision-making methodology and tools for groundwater remediation$26,000

Funding body: CRC CARE Pty Ltd

Funding body CRC CARE Pty Ltd
Project Team Doctor Dawit Bekele, Doctor Morrow Dong, Dr Matthew Currell, Ms Anne Northway, Dr Jane Mullett, Dr Gang-Jun Liu
Scheme Research Project
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2018
GNo G1500938
Type Of Funding CRC - Cooperative Research Centre
Category 4CRC
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed1
Current3

Total current UON EFTSL

PhD0.75

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2017 PhD Sustainability of Groundwater Use PhD (Environment Remediation), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2015 PhD Hydrocarbon Contaminated Groundwater remediation using Electrokinetic Enhanced Bioremediation PhD (Environment Remediation), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2015 PhD Integrated decision-making methodology and tools for groundwater remediation Environmental Studies, RMIT University Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2016 Honours On-Site Analysis of Petroleum Hydrocarbon Vapours for Optimised Vapour Intrusion Assessments Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment - The University of Newcastle (Australia) Co-Supervisor
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Research Collaborations

The map is a representation of a researchers co-authorship with collaborators across the globe. The map displays the number of publications against a country, where there is at least one co-author based in that country. Data is sourced from the University of Newcastle research publication management system (NURO) and may not fully represent the authors complete body of work.

Country Count of Publications
Australia 6
Ethiopia 1
Italy 1
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Dr Dawit Bekele

Position

Research Fellow
Global Centre for Environmental Remediation
Global Centre for Environmental Remediation
Faculty of Science

Contact Details

Email dawit.bekele@newcastle.edu.au
Phone +49 (2) 4913 8743

Office

Room ATC
Building Advanced Technology Centre
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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