A team of scientists from CSIRO has been recognised at the 2018 Eureka Prizes for developing an analytical tool that can predict the risk of failure in water pipes, helping initiate preventative maintenance.

Data61’s Smart Infrastructure Team won the Excellence in Data Science category at the awards held recently.

The Eureka Prizes are presented annually by the Australian Museum in recognition of outstanding achievements in Australian science and science communication, in the fields of research and innovation, leadership, science engagement, and school science.

Burst water pipes can cause disruption in the efficient supply of water, especially in urban environments.

An essential component of city and town infrastructure, water pipes need regular maintenance. However, inspecting the entire network of water supply pipes can be very expensive, with the result that barely one per cent of the pipes are actually inspected each year.

Data61's smart analytical tool uses data science to better prioritise pipe maintenance, helping to reduce costs and minimise disruption to water supplies.

Feedback from 27 utilities worldwide where it is in use validates the effectiveness of the tool.

The Smart Infrastructure Team won the Defence Science and Technology Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia.

Professor Thomas Maschmeyer from the University of Sydney took out this year’s CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science. 

Image: Eureka Prize for Excellence in Data Science: Bin Liang, Dr Jianjia Zhang, Dr Fang Chen, Zhidong Li, Dr Yang Wang, Smart Infrastructure Team, CSIRO’s Data61. Australian Museum Eureka Prizes © Photo by Salty Dingo.