Claudia specialises in applying quantitative methods to assess environmental, economic, and social variables to optimise water management.   

Environmental and social impact valuation for the construction of desalination plants to supply water for mining in the north of Chile.

This research project aims to optimise the water distribution in the north of Chile by assessing desalinated water infrastructure and opportunities for development. This approach does not only consider the availability of water but the social and environmental impacts that the use of desalinated water could bring to the region. These impacts can be negative, such as alteration of native habitats or carbon footprint from the energy-intensive process, or positive, for instance, the availability of water where the resource is scarce. 

The optimisation constraints used in the model involve applying quantitative variables to represent environmental, economic and social aspects, such as the quality of water, the price of the resource, the environmental impacts, and the relevance for the communities in the surrounding areas. ArcGIS software has been selected for the initial stages of the research project. 


Claudia is a chemical and environmental engineer with over 7 years' experience in water treatment, water management, environmental management and environmental economics. She started her academic career working on research projects at los Andes University (2009, 2011) and as a lecturer for two Colombian universities, Universidad Manuela Beltran and Universidad Santo Tomas (2014), teaching drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment, water modelling and environmental sanitation.  

After winning the Australian Awards Scholarship to undertake postgraduate studies in 2012 at the University of Queensland, Claudia focused her career more in environmental management topics and environmental economics, starting to work in 2018 at UQ Business School as a Research Assistant to later start a PhD in 2020 at the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI).  


Claudia has worked in consultancy for the design and assessment of water treatment systems, the development of environmental economic studies and the construction of Environmental Impact Assessment. She worked at INGETEC (2014-2016) and INERCO (2017) assessing environmental compliance of development projects, including water quality compliance, and developing environmental economic valuation, using methodologies such as the Cost Benefit Assessment (CBA). 


At the University of Queensland, Claudia holds a relationship with UQ Business School, participating in research projects related to the assessment of the economic value of National Parks and the development of Sustainable Workforces in the APEC region. 


Professor Neil McIntyreDr Liliana Pagliero & Dr Thilak Mallawaarachchi

Recent Publication

Moreno-Silva, C., Calvo, Torres, Ayala, Gaitán, González, Susa. (2020). Hydrogen sulphide emissions and dispersion modelling from a wastewater reservoir using flux chamber measurements and AERMOD® simulations. Atmospheric Environment, 224.