Vishnu Avudainayagam and Geraldine Terada-Bellis (Co-Founders) - Lewi

  • 11.04.2022
  • bluerloop
  • bluerloop

Lewi Software

Vishnu Avudainayagam (Co-Founder): [email protected]

Geraldine Terada-Bellis (Co-Founder): [email protected]


Q: What is the vision you have for Lewi?

Our vision is to simplify the water industry with better software. Our mission is to enable asset operators to have better efficiency, transparency, and capability in both the planning, and optimization of their facilities.

Q: As chemical engineers and software developers, how and why did you choose the water industry?

During a trip to India in 2016, Vishnu was overwhelmed with confronting issues concerning water and the environment. Upon returning from the trip, he chose to study chemical and environmental engineering, to make impact at scale, and address emerging and prevailing environmental challenges faced across the globe.

Having studied chemical engineering, Geraldine identified the water industry as a sector where chemical engineering can have the greatest impact on communities and the environment. As a result, her first role as a graduate involved traveling to regional water facilities, and assisting with drinking water management- where she was able to witness the direct impact on quality of life for communities.

Q: How did you meet? And how did this lead to the creation of Lewi Software?

We met while working at Luggage Point STP, one of the largest wastewater treatment plants in Australia. While inspecting centrifuges, taking samples from the bioreactor, and performing lab experiments, we enjoyed talking about the incredible software companies that had transformed other sectors, and started to wonder why software in the water industry felt so behind the times.

In addition to his experience in wastewater treatment, Vishnu had prior experience working in the software business unit at BMT (WBM). Following his role on site, Vishnu founded Lewi while completing his Master of Chemical Engineering degree at UQ.

Having worked as a consultant for drinking water in regional communities, Geraldine saw first-hand the poor standards of documentation and model management at drinking water facilities. Following her time as a consultant, she ran projects at the Urban Utilities Innovation Centre, and is currently completing a diploma of IT and cybersecurity

Q: Which issue in the water industry have chosen to tackle?

While there currently exists software for detailed simulation of water assets- BioWin, WEST, SUMO, there is a lack of support for high level planning of water and waste assets. When screening ideas, water and waste engineers are therefore left without purpose-built tools, and are often tasked with managing drafting software, spreadsheets, programming scripts, manuals, and reports.

For simple daily tasks such as checking treatment plant health, engineers are left buried in an assemblage of spreadsheets. These frustrations make the planning and operation of water and waste assets erroneous, expensive, and lengthy.

Q: How does Lewi aim to address this issue?

Our product, FloWire integrates drafting and calculations to eradicate duplication. Additionally, it allows engineers to build models to varying levels of complexity- allowing greater flexibility, and scalability than alternatives. Our product is web based and capable of interfacing with the latest cloud capabilities. The user experiences have been curated specifically for process engineering model building. These models will possess high standards of presentation quality for direct use in projects and as deliverables.

Q: What traction/progress has Lewi made towards this vision?

In 2021, we delivered organic waste management software for Urban Utilities (one of the largest Utilities in Australia). Following, this, we presented at the OzWater’21 conference, and then competed in the University of Queensland (UQ) Ventures Validate challenge, where we won first place. We then began a pilot of our software with an office of process engineers at Stantec and were accepted into the UQ Ventures iLab Accelerator for the summer. Following the summer, we sold the licences of our software product FloWire to Rio Tinto, where they are using it to perform tech assessments of their latest Pioneer portal water remediation challenge.