My expertise is in the fields of water engineering, hydraulic engineering and environmental fluid mechanics. I improve hydraulic designs, flow performances and environmental flows in urban stormwater, flow conveyance, wastewater and irrigation systems. More recently my research further diversified into fishways and impacts of climate change on the hydrodynamics of estuarine systems. My research is mostly experimental exploring new technologies and advancing data processing methods for improved understanding of complex flow processes at both laboratory and full scale. My specialised research interests include:
- Energy dissipation and design optimisation of hydraulic infrastructure.
- Aeration and air-water interactions in high-velocity free-surface flows including turbulence and boundary layers properties.
- Physical modelling and scale effects; Field-scale experiments of air-water flows.
- Grass-lined spillways and other nature-based aspects of hydraulic engineering
- UNSW tube fishway project to enable fish passage
- Design of instrumentation and advanced data processing tools.
- Exploring use of LIDAR and other remote sensing technologies in hydraulics.
Fields of Research (FoR)Water Resources Engineering, Water Quality Engineering, Soil and Water Sciences not elsewhere classified, Fluid Physics, Turbulent Flows, Civil Engineering, Civil Engineering not elsewhere classified, Heat and Mass Transfer Operations
Associate Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
I am an Associate Professor in hydraulic engineering and applied fluid mechanics in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. I hold a Dipl.-Ing. from RWTH Aachen University, Germany and a PhD in Hydraulic Engineering from the University of Queensland. I joined UNSW in 2014 and established the hydraulic engineering research group at the UNSW Water Research...view more
Associate Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
I am an Associate Professor in hydraulic engineering and applied fluid mechanics in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. I hold a Dipl.-Ing. from RWTH Aachen University, Germany and a PhD in Hydraulic Engineering from the University of Queensland. I joined UNSW in 2014 and established the hydraulic engineering research group at the UNSW Water Research Laboratory. I am an expert in hydraulic engineering and applied fluid mechanics with internationally recognised research in air-water flows, hydraulic structures engineering and fish passage. I have pioneered the use of remote sensing technology for flow observations in hydraulic structures and, together with my international collaborators, have made important changes to the way we measure and interpret air-water flows in the laboratory as well as in prototype structures.
I am the primary UNSW School of Civil and Environmental Engineering academic in hydraulic engineering and fluid mechanics, enabling me to transfer my passion for hydraulic engineering to the next generation of water engineers. Using my leadership positions in relevant committees of the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) and Engineers Australia, I actively pursue changing the profession’s traditions towards the sustainable development goals.
I am Chief Investigator on numerous research grants totalling more than $6.2M since joining UNSW. Selected research projects are:
• 2022-2025: Next Generation Water Engineering and River Management Hub with Charles Sturt University, Regional Research Collaboration funding by Federal Government
• 2022-2025: Installing Experimental Tube Fishways at NSW Weirs to develop fish passage de-sign guidelines, NSW Department of Industry / Recreational Fishing Trust
• 2022-2026: Next Generation Energy Systems (NexSys) – Water strand at NUI Galway, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Strategic Partnership Programme
• 2021-2025: SAFAIR – Safe design of hydraulic structures for high energy air-water flows, Swiss National Science Foundation (Switzerland)
• 2021-2022: Somerset Dam Physical Hydraulic Modelling, Seqwater / State Government
• 2019-2020: Scale matters – providing the missing validation of air-water flow research, Swiss National Science Foundation (Switzerland), SPARK Grant
• 2018-2020: Pump Fishway Project: Phase 2 - Fish transfer. NSW Department of Industry / Recreational Fishing Trust.
• 2019-2020: Scrivener Dam physical Modelling of Spillway and Energy Dissipator.
• 2018-2019: Lake Macdonald 3D Physical Model of Spillway and Fishway.
• 2017-2018: Somerset Dam: Physical Hydraulic Model of Spillway and Energy Dissipator.
Ph.D. in Hydraulic Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland, Australia; 2013
Dipl.-Ing. in Civil Engineering (Specialisation in Environmental Technology), RWTH Aachen University, Germany; 2008
Karl Emil Hilgard Hydraulics Prize of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), 2023
JD Lawson Scholarship, National Committee on Water Engineering, Engineers Australia, 2017
University of Queensland Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence for Ph.D. thesis, 2013
Travel Grant of DTK (German Committee on Large Dams) - Award for Dipl.-Ing. thesis, 2008
My Research Activities
I am leading the hydraulics research group and the cross-faculty Tube Fishway research collaboration at the Water Research Laboratory (WRL). Since joining WRL in 2014, I have continuously increased the research output and profile of the hydraulic research activities at WRL. I have been leading the development of advanced air-water flow instrumentation which is now used at several laboratories around the world. I have also pioneered the use of LIDAR technology in air-water flows in hydraulic engineering applications improving the design methods for physical modelling of water infrastructure and enabling remote sensing of air-water flows in field-scale settings. Using my air-water phase-detection intrusive probes, I have established research collaborations with researchers at several leading hydraulic engineering laboratories including ETH Zurich and the Utah Water Research Laboratory. Recently these air-water probes have been successfully employed in a prototype tunnel chute providing unique high-velocity data for the validation of scale effects. I am also leading the UNSW tube fishway project to enable fish migration across low to high head barriers.
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
I am looking for PhD students for projects related to:
Design optimisation of hydraulic structures
Field measurements and remote sensing of air-water flows in large-scale water infrastructure
Ethohydraulics and ecohydraulics in relation to fishpassage including the UNSW Tube Fishway
Development of advanced air-water flow instrumentation and signal processing tools
Optimisation of re-aeration in flowing waters
Environmental friendly spillways and river protection structures
Nature based solutions in hydraulic engineering
Current PhD student projects:
Principle supervisor of PhD project of Hiruni Kammanankada (2022 - ongoing). "Field Deployment of the Tube Fishway System "
Joint supervisor of PhD project of Thomas Dunlop (2021 - ongoing). "Applications of nature-based solutions to address climate change risks in coastal and estuarine environments"
Co-supervisor of PhD project of Simone Pagliara (ETH Zurich, Switzerland) (2021 - ongoing). "SAFAIR – Safe design of highenergy air-water flows"
Principle supervisor of PhD project of Reilly Cox (2021 - ongoing). "Helping fish migrate with UNSW Tube Fishway"
Principle supervisor of Scientia PhD project of Maryam Farzadkhoo (2019 - ongoing). "Optimising fish attraction into the UNSW Tube Fishway"
Joint supervisor of PhD project of Hanwen Cui (2019 - ongoing). "Air-water flows on vegetated chutes"
Completed PhD student projects:
Principle supervisor of PhD project of Rui Li (2018 - 2022). "On the Opportunities and Challenges of LIDAR Technology in Air-water Flows in Physical Hydraulic Modelling"
Joint supervisor of Scientia PhD project of Danial Khojasteh (2018 - 2022). "Estuarine hydrodynamics under sea level rise"
Principle supervisor of PhD project of Laura Montano (2016 - 2019). "An experimental study of free-surface dynamics and internal motions in fully aerated hydraulic jumps" (Laura received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding PhD Theses; awarded to top 10% of PhD theses examined)
Principle supervisor of PhD project of Armaghan Severi (2015 - 2018). "Air Entrainment and Flow Resistance in High Velocity Two Phase Flows"
I am engaged in a number if activities both at School level (Chair of the Research Management Group at WRL, Deputy Chair of the School's Technical Service Committee) as well as in a number of professional organisations including:
- Member of Engineers Australia (MIEAust)
- Member of International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR)
- Leadership team Member. IAHR Hydraulic Structures Committee (2017-present)
- Vice Chair. IAHR Hydraulic Structures Committee (2021-present)
- Secretary. IAHR Hydro-Environment Division (2018-2019)
- Committee Member. Engineers Australia Sydney Water Panel (2015-present)
- Deputy Chair. Engineers Australia Sydney Water Panel (2021-present)
- Local Organizing Committee member. 34th IAHR World Congress 2011, Brisbane.
- Chair of Scientific Committee and Member of Local Organizing Committee. 13th Conference on Hydraulics in Water Engineering, 2017, Sydney, AU.
- Co-Chair of Scientific Committee and member of Local Organizing Committee. 14th Conference on Hydraulics in Water Engineering, 2020, Auckland, NZ.
- Member of International Scientific Committees for 6th, 7th, 8th IAHR International Symposium on Hydraulic Structures as well as the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th IAHR International Junior Researcher and Engineer Workshop on Hydraulic Structures.
ENGG2500 Fluid Mechanics for Engineers
CVEN3502 Water and Wastewater Engineering
CVEN4507 Advanced Water Engineering
CVEN9611 Urban Hydrology
I have let the development of blended learning initiatives in all my courses. For ENGG2500 I was awarded the UNSW Scientia Education Investment Fund grant (SEIF2) in 2018, "Improved Learning Through Digital Resources and Hands-on Labs in Large Faculty-Level Undergraduate Courses" ($50K).