Researcher

Dr Stefan Felder

My Expertise

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

- 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.

Field of Research (FoR)

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Biography

I am a Senior Lecturer 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 explore advanced experimental methods in the laboratory and at...view more

I am a Senior Lecturer 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 explore advanced experimental methods in the laboratory and at full-scale to resolve applied and fundamental research challenges in hydraulic engineering including air-water flow phenomena, optimisation of water engineering infrastructure for flow conveyance, fish passage and environmental flows. 
I have successfully graduated two PhD students to completion and supervise currently four further PhD students. I have a strong track record of publishing in high-ranking journals comprising more than 30 journal papers and more than 40 peer-reviewed conference papers. I have been a chief investigator in a number of fundamental and applied research grants totaling more than $2.2M. I am a member of the leadership team of the IAHR hydraulics structures committee and a member in Engineers Australia's Sydney Water Panel. I have been member of the organization and scientific committees of a number of national and international conferences including the IAHR World Congress and the Hydraulics in Water Engineering conferences of Engineers Australia.


My Grants

I am Chief Investigator on numerous research grants totalling more than $2.2M since joining UNSW. My research income includes:
• 2019-2020: Scale matters – providing the missing validation of air-water flow research, Swiss National Science Foundation (Switzerland), SPARK Grant, 62K CHF.
• 2018-2020: Pump Fishway Project: Phase 2 - Fish transfer. NSW Department of Industry / Recreational Fishing Trust. $89K.
• 2019-2020: Scrivener Dam physical Modelling of Spillway and Energy Dissipator. $453K.
• 2018-2019: Lake Macdonald 3D Physical Model of Spillway and Fishway. $380K.
• 2017-2018: Somerset Dam: Physical Hydraulic Model of Spillway and Energy Dissipator. $630K.
• 2017: Physical Modelling of Breakwater Stability under Propeller Wash. $142K.
• 2016-2017. Amrun Dam Project - Physical Modelling of Spillway and Fishway. $424K.


My Qualifications

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


My Awards

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 hydraulic engineering research at the UNSW Water Research Laboratory. 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 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 the University of Auckland, RWTH Aachen University, University of Liege, ETH Zurich, EPF Lausanne, IST Lisbon 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 part of the UNSW tube fishway project to enable fish migration across low to high head barriers.


My Research Supervision


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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

Design optimisation and field implementation of the UNSW tube fishway

Development of advanced air-water flow instrumentation and signal processing tools

Optimisation of re-aeration in flowing waters

Fundamental research of turbulent air-water boundary layers

Environmental friendly spillways and river protection structures

 


Currently supervising

Current PhD student projects:

Primary 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"

Primary supervisor of PhD project of Rui Shi (2018 - ongoing). "Exploring LIDAR as a remote sensing tool in air-water flows"

Joint supervisor of Scientia PhD project of Danial Khojasteh (2018 - ongoing). "The new low tide - the real climate change challenge!"

 

Completed PhD student projects:

Primary 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)

Primary supervisor of PhD project of Armaghan Severi (2015 - 2018). "Air Entrainment and Flow Resistance in High Velocity Two Phase Flows"
 


My Engagement

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)

- Secretary. IAHR Hydro-Environment Division (2018-2019)

- Committee Member. Engineers Australia Sydney Water Panel (2015-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 7th and 8th IAHR International Symposium on Hydraulic Structures as well as the 6th and 7th IAHR International Junior Researcher and Engineer Workshop on Hydraulic Structures.
 


My Teaching

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).

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Location

Civil Engineering Building (H20)
Level 3, Room CE303
Kensington Campus
OR
UNSW Water Research Laboratory
Manly Vale Campus

Contact

(+ 61 2) 9385 5898 or (+61 2) 8071 9861
(+61 2) 9385 6139