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WaterSYSTEMS Research Group

The WaterSYSTEMS Research Group is one of the most experienced and accomplished engineering research concentrations in the Australian tertiary sector.

Our internationally recognised group focuses on applied research and problem solving in three major areas, and has developed software tools to support research in these fields.

  • Asset Management

    The Asset Management group is the world leader in the development of a range of numerical techniques for inverse transient analysis as it applies to pipeline condition assessment and was one of the first groups to validate the techniques through laboratory experimental work.

    Over the last 15 years we have developed a number of new techniques using transients (or water hammer) for condition assessment of water distribution systems including condition assessment of the interior of pipes (cement mortar lining spalling, corrosion); the detection of closed valves, leaking valves and blockages; leakage detection; and pipe roughness calibration in pipe networks.

    The new techniques include the inverse transient technique; the transient damping method; frequency domain techniques; wave timing techniques; and coded transients.

    Our overall aim is to develop non-invasive, cost effective techniques for assessing the condition of pipes to enable water utilities to efficiently manage their assets. The research has been underpinned by fundamental investigation of water hammer modelling involving unsteady friction, column separation, alternative formulation schemes and unsteady minor losses.

    Since 1998 the WaterSYSTEMS Research Group has received more than $2M in Australian Research Council funding. This success has been enhanced by long established, extremely productive international collaborations, and produced over 40 refereed journal and conference papers.

  • Decision Support and Optimisation

    The Decision Support and Optimisation group carries out innovative research in areas such as sustainable water resources and water infrastructure design, management and operation.

    The group applies and develops techniques that enable improved decision-making in complex, multi-objective and uncertain environments related to natural and engineered water systems. These include:

    • predictive model development, with a particular focus on data-driven / artificial intelligence based (e.g. artificial neural network) and integrated modelling approaches
    • mathematical and heuristic optimisation techniques, such as genetic algorithms and ant colony optimisation algorithms (both single- and multi-objective) and
    • robust multi-criterion decision and sensitivity analysis approaches.

    The research strengths of the group are distinctive and unique in Australia.

  • Hydrology and Climate

    The Hydrology and Climate Impacts Group undertakes research into the following aspects of hydrology and climate.

    • Australian rainfall and run-off
    • catchment river and estuary modelling
    • application of data driven approaches / artificial intelligence methods to hydrological modelling
    • hydrological modelling in ungauged basins
    • modelling surface water/groundwater interactions
    • impacts of climate change on engineering practices.

hydrology software

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School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Engineering
Engineering North N136

North Terrace Campus
The University of Adelaide


T: +61 8 8313 5451
F: +61 8 8313 4359

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