Angus Simpson

Angus Simpson

School of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Professor Emeritus, School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering, The University of Adelaide, Australia./ Honorary Professorial Fellow, Department of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne

He completed his Ph.D. in 1986 at the University of Michigan on the topic of the transient analysis in pipelines involving column separation. His other degrees are: Master of Science in Hydrology and Water Resources (1978-1980) from Colorado State University, Colorado; Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (1971- 1974) from Monash University, Department of Civil Engineering. He has worked for 6 years (1975-1978, 1981-1983) in industry with Melbourne Water, Victoria, Australia and Harza Engineering Company in Chicago, USA. He has been at the University of Adelaide for the last 33 years since 1987 and his main research has included a focus on water distribution systems including:

1. Optimisation using evolutionary algorithms (including genetic algorithms) and Economic Model Predictive Control (EMPC) for the design and operation of water distribution systems.

2. Non-invasive condition assessment of water distribution systems using the transients

3. Accounting for sustainability in the design and operation of water distribution systems by multi-objective optimisation

4. Steady state analysis modelling of water distribution systems

He has written more than 160 refereed journal articles and 180 conference papers.

Research Interests

  • Planning, design, operation and maintenance of water distribution system infrastructure.
  • Optimisation of the design and operation of municipal water distribution and pumping systems, irrigation and gas pipe networks using evolutionary algorithms (including genetic algorithms and ant colony optimisation).
  • Steady state computer simulation analysis of water distribution systems, in particular, improving both numerical solution techniques and the modelling of pressure reducing valves.
  • Optimisation of scheduling for irrigation water deliveries. 
  • Condition assessment of water distribution systems (e.g. leakage detection, block detection and pipe roughness calibration) using the inverse transient technique, the transient damping method and coded transients.
  • Field testing of large pipelines and water distribution systems using transients pressure waves for condition assessment
  • Pipeline and water distribution system characterisation using frequency response methods
  • Water hammer modelling-numerical, laboratory and field testing
  • Modelling of unsteady friction in pipe systems during water hammer events
  • Burst detection in water distribution systems
  • Modelling of column separation during water hammer events in pipelines
  • Modelling of transient hydraulic events in hydroelectric power plants systems.

Industrial Research Collaborators

  1. United Water International, Adelaide, South Australia.
  2. South Australian Water (formerly the Engineering and Water Supply Department of South Australia).
  3. United Utilities, Australia (formerly North West Water Australia).
  4. Boral Energy, South Australia (formerly The Gas Company, South Australia).
  5. Wimmera Mallee Water, Ouyen, Victoria and Grampians Water, Victoria.
  6. Goulburn Murray Water, Tatura, Victoria.
  7. Rubicon Systems, Hawthorn, Victoria.
  8. Central Irrigation Trust, Riverland, South Australia.
  9. Department of Water Resources, NSW
  10. Detection Services
  11. Optimatics Pty Ltd


International Collaborative Research Programs

2012 to Present-Dr. Olivier Piller, IRESTA, France. Topics: Real time water distribution system calibration of pipe networks. Pressure dependent modelling of water distribution systems.

2006 to Present-Dr. Jochen Deuerlein, 3S Consult, Karlsruhe, Germany (previously at the Institute for Water and River Basin Management, Department of Civil Engineering, Geo- and Environmental Sciences, University of Karlsruhe). Topics: Steady state simulation of water distribution systems. Modelling of pressure regulating devices and flow control devices to ensure correct convergence. Optimisation of design of water distribution systems using linear programming and genetic algorithms.

2003 to 2009-Dr. Arris Tijsseling, Department of Mathematics and Computing Science, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands. Topics: Inverse problems for detection of anomalies in pipe systems; unsteady friction in pipelines during transient events.

2001 to 2003-Professor Bryan Karney, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Toronto, Canada. Topics: Leak detection using transient techniques and unsteady friction in pipelines during transient events.

1999 to 2000-Professor Bruno Brunone, Department of Water and Structural Engineering, The University of Perugia, Italy. Topics: Experimental testing of water hammer behaviour and leakage detection in water distribution system networks.

1996 to 2005-Professor James Liggett, Emeritus Professor, Cornell University, U.S.A. Topic: Leakage detection and pipe roughness calibration in water distribution networks using the inverse transient method and coded transients.

1996-Dr. Alexander Anderson, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. Topics: Water hammer-development of a general genetic algorithms code in Fortran.

1994 to 1995-Professor Yukio Kono, Department of Civil Engineering, Tohoku Gakuin University, Japan Topic: Modelling of column separation in pipelines during water hammer events.

1993-Professor David Goldberg, Department of General Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, U.S.A. Topic: Genetic algorithms applied to the optimisation of water distribution systems.

1989 to Present-Dr. Anton Bergant, Litostroj Industries & Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Topics: Column separation in pipe systems during transients. Unsteady friction in pipelines during transient event

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2020 - ongoing Honorary Professorial Fellow The University of Melbourne
    2006 - ongoing Professor University of Adelaide
    2000 - 2005 Associate Professor University of Adelaide
    1990 - 2000 Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide
    1987 - 1990 Appointed as a Lecturer The University of Adelaide
    1981 - 1983 Hydraulics Engineer Harza Engineering Company
    1977 - 1978 Construction Engineer Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works
    1975 - 1977 Water Resources Planning Engineer Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2012 Achievement One of the top 15 Papers published during the last 50 years, in the 50th Anniversary Collection of Most Influential Papers Published in the Journal of Hydraulic Research (JHR) International Association of Hydraulic Research Spain -
    2011 Award 2010 Outstanding Reviewer Award - - -
    2010 Award 2010 Chairman’s Award – Water Industry Alliance (WIA) Awards, South Australia Water Industry Alliance (WIA) - -
    2010 Achievement 2010 Australian Water Association South Australian Premier’s Water Medal - - -
    2010 Honour 2010 Honour Award for Planning - International Water Association (IWA) Asia Pacific Regional Project Awards - - -
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1983 - 1986 The University of Michigan United States PhD (Civil Engineering - Hydraulics)
    1978 - 1980 Colorado State University United States Master of Science in Hydrology and Water Resources
    1971 - 1974 Monash University Australia Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) Hons.
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) Engineers Australia -
  • Research Interests

Recent Research Grants Awarded

Intelligent urban water systems (optimisation of pumping from multiple alternative qualities of water sources) CRC for Water Senestive Cities (Program C - Future Technologies) 2013 to 2016 $270,131

Cost-effective pipeline condition assessment using paired pressure sensor arrays (Simpson, Lambert, Zecchin, Arkwright) ARC Discovery Grant DP 14010094 2014 to 2016 $367,000

Buried pipe condition assessment using transient micro-reflections and in-pipe multi-sensor arrays (Lambert, Simpson, Zecchin, Simmons. Linkage partner: Detection Services, Sydney) ARC Linkage Grant LP130100567 2013 to 2016 $275,000

Commercialisation Accelerator Scheme Grant (CAS Round 8 2011): Pipeline Condition Assessment- Field trials and software development (Simpson, Lambert, Industrial partner: Detection Services, Sydney) Adelaide Research and Innovation, The University of Adelaide 2012 to 2013 $150,000

A research program to support the sustainable management of water in the South East, South Australia - Phase 1 (Maier, Simpson, Dandy) Goyder Institute, South Australia 2011 to 2012 $322,040

Managed aquifer recharge and urban stormwater, (University of Adelaide portion) TOTAL $246,000 (Dandy, Maier, Simpson) Goyder Institute, South Australia Goyder Institute, South Australia $246,000

Frequency Domain Micro-Reflection Processing for Pipe Condition Assessment (joint with Prof. Martin Lambert; Prof. Langford White) 2010-$ 130,000 2011-$120,000, 2012-$120,000 (Simpson, Lambert, White) ARC Discovery Grant DP1095270 2010 to 2012 $370,000

Pipe condition assessment using micro-reflections for SA Water pipelines (joint with Assoc. Prof. Martin Lambert) South Australian Water Corporation 2007 to 2008 $186,200

Micro-reflections for pipe condition assessment in water networks (joint with Assoc. Prof. Martin Lambert; Dr. Pedro Lee, Assoc. Prof. Mohamed Ghidaoui) 2007-$130,000, 2008-$120,000, 2009-$130,000 ARC Discovery Grant DP0772320 2007 to 2009 $380,000

Innovative Genetic Algorithms for optimising designing and reducing wastewater collection infrastructure costs. (joint with Prof. G.C. Dandy and Optimatics Pty Ltd) Commercial Ready Grant, AusIndustry 2005 to 2008 $414,545

Understanding the fluid mechanics of unsteady friction (joint with Dr J.P. Denier; Assoc Prof R.M. Kelso; Emeritus Professor J.A. Liggett), 2005-$220,000, 2005-$105,000, 2006 -$110,000. ARC Discovery Grant DP0556360 2005 to 2007 $435,000

A new approach to systematic blockage detection and mapping in water distribution systems (joint with Assoc. Prof. Martin Lambert, Dr. J.B. Nixon) 2004-$21,000, 2005-$45,476, 2006-44,529$, 2007-$20,053. Industry Partner: United Water International, Adelaide. ARC Linkage Project Grant LP0455201 2004 to 2007 $135,058

Continuous non-invasive assessment of the physical condition of water distribution systems (joint with and Assoc. Prof. M.F. Lambert, Prof. L. White and Prof. J. Liggett), 2004-$118,000, 2005-$113,000, 2006 -$113,000 ARC Discovery Grant DP0450788 2004 to 2006 $344,000

Optimal maintenance scheduling for hydro power stations using ant colony optimisation, Hydro Tasmania (joint with Assoc. Prof. Holger Maier). Hydro Tasmania 2003 to 2005 $40,000

Laboratory and field testing of a leak detection technique using fluid transients (jointly with Dr. M.F. Lambert and Prof. B. Karney - University of Toronto) Australian Research Council, Linkage International 2002-2004 $41,100

A boundary layer model for unsteady friction in pipes The University of Adelaide Small Research Grants Scheme 2002 $9,800

Coded transients for monitoring and assessment of fluid distribution systems (jointly with Prof. J. Liggett and Dr. M.F. Lambert) Australian Research Council (ARC-Large Grant) 2001-2003 $235,000

Optimisation of water distribution systems including the effects of uncertainty United Water International, Adelaide 2001 $3,900

Inverse transients for detecting closed valves, blockages and pipe constrictions in water networks (jointly with Dr. M.F. Lambert)Industrial partner: United Water International, Adelaide. Australian Research Council (SPIRT-Large Grant) 2001-2003 $88,000

Optimisation of water distribution systems including the effects of uncertainty (jointly with Dr. H. Maier) The University of Adelaide Small Research Grants Scheme 2001 $12,000

Hydrodynamics of very large diameter jets into stratified and non-stratified environments. (jointly with Dr. M.F. Lambert) Australian Research Council (ARC-Small Grant) 2000 $12,000

Leak detection for water distribution systems (jointly with Assoc. Prof. B. Brunone of University of Perugia, Italy and Dr M.F. Lambert) Australian Research Council-International Researcher Exchange Scheme for 2000 (IREX) 2000-2002 $36,500

Modelling unsteady friction in water distribution networks (jointly with Dr. M.F. Lambert and Dr. A. Bergant, Slovenia) Australian Research Council (ARC-Small Grant) 1999 $10,000

Leak detection and pipe roughness calibration for water distribution systems (jointly with Prof. Emeritus J. Liggett, Univ. of Cornell, U.S.A.) Australian Research Council (ARC-Large Grant) 1998-2000 $139,000

  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2017 - 2021 Principal Supervisor Use of Artificial Neural Networks and fluid transient waves for active and passive inspection of water pipelines Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Jessica Bohorquez Arevalo
    2017 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Paired Impulse Response Function and Layer-Peeling Method for Anomaly Detection and Condition Assessment of Pipelines Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Wei Zeng
    2014 - 2018 Principal Supervisor A Software Tool for Assessing the Performance of Water Distribution System Solution Methods Based on Graph Theory Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Mengning Qiu
    2014 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Multi-Objective Optimization of Pumping Operations from Alternative Water Sources Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Lisa Jane Blinco
    2014 - 2019 Co-Supervisor Pipe Wall Condition Assessment and Leak Detection using Paired Pressure Sensors with Hydraulic Transient Analysis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms He Shi
    2014 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Condition Assessment for Water Distribution Pipelines Using Inverse Transient Analysis and the Reconstructive Method of Characteristics Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Chi Zhang
    2013 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Genetic Algorithms and Particle Filtering for Calibrating Water Demands and Locating Partially Closed Valves in Water Distribution Systems Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Nhu Cuong Do
    2011 - 2014 Principal Supervisor A Framework for the Minimization of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Water Distribution Systems Considering the Time-Dependency of Emissions Factors Associated with the Generation of Electricity Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Christopher Sean Stokes
    2010 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Leak Detection and Condition Assessment for Water Distribution Pipelines using Fluid Transient Waves Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Jinzhe Gong
    2009 - 2013 Principal Supervisor Advanced Hybrid Approaches Based on Graph Theory Decomposition Modified Evolutionary Algorithms and Deterministic Optimisation Techniques for the Design of Water Distribution Systems Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Feifei Zheng
    2007 - 2012 Principal Supervisor Multiobjective Genetic Algorithm Optimization of Water Distribution Systems Accounting for Economic Cost Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Reliability Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Wenyan Wu
    2004 - 2010 Co-Supervisor Laplace-Domain Analysis of Fluid Line Networks with Applications to Time-Domain Simulation and System Parameter Identification Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Aaron Zecchin
    2003 - 2008 Principal Supervisor Advanced Numerical and Experimental Transient Modelling of Water and Gas Pipeline Flows Incorporating Distributed and Local Effects Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Young-Il Kim
    2003 - 2007 Co-Supervisor Ant Colony Optimisation for Power Plant Maintenance Scheduling Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Wai Foong
    2002 - 2005 Co-Supervisor USING SYSTEM RESPONSE FUNCTIONS OF LIQUID PIPELINES FOR LEAK AND BLOCKAGE DETECTION Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Pedro Lee
    2001 - 2008 Principal Supervisor Transient Response Analysis for Fault Detection & Pipeline Wall Condition Assessment in Field Water Transmission & Distribution Pipelines & Networks Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Mark Stephens
    1999 - 2003 Co-Supervisor Leakage and Blockage Detection in Pipelines and Pipe Network Systems Using Fluid Transients Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Xiaojian Wang
    1995 - 2003 Principal Supervisor The Behaviour of Pipe Network Analysis Solution Techniques Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr David John Ellis

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