Holger Maier

Professor Holger Maier

Professor

School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Professor, School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia.

Research Interests

Holger's research is focused on developing improved techniques for the sustainable management of infrastructure (with a particular focus on water, energy and the water-energy nexus) and natural resources (with a particular focus on water resources and natural hazards) in an uncertain environment.  This includes elements of modelling (with a particular focus on machine learning and hybrid process / data driven models), optimisation (with a particular focus on evolutionary algorithms and other metaheuristics) and decision support (with a particular focus on strategic planning under deep uncertainty).  He is currently the Research Leader of the Economics and Strategic Decisions research cluster of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, as well as the Leader of a project focussed on the development of a decision support system for the assessment of policy and planning investment options for optimal natural hazard mitigation.  Holger also leads an internal University of Adelaide project on Collaborative Analysis for Secure, Alternative, Affordable Energy (CASCADE).  Further details of his research interests are given below and details of papers published under these categories are provided here.

1. Machine Learning

1.1  Development of improved methods for the extraction of information / relationships from existing datasets

1.2  Development of robust approaches to developing data-driven predictive models

  • Overall approach
  • Data Processing
  • Input determination / input variable selection
  • Data splitting
  • Identification of model structure
  • Model calibration (training)
  • Model validation
  • Real-time deployment of models
  • Hybrid models

1.3. Application of data-driven prediction/forecasting models to a range of water/environmental engineering applications

  • Prediction of water quality in water distribution systems
  • Prediction and forecasting of water quality in source waters
  • Prediction of water availability in source waters
  • Prediction of reliability and vulnerability of water supply and water distribution systems
  • Prediction of pressure in water distribution systems
  • Prediction of optimal water treatment levels
  • Prediction of water demand
  • Prediction of ecological health of rivers
  • Rainfall runoff modelling
  • Prediction of settlement of soils

1.4  Development of improved methods for increasing the computational efficiency of simulation models using meta/surrogate models

2. Optimal Long-Term Water Resources and Infrastructure Planning Under Deep Uncertainty (Including Climate Change)

2.1    Development of underlying concepts

2.2    Determination of optimal mix of different water sources under deep uncertainty

2.3    Determination of optimal sequencing / staging of infrastructure projects under deep uncertainty

2.4    Determination of optimal adaptive capacity of reservoirs under deep uncertainty

2.5    Optimal design of infrastructure for localised water supply systems (under deep uncertainty)

2.6    Development of bottom-up (scenario neutral) approaches to climate impact assessment

3. Optimal Design and Operation of Water Distribution Systems Considering the Water-Energy Nexus

4. Development of Improved Approaches to the Optimisation of Real-World Problems

4.1     Synthesis and overview

4.2    Incorporation of domain knowledge / end user experience  into formal optimisation approaches

4.3    Increasing the computational efficiency of optimisation processes

  • Incorporation of increased system understanding in optimisation processes
  • Automatic determination of parameters of evolutionary algorithms and other metaheuristics
  • Surrogate / meta modelling

4.4 Applications to different problem domains

  • Design of water distribution systems
  • Operation of water distribution systems
  • Planning and design of localised systems of alternative water sources
  • Planning and design of regional water supply systems
  • Irrigation planning and scheduling
  • Hydropower maintenance scheduling
  • Environmental flow planning and scheduling
  • Management of river water quality and health
  • Maximisation of global food security
  • Scenario neutral / bottom-up climate impact assessment
  • Model calibration 

5. Development of Improved Decision Support Approaches under Uncertainty

5.1    Synthesis and overview

5.2    Development of improved approaches to determining the sensitivity of decisions to uncertainties

5.3    Development of improved approaches to the management of water quality in rivers

5.4    Development of improved approaches to ranking options using multi-criteria decision-analysis

5.5    Decision support system for optimal natural hazard mitigation

5.6    Development of improved integrated modelling approaches 

6. Optimal Water Allocation for Environmental, Agricultural and Water Supply Purposes

7. Development of Improved Approaches to Hydrological Modelling

Software

     

    Research Associates

      • Dr Sofanit Araya (50% Supervision), 2018-present
      • Graeme Riddell (50% Supervision), 2017-present
      • Jeff Newman (50% Supervision), 2014-2018
      • Dr Angela Marchi (50% Supervision), 2013-2015
      • Dr Arman Ganji (50% Supervision), 2012
      • Isaac Sharath (50% Supervision), 2011-212
      • Dr Greer Humphrey (50% Supervision), 2011-2013
      • Dr Wenyan Wu (50% Supervision), 2011-2014
      • Dr Gavin Bowden (50% Supervision), 2010
      • Jakin Ravalico (50% Supervision), 2008-2012
      • Dr Wai Kuan Foong (50% Supervision), 2007-2009
      • Dr Matthew Gibbs (50% Supervision), 2007-present
      • Dr Greer Kingston (50% Supervision), 2006-2007
      • Gayani Fernando (50% Supervision), 2004-2007
      • Aaron Zecchin (Casual Employment, (50% Supervision), 2001-2004
      • Bryan Tolson (50% Supervision), 2000
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      • Appointments

        Date Position Institution name
        2008 Professor (Level E) University of Adelaide
        2007 - 2009 Deputy Head University of Adelaide
        2005 - 2007 Associate Professor (Level D) University of Adelaide
        2004 - 2006 Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) University of Adelaide
        2002 - 2004 Senior Lecturer (Level C) University of Adelaide
        1999 - 2001 Lecturer (Level B) University of Adelaide
        1998 - 1999 Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of British Columbia
        1998 - 1998 Lecturer University of Adelaide
        1997 - 1998 Engineering Adviser Western Samoa Water Authority (WSWA)
        1996 - 1997 Senior Civil Engineer / Acting Technical Services Manager Western Samoa Water Authority (WSWA)
        1995 - 1996 Environmental Engineer Cooperative Research Centre for Tissue Growth and Repair
        1992 - 1995 Researcher/Casual Tutor University of Adelaide
        1992 - 1995 Researcher/Casual Tutor University of Adelaide
        1990 - 1992 Design Enigneer Kinhill Engineers
      • Awards and Achievements

        Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
        2017 Fellowship Fellow Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand
        2014 Award Stormwater Australia National Award for Excellence in Research and Innovation Australia
        2013 Award Innovation Champions Award
        2010 Award Best Paper Award Australia
        2010 Award Biennial Medalist International Environmental Modelling and Software Society
        2010 Award Environmental Modelling and Software Best Paper Award Australia
        2010 Award Award for Excellence in Higher Degree by Research Supervision University of Adelaide Australia
        2009 Award Tertiary Science Educator of the Year, South Australian Science Excellence Awards
        2009 Award ECMS Faculty Award for Excellence for Higher Degree by Research Supervision
        2008 Award Second Best Paper Award American Society of Civil Engineers South Africa
        2006 Award High Commendation, Best Presentation Award New Zealand
        2006 Award Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
        2006 Award Engineering Education Excellence in Engineering Education Award Australasian Association for Engineering Education Australia
        2006 Award Award for Teaching Excellence (Physical Science and Related Categories) Australia
        2005 Award Commendation, Australasian Association for Engineering Education Excellence in Engineering Education
        2002 Award Elder Prize for Excellence in Teaching The University of Adelaide Australia
        2002 Award Commonwealth of Learning Excellence in Distance Education Award
        2002 Award Tall Poppy Science Award
        2001 Award Pearson Education UniServe Science Teaching Award
        2001 Award ◾ASCILITE Award for Exemplary Use of Electronic Technologies in Teaching and Learning in Tertiary Education for the "Mekong eSim" Australia
        1994 Scholarship Frank Perry Scholarship in Engineering University of Adelaide Australia
        1992 Award Australian Postgraduate Research Award (Priority Status) University of Adelaide Australia
        1988 Award James Hardie Award for Civil Engineering University of Adelaide Australia
        1988 Scholarship Frank Bull Scholarship for Civil Engineering University of Adelaide Australia
      • Language Competencies

        Language Competency
        English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
        German Can read, write, speak and understand spoken
      • Education

        Date Institution name Country Title
        1996 University of Adelaide Australia Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental/Water Resources Engineering
        1990 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Civil Engineering (First Class Honours)

      Research Funding

      Year Amount Source Project
      2017-2020 $540,000 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Integrated urban planning for natural hazard mitigation
      2017-2020 $880,000 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Improved decision support for natural hazard risk reduction (Lead CI)
      2016-2018 $319,235 Water Research Australia Better data-driven decision-making under future climate uncertainty
      2014-2017 $1,055,00 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Decision support system for assessment of policy & planning investment options for optimal natural hazard mitigation (Lead CI)
      2012-2013 $104,928 SA Department for the Environment, Water and Natural Resources Riverine recovery optimisation (Lead CI)
      2012-2013 $193,483 Goyder Institute Optimal water resource mix for metropolitan Adelaide
      2012-2014 $179,267 Goyder Institute Improved modelling of the catchments and drainage network in the upper south east for management outcomes
      2011-2014 $501,500 Goyder Institute Development of an agreed set of climate projections for South Australia
      2011-2013 $246,000 Goyder Institute Managed aquifer recharge and urban stormwater use options
      2011-2012 $198,000 Goyder Institute Development of descision support frameworks for water resource management in the South East [Project Report] (Lead CI)
      2011 $80,350 Department for Water Evaluation and application of Source Rivers modelling framework to the South Australian reacheas of the River Murray (Lead CI)
      2010-2012 $330,000 Water Quality Australia Optimum control of chloramine in water distribution systems
      2009-2012

      $198,000 (ARC)

      $60,000 (Industry)

      ARC Linkage Projects Early warning of cyanobacteria blooms in drinking water reservoirs by means of evolutionary algorithms
      2008-2010 $304,270 eWater CRC New Techniques in Optimisation, Modelling and Decision Support [Projet Report]
      2006-2010

      $430,000 (ARC)

      $170,000 (Industry)

      ARC Linkage Projects Innovative approach to the optimal management of water resources and application to the Upper South East Region of South Australia (Lead CI)
      2006-2009

      $238,000 (ARC)

      $75,000 (Industry)

      ARC Linkage Projects Effects of urbanisation and introduced species on rivers and estuaries: a whole of catchment approach
      2006-2007 $95,370 Centre for Natural Resources Management (CNRM) Sensitivity Analysis of Models used to predict the effects of Policy Decisions on salinity levels in the River Murray (Lead CI)
      2006-2007 $262,290 eWater CRC New techniques for modelling, optimisation and decision support
      2004-2007

      $252,200 ARC)

      $110,000 (Industry)

      ARC Linkage Projects New approach to sensitivity assessment of complex simulation models for environmental management
      2003 $10,000 ARC Special Research Initiative Sustainable terrestrial and riverine systems through integrated assessment and modelling (Lead CI)
      2003-2004 $132,984 ARC Discovery New techniques for artificial neural network modelling in hydrology (Lead CI)
      2003 $5,000 ECMS Faculty Small Research Grants Scheme Improved approach for the optimisation of water distribution networks (Lead CI)
      2003-2005
      $40,000
      Hydro Tasmania Optimal maintenance scheduling for hydro power stations using ant colony optimisation (Lead CI)
      2002-2005 $402,000 CRC Water Quality & Treatment Development of tools for improved disinfection control
      2002-2005 $274,000 CRC Water Quality & Treatment Decision support system to maintain water quality in water distribution systems
      2002 $9,000 University of Adelaide New techniques for artificial neural network modelling in hydrology
      2002-2004 $91,000 ARC Discovery Improving flow management for the control of blue-green algal bloms (Lead CI)
      2002-2004

      $135,270 (ARC)

      $40,000 (Industry)

      ARC Linkage Projects Desalination options for metropolitan Adelaide's water supply and implications for water resource allocation for regional communities
      2001 $5,000 CRC Water Quality & Treatment Control of water treatment processes using artificial neural network modelling (Lead CI)
      2001 $12,000

      $3,000

      University of Adelaide

      United Water

      Optimisation of water distribution systems including the effects of uncertainty (Lead CI)
      2000 $14,000 Australian Research Council

      Assessment of effectiveness of flow management strategies in reducing the frequency and intensity of cyanobacterial (blue-green algal) blooms (Lead CI)

       

      Teaching Grants

      Date Project Funding Body Amount
      2008 Development of online industry case study learning objects University of Adelaide $8,900
      2006 Online situational learning initiative University of Adelaide $100,000
      2000 Mekong e-sim: a distributed computer supported role-play/simulation University of Adelaide $10,000

      Teaching Activities 

      Courses Developed

      Date Course Title Institution
      2005-2011, 2013 Environmental Modelling and Management (C&ENVENG 7029) University of Adelaide
      2000-2011, 2013 Envirnmental Modelling and  Management (C&ENVENG 4087) University of Adelaide
      1995-2005, 2007 Water Engineering II S2 (C&ENVENG 2035) University of Adelaide
      2000-2006, 2008 Environmental Engineering II (C&ENVENG 2026) University of Adelaide
      2009-2010, 2013 Environmental Engineering & Sustainability II (C&ENVENG 2068) University of Adelaide
      2001 Engineering Modelling and Analysis II (C&ENVENG 2014) University of Adelaide
      1999-2001 Environmental Engineering and Design III - Design Project (C&ENVENG 3009) University of Adelaide
      1999 Statistical Analysis in Hydrology (8990) University of Adelaide

       

      Teaching Development

      • Developer of Hybrid Just-in -Time / Project Based Learning approach.
      • Co-developer and the facilitator of the multi-award winning Mekong e-Sim online roleplay simulation.
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      • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

        Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
        2018 Principal Supervisor Flooding in (South) Australia - improved approaches for flood risk reduction by joint consideration of structural, land use planning and community resilience Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Eike Michael Hamers
        2018 Co-Supervisor River Murray Water Allocation Planning: Impacts of Water Policy Constraints, Environmental Water Trading and Changing Behaviours Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr James Fuller
        2017 Principal Supervisor Understanding the Problem Structure for Optimisation Problems in Water Resources Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Siwei Zhu
        2016 Co-Supervisor Designing a Proposed MOEA with Self-adaptive Operators and Application on Water Distribution System Problems Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Peng Wang
        2016 Principal Supervisor Combining the Strengths of Engineering Experience and Formal Optimisation for Designing and Operating Water Systems Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Cameron McPhail
        2015 Co-Supervisor Identifying the Adaptive Capacity of Water Resource Systems Faced with a Changing Climate Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Sam Anthony Culley
        2014 Co-Supervisor Robustness and Uncertainty in Optimal Decision Making for Disaster Mitigation Planning Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Graeme Angus Riddell
      • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

        Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
        2014 - 2018 Principal Supervisor Developing a (Semi) Automatic Calibration Procedure for Cellular Automata Based Land-use Models Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Charles Peter Newland
        2013 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Practical Implementation of the Scenario-Neutral Approach to Climate Impact Assessments for Hydrological Systems Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Danlu Guo
        2012 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Multiobjective Planning and Design of Distributed Stormwater Harvesting and Treatment Systems through Optimization and Visual Analytics Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Michael Di Matteo
        2012 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Improved Evolutionary Algorithm Optimisation of Water Distribution Systems Using Domain Knowledge Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Weiwei Bi
        2012 - 2016 Principal Supervisor Optimal Water Allocation and Scheduling for Irrigation Using Ant Colony Algorithms Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Duc Cong Hiep Nguyen
        2011 - 2014 Co-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
        2011 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Improving Partial Mutual Information Based Input Variable Selection for Data Driven Environmental and Water Resources Models Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Xuyuan Yuan Li
        2010 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Optimal Sequencing of Water Supply Options Incorporating Sustainability and Uncertainty Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Eva Hooi Ying Beh
        2009 - 2014 Principal Supervisor Frameworks for Assessing and Improving Urban Water Supply Security Planning under Climate Change Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Fiona Paton
        2009 - 2014 Co-Supervisor An adaptive multi-objective framework for the scheduling of environmental flow management alternatives using ant colony optimization Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Joanna Margaret Szemis
        2008 - 2013 Principal Supervisor Frameworks for Evaluating and Improving Simplified Hydrologic Models for Baseflow and Rainfall-Runoff Estimation Using Distributed Physical Models Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Li Li
        2007 - 2012 Co-Supervisor Impacts of an Altered Water and Salinity Regime on the Condition of Wetlands in the Upper South East of South Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Abigail Goodman
        2007 - 2013 Principal Supervisor Fully Integrated Modelling of Surface-Subsurface Flow Processes: Quantifying In-Stream and Overland Flow Generation Mechanisms Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Daniel Partington
        2007 - 2012 Co-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 - 2008 Co-Supervisor A Contribution Towards Real-Time Forecasting of Algal Blooms in Drinking Water Reservoirs by Means of Artificial Neural Networks and Evolutionary Algorithms Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Amber Welk
        2003 - 2008 Principal Supervisor Genetic Algorithm Parameter Setting for Water Distribution System Optimisation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Matthew Gibbs
        2003 - 2007 Principal Supervisor Ant Colony Optimisation for Power Plant Maintenance Scheduling Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Wai Foong
        2003 - 2010 Principal Supervisor Developing Artificial Neural Network Models for Water Quality Modelling and Prediction Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Robert May
        2003 - 2006 Principal Supervisor Bayesian Artificial Neural Networks in Water Resources Engineering Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Greer Humphrey
        2003 - 2006 Co-Supervisor Prediction of Special Core Parameters for Australian Hydrocarbon Basins Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Hussam Goda
        2003 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Water Distribution System Optimization Using Metamodels Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Darren Broad
        2002 - 2006 Principal Supervisor Uncertainty Analysis Methods For Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Kylie Hyde
        1999 - 2003 Co-Supervisor USE OF ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORKS FOR PREDICTING SETTLEMENT OF SHALLOW FOUNDATIONS ON COHESIONLESS SOILS Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Mohamed Shahin
        1998 - 2003 Co-Supervisor Forecasting Water Resources Variables Using Artificial Neural Networks Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Gavin Bowden
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      • Editorial Boards

        Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
        2017 - 2020 Editor Environmental Modelling and Software
        2015 - ongoing Associate Editor Environmental Modelling and Software
        2011 - 2015 Associate Editor Water Resources Research
        2006 - 2014 Member Environmental Modelling and Software
      • Position: Professor
      • Phone: 83134139
      • Email: holger.maier@adelaide.edu.au
      • Fax: 8313 4359
      • Campus: North Terrace
      • Building: Engineering North, floor 1
      • Room: 1 05
      • Org Unit: School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

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