Wei Zeng

Dr Wei Zeng


School of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

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

Dr Wei Zeng is an Innovative researcher with extensive experience in multidisciplinary disciplines including hydraulic transient analysis, hydroacoustics, signal processing for fault detection, machine learning and data analytics to process IoT data, optical fibre sensing, control theory, CFD and hydrodynamics. His research has been applied to water distribution systems, smart water/wastewater networks, submarine pipes, and hydropower and pump stations.

He has been recently awarded an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award which enables him to explore the possibilities of using advanced optical fibre sensing techniques for leak detection in water networks. A fully-funded PhD POSITION on this topic is currently available for a PhD student to start in 2024. Details can be found in My Research section below.

My research focuses on the following directions:

  • Smart water networks

Advanced signal processing methods, data analytics and AI machine learning tools have been developed and implemented in a cloud-based environment for online crack early detection in smart water networks with distributed IoT sensors. These new techniques have been commercialised through the University start-up Adelitics Pty Ltd and have been used/trialled in several water utilities.

  • Sustainable water asset maintenance (Transient-based pipe condition assessment)

I have been working on developing pipe condition assessment techniques with new sensing systems (e.g., optical sensing techniques) and hydraulic transient /hydroacoustic analysis methods. 

  • Urban water network design, control and management

I am interested in water network research using network modelling, pressure data analysis, hybrid physics-based and data-driven methods, and control theory.

  • Pumped hydropower and mini-hydro

My research experience in pumped hydro includes: the operation and control of pumped hydro schemes; 3D CFD hydraulic machinery, and hydraulic transient analysis of pumped hydro schemes.


PhD opportunities Available

I was recently awarded an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award on Illuminating Dark Fibres for Smart Water Asset Monitoring. A fully-funded PhD position (start in 2024) on this topic is currently available, and I am looking for a student with a background in water engineering, acoustic engineering or optical engineering and with an interest in solving practical industry problems by developing new techniques. Details of the position can be found here.

I am working in a multi-disciplinary group in Adelaide. Students with a relevant background (including hydraulics, acoustics, fault detection, machine learning, optical fibre sensing, and CFD) are welcome to join us. The University of Adelaide provides a range of different PhD scholarships, such as the RTPS and UARS scholarships and the CSC scholarship for students from China (jointly supplied by the China Scholarship Council). Prospective applicants are welcome to contact me for more information about these scholarships, other scholarship opportunities (including potential top-up scholarships), research directions, etc.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2024 - ongoing ARC DECRA fellow University of Adelaide
    2023 - 2023 Adjunct lecturer University of Adelaide
    2023 - 2023 Technology Developer Adelitics, Pty, Ltd
    2021 - 2023 Research Fellow (Part time) Deakin University
    2020 - 2023 Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    2016 - 2017 Research assistant Wuhan University
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    Chinese (Mandarin) Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2017 - 2020 The University of Adelaide Australia PhD
    2013 - 2016 Wuhan University China Master
    2009 - 2013 Wuhan University China Bachelor
  • Research Interests


Illuminating Dark Fibres for Smart Water Asset Monitoring ARC DECRA 2024 ARC 389k
Closing the Gap in Pipe Condition Assessment using Hydro-Acoustic Waves ARC Linkage Project 2021 ARC $368k + Industry $188k
Network Calming -Using Smart Sensors to Improve Water Asset Performance ARC Discovery Project 2023 ARC $391k
Hydroacoustic Diagnosis for Sustainable Water Distribution Systems UoA EMCR scheme 2021 12k
Small Equipment Support scheme UoA $14k
High-Accuracy Hydraulic Transient Analysis of 
 Pumped Storage Hydropower Plants
Visiting scholar fellowship at Wuhan University  ~17k




Year Course Role
2022 Advanced Civil Engineering Hydraulics Lecturer

Advanced Civil Engineering Hydraulics

Water Engineering & Design

2020 Water Engineering & Design Guest lecturer & Tutor
2019 Water Engineering & Design Guest lecturer & Tutor
2019 Introduction to Infrastructure Tutor
2019 Water Engineering II Tutor
2018 Water Engineering & Design Tutor
2018 Water Engineering II Tutor
  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2023 Co-Supervisor A Comprehensive Elastic Water Column Model for Water Distribution System Analysis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Morteza Imani
    2023 Co-Supervisor Leak Characterization and Detection in Water Distribution Systems Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Chengcheng Yin
    2022 Co-Supervisor Proactive Detection of Wastewater Overflows in Smart Wastewater Systems Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Thi Hai Duong Ninh
    2021 Co-Supervisor Characterisation and condition assessment of water distribution systems using hydraulic transients with data-driven algorithms Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jiawei Ye
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 - 2024 External Supervisor Pipe condition assessment of plastic pipes using hydraulic transient waves Deakin University Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ji-Sung Lee
  • Position: ARC DECRA Fellow
  • Phone: 83134183
  • Email: w.zeng@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 83134359
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Engineering North, floor Second Floor
  • Room: N231C
  • Org Unit: School of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Connect With Me
External Profiles