• The University of Western Australia (M053), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


PhD positions are available.

Wenhua Zhao was appointed as an Assistant Professor at the University of Western Australia in October 2013 and promoted to be a Senior Lecturer in Aug 2017. 

He is a recipient of prestigious Future Fellowship in 2023 and DECRA Fellowship in 2019, funded by Australian Research Council.

Wenhua's research focuses on offshore hydrodynamics and Artificial Intelligent technologies, with strong applications to offshore renewable energies. In particular, he is interested in linear and nonlinear harmonics in wave-structure interactions, such as Offshore Wind, Floating Solar, Offshore Aquaculture,  Wave Energy Converters, and Green Hydrogen. 

He has been a Deputy Editor for the journal of Ocean Engineering (No. 1 in marine engineering, ISI web), Associate Editor for ASME Journal of OMAE, and editorial board member for Applied Ocean Research. He has been active in organizing conference topics, chairing sessions, assessing  projects for both ARC and overseas funding bodies, and examining  PhD external theses.

Roles and responsibilities

Service at UWA

1) Graduate Research Coordinator at my school.

2) Board member of Postgraduate Studies Committee.

3) Research Committee at Oceans Graduate School.

Teaching at UWA

1) Unit coordinator and teaching the course "Design of Offshore Energy Facilities", for students both at undergraduate level and post-graduate leve.

My role: Coordinating the unit and teaching 80% of the lectures, practical and laboratory sessions; developing assignments and exam papers. 

2) Unit coordinator and teaching the course "Advanced Design of Offshore Systems" -- a capstone unit for the Masters of Coastal and Ocean Engineering. 

My role: Coordinating the unit and teaching 80% of the lectures, practical and laboratory sessions; developing assignments and exam papers. 

International service role 

1) Deputy Editor, for journal of Ocean Engineering since June 2018.
2) Associate Editor, for Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering since Jan 2023.

3) Editorial Board Member for the renowned journal Applied Ocean Engineering since Jan 2023.

4) Technical reviewer for (40+) academic journals:
          Journal of Fluid Mechanics,
          Applied Ocean Research,
          Ocean Engineering,

 Renewable Energy,

         Journal of Hydrodynamics,
         Journal of Fluids and Structures,
         Ships and Offshore Structures,
         Journal of Engineering Mechanics,
         European Journal of Mechanics B – Fluids,
         Journal of Marine Science and Applications,
         Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering,
         International of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, etc.

5) Funding Assessor: a) Australian Research Council; b) Technology Foundation STW, Netherlands.
6) Conference chair: a) session Chair and topic Organiser for OMAE conferences since 2016 (to date).
7) Organizing committee: the AFMC 2016.
8) Co-chair for KOZWaves2022. 
9) External Examiner for PhD or Master thesis.

Funding overview

2023 (Sole CI), ‘Advanced hydrodynamics for next generation of offshore infrastructure’, ARC Future Fellow, FT230100109.

2021 (CI & Theme Lead), Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Hub "TIDE" IH200100009.

2019 (Sole CI), ‘Unlocking lab to field scaling in design for floating offshore structures’, ARC DECRA Fellow, DE190101296.

2018 (Lead CI), ‘Alternative structure deployment – RiverLab Testing’, Western Australia Energy Research Alliance WAERA ex Woodside R2D3.

2017 (Lead CI), ‘Maximising the impact of UWA’s offshore floating structure research – enhancing WA’s position as a global offshore engineering hub’, UWA Research Impact Grants.

2016 (Lead CI), Research Collaboration Awards, between UWA, Oxford and SJTU.

2015 (Sole CI), ' Physical understanding of waves in the gap between side-by-side moored vessels', SJTU R&D grant.

2015 (CI), 'Investigating the RiverLab Concept', Western Australian Energy Research Alliance WAERA ex Woodside R2D3.

2014 (Lead CI), 'The Effect of Liquid Cargo Motion in Spherical Tanks on Vessel Motion', Shell Development Australia Pty Ltd.

2014 (Lead CI), 'Estimation of damping levels between FLNG and LNG carrier in side-by-side offloading ', FECM R&D grant.

2014 (CI), Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Hub "Offshore Floating Facilities" IH140100012.

Industrial relevance

My research aims to provide reliable predictions of hydrodynamic performance of offshore infruastructure, including motion response of floating structures and forces on mooring system. For instance, my research has contributed to safe operations of the world’s first FLNG (Shell’s Prelude FLNG), and is currently being transfered to green hydrogen/ammonia technology. 

I have been transforming innovative research into economically development of offshore renewble energy. This includes offshore wind turbines, floating solar, offshore aquaculture, etc.

I've working closely on offshore wind pioneering projects, such as BW Ideol's Floatgen floating wind and TetraSpar floating wind.

I am proud to be selected as one of the Eight Innovation Partners for TetraSpar prototype offshore floating wind, throughout the world. 


Fundamental research:

  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Hydrodynamics (offshore infrastructure)
  • Wave-structure interactions
  • Fluid-structure interactions

Applied research:

  • Renewable energy & Net-zero infrastructure:  Offshore wind turbines, Floating solar, Wave energy converter, Tidal turbines, etc
  • Transitional energy: Floating LNG, 
  • Next generation offshore infrustracture: Green Hydrogen/Ammonia production and offloading, fish farms, Offshore aquaculture

Inter-disciplinary research:

  • Machine learning prediction for ocean waves 
  • Data-driven models in ocean engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence in offshore renewables

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Ocean Engineering, PhD, Numerical and experimental study on hydrodynamics of FLNG facilities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

1 Sept 200815 Mar 2014

Award Date: 15 Mar 2014

External positions

Future Fellow, Australian Research Council

2023 → …

By-Fellow, University of Cambridge

1 Nov 2019 → …

DECRA Fellow, Australian Research Council

1 Jan 201931 Dec 2021

Deputy Editor, Ocean Engineering

1 Jun 2018 → …

Industry keywords

  • Energy
  • Oceans

Research expertise keywords

  • Offshore engineering
  • Floating structures
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Wave-structure interaction
  • Machine Learning
  • floating wind
  • Mooring systems
  • Risers
  • Renewable energy
  • Floating solar
  • Offshore wind farm
  • Offshore Aquaculture


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