• 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 was promoted to be a Senior Lecturer in Aug 2017. Prior to this, he completed a PhD in Offshore Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Wenhua's research focuses on hydrodynamics of offshore structures, with applications to oil & gas industry and renewable energy sector. In particular, he is interested in linear and nonlinear harmonics in wave-structure interactions, e.g. floating LNG, floating wind energy, floating solar energy, wave energy device and offshore hydrogen.

He has earned a reputation in marine engineering. He has been a Deputy Editor for the journal of Ocean Engineering (No. 1 in marine engineering, ISI web), invited to organize conference topics, chair sessions and served as funding assessor for both Australian and overseas funding bodies.

Roles and responsibilities

1) Deputy Editor for the Ocean Engineering journal.-- No. 1 in marine engineering (ISI web), the youngest Deputy Editor.
2) Technical reviewer for (35+) 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.

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

Funding overview

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 DECRA2019-2021.

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 structures, including motion response of floating structures and forces on mooring system. For example, my research has contributed to the operation of the world’s first FLNG (Shell’s Prelude FLNG).
More recently, I have been translating knowledge from oil & gas industry to offshore renewble energy sector. I've built up collaboration with floating wind pioneer BW Ideol and French research institutes investigating floating wind turbine performance from lab to the field scale.

My research focuses on floating wind, floating solar, wave energy devices and hydrogen techology, etc.


Interdisciplinary research:

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

Fundamental research:

  • Hydrodynamics (offshore structures)
  • Wave-structure interactions
  • Fluid-structure interactions

Applied research:

  • Renewable energy:  Floating wind, Floating solar, Wave energy devices, Tidal turbines, etc
  • Transitional energy: Floating LNG, 
  • Next generation offshore structures: Hydrogen, fish farms, etc

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, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

1 Sep 200815 Mar 2014

Award Date: 15 Mar 2014

External positions

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
  • Modeling of floating structure-riser-mooring interaction
  • floating wind
  • Mooring systems
  • Risers
  • Renewable energy
  • Hydrogen production technologies and hydrogen economy


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