Wenhua Zhao

Dr, Mr, PhD Shanghai Jiao Tong

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

    6009 Perth


  • The University of Western Australia (M017), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated using citation counts from Scopus for publications in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository
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Personal profile


PhD positions are available.

Wenhua Zhao has been an Assistant Professor at the University of Western Australia since October 2013 and was promoted to be a Senior Research Fellow 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, floating solar, wave energy device and offshore hydrogen production.

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 (20+) 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) Chair and organize new session titled FLNG hydrodynamics (inl. two sub topics), OMAE conferences 2016, 2017 ; Co-chair a session at OMAE conference 2014.
5) Organizing committee: the AFMC 2016.
6) External Examiner for Mater or PhD thesis

Funding overview

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


Fundamental research:

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

Applied research:

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

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 → …

Research expertise keywords

  • Offshore engineering
  • Floating structures
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Wave-structure interaction
  • Modeling of floating structure-riser-mooring interaction
  • Nonlinear problems in offshore engineering: sloshing, freak waves
  • Mooring systems
  • Risers
  • Renewable energy
  • Hydrogen production technologies and hydrogen economy


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