- Internationally recognised research leader in (a) Environmental contaminants, including per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contaminants, and environmental impacts and policy; (b) Fluid mechanics and hydraulics, including conservation laws, Lie symmetries and dimensional analysis; and (c) Probabilistic inference and data science, including applications of maximum entropy analysis and Bayesian inference. These include:
- PFAS contaminants in soils, water and other media, including entrapment mechanisms and their remediation by foam fractionation and in situ fluidization. This includes major intellectual property commercialisation and laboratory facility development.
- Other emerging contaminants in soils, water and other media, including tyre waste antioxidants and breakdown products.
- Non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL), heavy metal and inorganic contaminants in surface waters, groundwater, potable water supplies and soil.
- Environmental impacts, sustainability and environmental management.
- Dimensionless groups based on entropic similarity, and applications to fluid mechanics, hydraulics, heat transfer, chemical engineering and environmental systems.
- Spatial and parametric analogues of the Reynolds transport theorem and resulting conservation laws, and connections to Lie scaling.
- Maximum entropy analysis, Bayesian inference and machine learning applied to networked flow systems (such as water and energy distribution networks), hydrological systems, groundwater vulnerability assessment and geological mineralisation.
- The combinatorial basis of entropy and its applications, including to the analysis of graphs and flow networks.
- Success in research funding, with a career total of A$3.88 million in grants and fellowships from Australian, European, French, German, Japanese, UK and U.S. sources. This includes ARC Discovery Project grants for 2010-12 and 2014-16, and an ARC SRI PFAS grant over 2019-22.
- Leadership of a research group and major project on the remediation of PFAS contaminants in water and soil across UNSW Canberra and Macquarie University, funded by an ARC SRI grant (total A$1.364 million) with industry partner OPEC Systems Pty Ltd. This has involved significant IP commercialisation, including new manufacturing plants in Emu Plains, NSW, and North Carolina, USA.
- Success in competitive research fellowships, including Churchill (1998), Fulbright (2003), JSPS (2006), Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowship, Denmark (2007-08), Endeavour (2010), Isaac Newton Institute (2010) and Institute PPrime CNRS / Region Poitou-Charentes, France (2014-15 and 2018).
- Course coordinator and lecturer for undergraduate courses in environmental engineering, fluid mechanics, hydraulic engineering, geology, soil mechanics, materials engineering, hydrology, contaminant hydrogeology and (from 2023) nuclear engineering, across BE degree programs in Aeronautical, Civil, Mechanical and Naval Architecture Engineering, and BTech degree programs in Aeronautical Engineering and Aviation.
- Delivery of Masters-level workshops and short courses in Bayesian inference, including to the AFMC Summer School (Dec 2019).
- Postgraduate teaching in Maximum Entropy Analysis, including a Masters / PhD course at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and delivery of numerous Masters-level short courses and workshops in Australia and internationally.
- Past and present supervisor of a number of BE thesis, Masters and PhD students.
Academic Engagement and Leadership:
- Elected Council Member of the Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society, from 2021, and Founding Chair of the ACT Chapter, from 2019.
- Editorial Board Member of the journal Entropy since 2007, and Stat since 2019.
- Undergraduate Aeronautical Coordinator, SEIT, UNSW Canberra, 2016-2018.
- Research Development and Mentoring Coordinator, SEIT, UNSW Canberra, 2016-2018.
- Host or member of the organising committee of international conferences: AFMC 2024 (Treasurer), to be held Canberra, Dec 2024; AFMC 2022, to be held Sydney, Dec 2022; MODSIM, Canberra, Dec 2019; MaxEnt 2018, The Alan Turing Institute, London, UK, Jul 2018; MaxEnt 2017, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Jul 2017; MaxEnt 2015, Potsdam, NY USA, Jul 2015; BayesianControl 2015, Poitiers, France, Apr 2015; MaxEnt 2013, Canberra, Dec 2013 (the first time held in Australia); MaxEP Workshop, ANU, Canberra, Australia, Sep 2011; and Facets of Entropy, Copenhagen, Denmark, Oct 2007.
- Host of numerous visiting scholars and PhD students to SEIT, UNSW Canberra.
- Past or present research grant assessor for funding agencies in Australia, Romania, Chile and USA.
External Engagement and Leadership:
- Public commentary on PFAS contamination in Australia, including to an inquiry of the Parliament of Australia, since 2018.
- Expert Opinion services in major disputes concerning soil and groundwater contamination, including cases to the Supreme Court of NSW.
- Founder and President (since 2013) of The MaxEnt and Bayesian Association of Australia, Inc., a scientific association and registered charity to support research and teaching in probabilistic inference.