School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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Research and expertise

I am a lecturer working on catchment systems modelling. My research interests cover computational hydraulics and its applications in modelling and understanding hydrological and geomorphological processes in catchments. My research vision is to develop a whole-system modelling approach to simulate and understand the rainfall-induced interactive catchment processes, and apply it to mitigate risk of flood, landslide and debris flow.

Current research activity  

Research interest:

  • Robust numerical methods for solving the shallow water type equations with complex source terms
  • High-performance computing techniques for catchment/city scale modelling
  • Real-time flood forecasting
  • Heavy-rainfall induced geohazard chains

Ongoing projects:

  • 2019 – 2021 WCSSP India – Lot 7, Impact scenario modelling for risk-based flood warning in India, Newton Fund through UK Met Office, Loughborough PI £185000
  • 2019 – 2020 FUTURE-DRAINAGE: Ensemble climate change rainfall estimates for sustainable drainage, NERC, Co-I £110000
  • 2019 – 2021 River basins as ‘living laboratories’ for achieving sustainable development goals across national and sub-national scales, NERC, Co-I £160000

Recent publications

  • X. Xia, Q. Liang, X. Ming (2019) A full-scale fluvial flood modelling framework based on a High-Performance Integrated hydrodynamic Modelling System (HiPIMS). Advances in Water Resources, doi: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2019.103392
  • Flack, D.L.A.; Skinner, C.J.; Hawkness-Smith, L.; O’Donnell, G.; Thompson, R.J.; Waller, J.A.; Chen, A.S.; Moloney, J.; Largeron, C.; Xia, X.; Blenkinsop, S.; Champion, A.J.; Perks, M.T.; Quinn, N.; Speight, L.J. Recommendations for Improving Integration in National End-to-End Flood Forecasting Systems: An Overview of the FFIR (Flooding From Intense Rainfall) Programme. Water 2019, 11, 725.
  • Y. Xing, Q. Liang, G. Wang, X. Ming, X. Xia(2018) City‐scale hydrodynamic modelling of urban flash floods: the issues of scale and resolution. Natural Hazards, doi:
  • X. Xia, Q. Liang (2018) A new efficient implicit scheme for discretising the stiff friction terms in the shallow water equations. Advances in Water Resources, 117, 87-97.
  • X. Xia, Q. Liang (2018) A new depth-averaged model for flow-like landslides over complex terrain with curvatures and steep slopes. Engineering Geology, 234, 174-191.
  • X. Xia, Q. Liang, X. Ming, J. Hou (2018) Reply to Comment by Lu et al. on “An efficient and stable hydrodynamic model with novel source term discretization schemes for overland flow and flood simulations”. Water Resources Research, 54, 628-630.
  • X. Xia, Q. Liang, X. Ming, J. Hou (2017) An efficient and stable hydrodynamic model with novel source term discretization schemes for overland flow and flood simulations. Water Resources Research, 53, 3730-3759.
  • Q. Liang, L. Smith, X. Xia (2016) New prospects for computational hydraulics by leveraging high-performance heterogeneous computing techniques. Journal of Hydrodynamics, 28, 977-985.
  • Q. Liang, X. Xia, J. Hou (2016) Catchment-scale high-resolution flash flood simulation using the GPU-based technology. Procedia Engineering, 154, 975-981.
  • X. Xia, Q. Liang (2016) A GPU-accelerated smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) model for the shallow water equations. Environmental Modelling & Software, 75, 28-43.
  • X. Xia, R. Huang, Q. Liang, B. Yu (2015) New physically-based simulation framework for analyzing the risk of flow-like landslides. International Journal of Geohazards and Environment, 1, 94-100.
  • Q. Liang, X. Xia(2015) Efficient urban flood simulation using a GPU accelerated SPH model. Environmental Earth Science, 74, 7285-7294.
  • Q. Liang, J. Hou, X. Xia(2015) Contradiction between the C-property and mass conservation in adaptive grid based shallow flow models: cause and solution. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 78, 17-36.
  • J. Hou, Q. Liang, X. Xia (2015) Robust absorbing boundary conditions for shallow water flow models. Environmental Earth Sciences, 74, 7407-7422.


I contribute to learning and teaching activities across the Schools programmes including:


  • CVC016 – Sustainable flood management (Module Leader)
  • CVA102/125/127/123/055 – Professional development


  • CVP411 – Water and Natural Environment 
  • CVP268 – Integrated Water Resources Management (Module Leader)
  • Supervion of dissertation projects in line with my research interests



I am currently a Lecturer in Water Engineering in the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering at Loughborough University. Before joining Loughborough in May 2018, I was a Research Associate at Newcastle University. I received my BEng and MEng from Wuhan University, China in 2010 and 2012, and my PhD from Newcastle University in 2017. I am working as investigators on several projects under the NERC ‘Towards Sustainable Earth (TaSE)’, ‘UK Climate Resilience’ and the UK Met Office ‘Weather and Climate Science for Service Partnership’ programmes, with a total value of over £400K. I have published 24 papers in leading international journals and conferences and have won two “best paper” awards at international conferences. I have also been reviewing papers for leading international journals including ‘Water Resources Research’, ‘Advances in Water Resources’ and ‘Journal of Hydrology’. I have co-edited a special issue in the journal ‘Advances in Water Resources’ and organised two international meetings since 2017.

Esteem indicators

Professional affiliations

  • Member of International Association of Hydro-enviromental Research (IAHR)


  • 08/2017 Promising Young Scientist, The 15thInternational Symposium on Geo-disaster Reduction, Chengdu, Shimane and Kyoto, Japan
  • 10/2016 Outstanding Young Researcher, The 14thInternational Symposium on Geo-disaster Reduction, Chengdu, China

External activities

  • 2019 Invited talkat Zhengzhou University and Hebei University of Engineering
  • 2019 Mentor, Researcher Links Workshop on Hydrogeohazards and Urban Resilience
  • 2018 Convenor, The 13thInternational Hydroinformatics Conference (HIC)
  • 2017 Session Chair, The 37thIAHR World Congress
  • 2017 Session Chair, The 15thInternational Symposium on Geo-disaster Reduction
  • 2017 Editor, Geoenvironmental Disaster
  • 2017 Invited talk at Sun Yat-Sen University
  • 2015 and 2017 Invitedtalksat Hohai University, China
  • 2016 – present Invited Reviewer, for ‘Advances in Water Resources’, ‘Journal of Hydrology’, ‘ICE – Water Management’, ‘Water Science and Engineering’, ‘Journal of Hydroinformatics’, ‘Journal of Hydrodynamics’, ‘Computational Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering’, ‘Science of Total Environment’, ‘Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology’, ‘Water Resources Research’, ‘IEEE – Access’

Key collaborators

My research and enterprise activities are conducted with a range of academic and stakeholder partners, including:

  • UK Met Office
  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Glasgow
  • Chang’An University
  • Nankai University

Athena Swan Bronze award

Contact us

+44 (0)1509 222637

School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU