Professor Qiuhua Liang

BEng; DPhil

  • Professor of Water Engineering
  • UNESCO Chair in Informatics and Multi-hazard Risk Reduction
  • Co-director, EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training Water-WISER

Research and expertise

My research is focused on computational hydraulics and applications in disaster risk reduction. I have developed high-performance mathematical and numerical models to facilitate sustainable management of hydro systems interrupted by natural hazards such as floods, tsunamis, debris flows, and landslides.

  • Numerical methods: Godunov-type finite volume scheme, discontinuous Galerkin methods (DG methods), smooth particle hydrodynamics, particle-tracking methods, coupled hydrodynamic model and discrete element method for floating debris and mass flows, high-performance computing
  • Modelling the dynamic processes of extreme natural hazards to support risk assessment and damage estimation
  • Nature-based solutions for flood risk mitigation and resilience
  • Real-time flood forecasting
  • Crowd-sourced data acquisition, agent-based modelling and coupled human and natural systems modelling
  • Application of AI / deep machine learning in hydro informatics

Current Research Activity

  • PYRAMID: Platform for dYnamic, hyper-resolution, near-real-time flood Risk AssessMent Integrating repurposed and novel Data sources, NERC (NE/V003321/1; 08/2020 – 08/2023)
  • Water-WISER: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Water and Waste Infrastructure Systems Engineered for Resilience, EPSRC (EP/S022066/1; 06/2019 – 11/2027)
  • GCRF Living Deltas Hub, UKRI GCRF Collective Programme (NE/S008926/1; 02/2019 – 05/2024),

Completed Research Projects

  • FLASH: Fit-for-purpose high-resoLution risk Assessment and forecasting System for rainfall-induced Hazards in Bhutan, NERC (2021COPA&R46Chen; 10/2021 – 03/2022)
  • Beyond the Networked City: Building Innovative Delivery Systems for Water, Sanitation and Energy in Urban Africa, EPSRC-GCRF (ES/T007656/1; 04/2020 – 03/2023)
  • Impact scenario modelling for risk-based flood warning in India, WCSSP India Science plan, UK Met Office (DN394978)
  • FUTURE-DRAINAGE: Ensemble climate change rainfall estimates for sustainable drainage, NERC UK Climate Resilience programme (NE/S017348/1)
  • 'Living laboratories' for achieving sustainable development goals across national and sub-national scales, NERC Towards a Sustainable Earth programme (NE/S012427/1;
  • Valuing the benefits of blue/green infrastructure for flood resilience, natural capital and urban development in Viet Nam (ValBGI), NERC-Newton Fund Understanding of the Impacts of Hydrometeorological Hazards in South East Asia programme (NE/S00288X/1; 01/2019 – 03/2022)
  • WeACT: Web-Based Natural Dam-Burst Flood Hazard Assessment and ForeCasting SysTem, NERC SHEAR programme (NE/S005919/1; 09/2018 – 08/2020)
  • TERSE: Techno-Economic framework for Resilient and Sustainable Electrification, EPSRC-GCRF (EP/R030294/1)
  • Flood-PREPARED: Predicting Rainfall Events by Physical Analytics of REaltime Data, NERC (NE/P017134/1)
  • Susceptibility of catchments to INTense RAinfall and flooding (SINATRA), NERC Flooding from Intense Rainfall Programme (NE/K008781/1)
  • REMATCH: Building REsilience to Multi-source Flooding in Southeast/South Asia through a Technology-informed Community-based approacH, NERC-GCRF - Building Resilience (NE/P015476/1)
  • Numerical and laboratory modelling study of meteo-tsunamis and harbour resonance, Royal Society (IE131297)
  • Flood MEMORY: Multi-Event Modelling Of Risk & recoverY, EPSRC (EP/K013513/1)
  • Online Social Networks (OSNs) Based System for Flood Prediction and Management, EPSRC
  • Optimal management of water resources and flood risk for hydropower generation, EPSRC
  • Impacts and dynamics of volcanically-generated jökulhlaups, Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland, NERC (NE/1007628/1)
  • Adaptive mesh simulation of different scale flood inundation, EPSRC (EP/F030177/1)

Recent publications

  • Lin L, Tang C, Liang Q, Wu Z, Wang X, Zhao S (2023) Rapid urban flood risk mapping for data-scarce environments using social sensing and region-stable deep neural network. Journal of Hydrology, 617: 128758.
  • Xing Y, Chen H, Liang Q, Ma X (2022) Improving the performance of city-scale hydrodynamic flood modelling through a GIS-based DEM correction method. Natural Hazards, 112: 2313-2335. 
  • Xiong Y, Liang Q, Zheng J, Stolle J, Nistor I, Wang G (2022) A fully coupled hydrodynamic-DEM model for simulating debris dynamics and impact forces. Ocean Engineering, 225: 111468.
  • Zhao J, Liang Q (2022) Novel variable reconstruction and friction term discretisation schemes for hydrodynamic modelling of overland flow and surface water flooding. Advances in Water Resources, 163: 104187.
  • Su X, Liang Q, Xia X (2022) A new GPU-accelerated coupled discrete element and depth-averaged model for simulation of flow-like landslides. Environmental Modelling & Software, 153: 105412.
  • Ma Y, Xia X, Liang Q, Wan H (2022) Investigating the Impact of Spatial Distribution of Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) Components on Their Flood Mitigation Performance in Communities with High Groundwater Levels. Water, 14: 1367.
  • Ming X, Liang Q, Dawson R, Hou J (2022) A quantitative multi-hazard risk assessment framework for compound flooding considering hazard inter-dependencies and interactions. Journal of Hydrology, 607: 127477.
  • Zhou X, Moinuddin M, Renaud FG, Barrett B, Xu J, Liang Q, Zhao J, Xia X, Bosher L, Huang S, Hoey T (2022) Development of an SDG interlinkages analysis model at the river basin scale: A case study in the Luanhe River Basin, China. Sustainability Science, (at printer).
  • Zhao J, Chen H, Liang Q, Xia X, Xu J, Hoey T, Barrett B, Renaud FG, Bosher L, Zhou X (2022) Large-scale flood risk assessment under different development strategies: the Luanhe River Basin in China. Sustainability Science, DOI: 10.1007/s11625-021-01034-6.
  • Chen H, Zhao J, Liang Q, Maharjan SB, Joshi SP (2022) Assessing the potential impact of glacial lake outburst floods on individual objects using a high-performance hydrodynamic model and open-source data. Science of the Total Environment, 806(3): 151289.
  • Su X, Xia X, Liang Q, Hou J (2022) A coupled discrete element and depth-averaged model for dynamic simulation of flow-like landslides. Computers and Geotechnics, 141: 104537.
  • Xing Y, Shao D, Liang Q, Chen H, Ma X, Ullah I (2021) Investigation of the drainage loss effects with a street view based drainage calculation method in hydrodynamic modelling of pluvial floods in urbanized area. Journal of Hydrology, DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2021.127365
  • Liu K, Ke L, Wang J, Jiang L, Richards KS, Sheng Y, Zhu Y, Fan C, Zhan P, Luo S, Cheng J, Chen T, Ma R, Liang Q, Madson A, Song C (2021) Ongoing Drainage Reorganization Driven by Rapid Lake Growths on the Tibetan Plateau. Geophysical Research Letters, 48(24): e2021GL095795
  • Nian T, Li D, Liang Q, Wu H, Guo X (2021) Multi-phase flow simulation of landslide dam formation process based on extended coupled DEM-CFD method. Computers and Geotechnics, 140: 104438.
  • Zhao W, Xia X, Su X, Liang Q, Liu X, Ju N (2021) Movement process analysis of the high-speed long-runout Shuicheng landslide over 3-D complex terrain using a depth-averaged numerical model. Landslides, 18: 3213-3226.
  • Han H, Hou J, Bai G, Li B, Wang T, Li X, Gong J, Gao X, Su F, Wang Z, Liang Q (2021) A deep learning technique-based automatic monitoring method for experimental urban road inundation. Journal of Hydroinformatics, 23(4): 764-781.
  • Wang G, Liang Q, Shi F, Zheng J (2021) Analytical and numerical investigation of trapped ocean waves along a submerged ridge. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 915: A54.
  • Jiang J, Liang Q, Xia X, Hou J (2021) A coupled hydrodynamic and particle-tracking model for full-process simulation of nonpoint source pollutants. Environmental Modelling & Software, 136: 104951.
  • Pramanik M, Chowdhury K, Rana MJ, Bisht P, Pal R, Szabo S, Pal I, Behera B, Liang Q, Padmadas SS, Udmale P (2020) Climatic influence on the magnitude of COVID-19 outbreak: a stochastic model-based global analysis. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, DOI: 10.1080/09603123.2020.1831446 
  • Kabir S, Patidar S, Xia X, Liang Q, Neal J, Pender G (2020) A deep convolutional neural network model for rapid prediction of fluvial flood inundation. Journal of Hydrology, 590: 125481.
  • Ming X, Liang Q, Xia X, Li D, Fowler HJ (2020) Real-time flood forecasting based on a high-performance 2D hydrodynamic model and numerical weather predictions. Water Resources Research, 56, e2019WR025583.
  • Chen H, Liang Q, Liang Z, Liu Y, Ren T (2020) Extraction of connected river networks from multi-temporal remote sensing imagery using a path tracking technique. Remote Sensing of Environment, 246: 111868.
  • Zounemat-Kermani M, Matta E, Cominola A, Xia X, Zhang Z, Liang Q, Hinkelmann R (2020) Neurocomputing in surface water hydrology and hydraulics: A review of two decades retrospective, current status and future prospects. Journal of Hydrology, 588: 125085.
  • Jiang L, Hu Y, Xia X, Liang Q, Soltoggio A, Kabir SR (2020) A Multi-Scale Mapping Approach Based on a Deep Learning CNN Model for Reconstructing High-Resolution Urban DEMs. Water, 12(5): 1369.
  • Wang F, Wang Z, Yang H, Di D, Zhao Y, Liang Q (2020) A new copula-based standardized precipitation evapotranspiration streamflow index for drought monitoring. Journal of Hydrology, 585: 124793.
  • Wang F, Wang Z, Yang H, Di D, Zhao Y, Liang Q, Hussain Z (2020) Utilizing GRACE-based groundwater drought index for drought characterization and teleconnection factors analysis in the North China Plain. Journal of Hydrology, 584: 124849.
  • Wang F, Wang Z, Yang H, Di D, Zhao Y, Liang Q, Hussain Z (2020) Comprehensive evaluation of hydrological drought and its relationships with meteorological drought in the Yellow River basin, China. Journal of Hydrology, 584: 124751.
  • Li Q, Liang Q, Xia X (2020) A novel 1D-2D coupled model for hydrodynamic simulation of flows in drainage networks. Advances in Water Resources, 137: 103519.
  • Xiong Y, Mahaffey S, Liang Q, Rouainia M, Wang G (2020) A new 1D coupled hydrodynamic discrete element model for floating debris in violent shallow flows. Journal of Hydraulic Research, 58(5): 778-789.
  • Hou J, Li B, Tong Y, Ma L, Ball J, Luo H, Liang Q, Xia J (2020) Cause analysis for a new type of devastating flash flood. Hydrology Research, 51 (1): 1–16.
  • Cui Y, Liang Q, Wang G, Zhao J, Hu J, Wang Y, Xia X (2019) Simulation of Hydraulic Structures in 2D High-Resolution Urban Flood Modeling. Water, 11: 2139 (12 pages).
  • Xia X, Liang Q, Ming X (2019) A full-scale fluvial flood modelling framework based on a high-performance integrated hydrodynamic modelling system (HiPIMS). Advances in Water Resources, 132: 103392.
  • Lin L, Wu Z, Liang Q (2019) Urban flood susceptibility analysis using a GIS-based multi-criteria analysis framework. Natural Hazards, 97: 455-475.
  • Dang CH, Wang J, Liang Q (2019) Inflows/outflows driven particle dynamics in an idealised lake. Journal of Hydrodynamics, 31(5): 873-886.
  • Wang G, Liang Q, Zheng J, Wang P (2019) A New Multilayer Nonhydrostatic Formulation for Surface Water Waves. Journal of Coastal Research, 35(3): 693-710.
  • Liu Z, Zhang H, Liang Q (2019) A coupled hydrological and hydrodynamic model for flood simulation. Hydrology Research, 50(2): 589-606.
  • Xing Y, Liang Q, Wang G, Ming X, Xia X (2019) City-scale hydrodynamic modelling of urban flash floods: the issues of scale and resolution. Natural Hazards, 96: 473-496.
  • Chen H, Liang Q, Liang Z, Liu Y, Xie S (2019) Remote-sensing disturbance detection index to identify spatio-temporal varying flood impact on crop production. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 269-270: 180-191.
  • Xiong Y, Liang Q, Park H, Cox D, Wang G (2019) A deterministic approach for assessing tsunami-induced building damage through quantification of hydrodynamic forces. Coastal Engineering, 144: 1-14.


I teach water engineering-related modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and supervise research dissertation projects.


  • CVB101 Open Channel Flow Design and Analysis
  • Research Dissertation


  • CVP442 Flood Modelling and Management
  • Research Dissertation



Recently completed projects

  • Numerical and Experimental Modelling of Sewage Screening Chamber, Northumbrian Water Limited.

Short courses


  • Advisor to Beijing Automic Technology Co. Ltd


I graduated from the Dalian University of Technology, China in 1997 with a BEng in Port and Waterway Engineering (a four-year first-degree programme).

After spending three years in the construction industry, I came to the UK in September 2000 to study for a DPhil at the University of Oxford, followed by one-year postdoctoral research in the same research group between 2005 and 2006. I also worked as a college lecturer at St Edmund Hall of Oxford University during my time in Oxford. 

I joined Newcastle University in March 2006 as a Hydraulic Engineering Lecturer and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2011 and Professor of Hydrosystems Modelling in 2013. Then in June 2018, I took up my current position as a Professor of Water Engineering in the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering at Loughborough University.

Professional Affiliations

  • Member of the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR)
  • Member of American Geophysical Union (AGU)


  • Outstanding Paper Award by the Journal of Flood Risk Management 2018

External Activities

  • Management Director, International Consortium on Geo-disaster Reduction (ICGdR)
  • Leadership Team, IAHR/IWA Joint Committee on Hydroinformatics
  • Technical Program Committee (TPC), International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineering (ISOPE)
  • Visiting professor at Kyoto University and Kobe University, Japan; Zhengzhou University, Wuhan University, Hohai University, Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR), Xi’an University of Technology, China
  • Professor and Honorary Vice President, Hebei University of Technology, China
  • Editor/Editorial board: Journal of Hydrology, Journal of Hydro-environment Research, Journal of Hydrodynamics, Geoenvironmental Disasters, ICE-Water Management, Water Engineering and Science, KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering
  • Reviewer for EPSRC, EPSRC, and British Council research grant applications
  • Member of British Council Newton Fund Panel 

Key collaborators

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

  • UK universities: Newcastle, Reading, Manchester, Nottingham, UCL, Stirling, Hull, Swansea, Exeter
  • Government organisations: CEH, BGS, Met Office, EA
  • Consultants: JBA, Mott MacDonald, Arup
  • International: TU Berlin, DPRI in Kyoto University, a range of universities and government organisations in China and South/Southeast Asia