Dr Helen Fairweather - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dr Helen Fairweather

PhD NE, (MIEAust), BEng (First class Honours) S.Qld.

  • Senior Lecturer, Environmental Engineering
  • Program Coordinator Master of Climate Change Adaptation by Research
+61 7 5456 5564 or 0401 839 506
Office location
Moreton Bay
Dr Helen Fairweather


Dr Fairweather's research over her career has included a diverse collection of projects encompassing agriculture, hydrology, irrigation and climate research in a number of Universities including the University of Lethbridge in Canada, UNE and USC as well as Government agencies in NSW, QLD, Canada and the United Kingdom and Cooperative Research Centres (Beef and Cattle Industry and Irrigation Futures).

Dr Fairweather's PhD centred on the modelling of nutrients and effluent from a Feedlot and was followed by a Post Doctoral Fellowship through a Canadian Science and Engineering Research Council award.

On her return to Australia, Dr Fairweather worked for the NSW Government, where she delivered on a range of climate and agricultural projects for various funding agencies (the Grains Research and Development Corporation, Land and Water Australia) and a State Government research grant to develop a climate change adaptation tool in a GIS framework.

For several years Dr Fairweather was privileged to lead the Toolkits Program, which was one of the two major irrigation research programs conducted by the CRC for Irrigation Futures, involving collaboration with a range of Universities and Government agencies across Australia.

Before joining USC, Dr Fairweather led the development of the science component of a project to revise the flood risk assessment methodology to take account of climate change in the relevant Qld State Planning Policy.

Research areas

  • hydrology
  • flood modelling
  • hydrodynamic processes
  • rainfall intensity, frequency and duration
  • groundwater-surface water interaction
  • water sensitive urban design
  • climate change mitigation and adaptation in the coastal zone
  • use of long-term weather reanalyses to describe the current climate
  • application of climate change factors to understand impacts
  • renewable energy solutions

Teaching areas

  • Engineering Hydrology
  • Reservoir and Stormwater Engineering
  • Programming for Engineers

Program coordinator

Helen's area of expertise includes hydrology, floor modelling, hydrodynamic processes, rainfall intensity, frequency and duration, groundwater-surface water interaction, water sensitive urban design, Climate change mitigation and adaptation in the coastal zone, weather reanalyses, climate.

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