Dr Wei Zhang

Senior Lecturer, Chemical Engineering

Email address

Academic Office - C_216
Second Floor
Engineering Central
Bay Campus
Available For Postgraduate Supervision


Dr Zhang has a proven track record in the development of novel prototype technologies, especially in water monitoring and treatment.

His PhD project, ‘New nanocomposite of porous materials and visible light sensitive catalysts for efficient wastewater purification’ was funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project (No. LP0989240, 2008-2011). In recognition of his PhD research, he received several prestigious awards, including the ‘Chinese Government Award for Excellent Students Abroad’ (2009) and the ‘International Humic Substance Society’ (IHSS) travel award (2010).

From 2011 to 2014, he developed a novel capacitive deionization (CDI) technology for inland brackish water desalination, which was funded by the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination, Australia (NCEDA). This project was carried out in conjunction with the industry partners, ‘Power and Water Corporation’ in the Northern Territory, and ‘SA Water’ in South Australia (with a budget of £300,000).

The impact of his work on Australian socioeconomics was featured as a cover article titled, ‘CDI can supply remote places’ in Desalination & Water Reuse, Vol. 22, Issue 2. To evidence this contribution further, he also won the highly competitive Australian Water Association (AWA) Postgraduate Water Research Award in 2013 (only 1 per year in Australia).

In 2014, he was awarded an Australian Endeavour Research Fellowship to work at the University of Cincinnati and National Risk Management Research Laboratory, United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). Between 2015 and 2017, he was selected by Australian Academy of Science as a Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) Overseas Fellow (10 per year in Australia) to worked at University of Tokyo, Japan.

Since 2016, Dr Zhang has been at the forefront of developing electrochemical sensors using various nanomaterials for environmental water monitoring, including heavy metals (i.e. lead and cadmium), disinfection by-products and algal toxins. 

Areas Of Expertise

  • Water Treatment
  • Water Quality
  • Bio-/Chemo-sensors
  • Desalination
  • Nanomaterials
  • Environmental Technologies

Career Highlights

Award Highlights

2018  Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) Micro Media Grant
2018  Florence Mockeridge Fellowship, Swansea University
2017  Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Fellowship
2015  Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Postdoctoral Fellowship
2014  Australian Endeavour Research Fellowship
2013  UniSA Early Career Researcher International Research Travel Award
2012  Australian Water Association (AWA) Postgraduate Water Research Award
2012  UniSA Supported Researcher Scheme Award
2010  International Humic Substance Society (IHSS) Travel Support Award
2009  Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad
2008  Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) & Industry Scholarship