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Dr Kegong Diao

Job: Lecturer

Faculty: Technology

School/department: School of Engineering and Sustainable Development

Research group(s): Centre for Engineering Science and Advanced Systems (CESAS)

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH

T: 0116 201 3932




Personal profile

Dr Kegong Diao is a VC2020 lecturer in engineering and sustainable development, and a researcher specializing in development of complexity science-based method for urban infrastructure system analysis, with emphasis on urban water systems. Kegong has significantly contributed to 14 research and consulting projects, including 5 UK and EU funded projects. His research outcomes include 6 patents, 20+ peer-reviewed publications in well-renowned journals (eg Water Research, Impact factor: 5.991; Environmental Modelling and Software, Impact factor: 4.207). He has granted technology innovation awards, the 2015 Outstanding Reviewer Award for Water Research, and invited as Associate Editor of Water Science and Technology (International Water Association). His featured paper has achieved 49 citations in about 2 years after publication. Putting his methods into practice has enabled evaluation; Experts in the water industry has given positive feedback and intention of collaboration. For instance, two project proposals have been submitted in collaboration with leading companies, and Kegong has been invited by Severn Trent Water, Zhejiang University (110 in World University Rankings 2015), Shenzhen Water Utility, and Tsinghua Holdings Human Settlements Environment Institute to present his methods and discuss possible collaborations. His research has been disseminated by International Innovation ( He has strong ability to manage projects, lead others, influence decisions and develop effective internal and external relationships with key decision makers.

Research group affiliations

Centre for Engineering Science and Advanced Systems (CESAS)

Research interests/expertise

Scientific and systematic methods for urban water systems analysis:

• New paradigm of smart water systems

• Decoding topological and behavioural complexities (eg identification of all critical components);

• Resilience, vulnerability, and risk assessment;

• Reliable, resilient, and sustainable design and rehabilitation;

• Optimal sensor and actuator placement;

• Scientific DMA planning in water distribution systems;

• Model calibration;

• Advanced hydraulic simulation and computing.

Areas of teaching



• 1999-2003: BSc (Beijing Outstanding College Graduate) in Water and Wastewater, Beijing University of Technology, Grade A;

• 2003-2006: MS, Municipal Engineering, Beijing University of Technology, Grade A;

• 2006-2008: MS in Hydroinformatics and Water Management, EuroAquae, Erasmums Mundus (Top student, Grade A+):    Technical University of Catalonia (2006/09-2007/01)    Newcastle University (2007/01-2007/07)    Brandenburg University of Technology at Cottbus &    Technische Universität Berlin (2007/09-2008/09)

• 2008-2011: Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, Beijing University of Technology, Grade A; Major field: Urban Water Systems Modelling, Analysis, Planning and Management

Courses taught

• Project Management

• Basic Mechanics

• Engineering

• Mathematics

Honours and awards

• Technology innovation awards, 2015 Jul, patents and publications;

• 2015 Outstanding Reviewer Award for Water Research, December, 2015, the top 10th percentile in terms of the number of reviews completed for Water Research in 2014 and 2015.

Professional licences and certificates

• Certificate for Modeling of Hydrosystems, Technische Universität Berlin;

• MCDBA (Microsoft Certified Database Administrator), Microsoft;

• MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert), Microsoft.

Conference attendance

• 11th International Conference on Hydroinformatics (HIC2014), 17-21 Aug 2014, New York (US), Vulnerability Assessment of Water Distribution Systems Using Directed and Undirected Graph Theory, Diao, K, Farmani, R., Fu, G. and Butler, D., Oral presentation;

 • Water Distribution System Analysis (WDSA2014), 14-17 July 2014, Bari (Italy), Hierarchical Decomposition of Water Distribution Systems for Background Leakage Assessment, Diao, K., Fu, G., Farmani, R., Guidolin, M. and Butler, D., Oral presentation;

 • World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2014 (ASCE), 1-5 June 2014, Portland (US), Assessing Model Structure Uncertainties in Water Distribution Models, Sitzenfrei, R., Mair, M., Diao, K., and Rauch, W., Co-author;

 • 9th International Conference on Urban Drainage Modelling, 3-7 Sept 2012, Belgrade (Serbia), Automated Pipe-sizing of Storm Sewer or Combined Sewer Systems Based on Hydrodynamic Modelling, Diao, K., Mair, M., Möderl, M., Kleidorfer, M., Sitzenfrei, R., Urich, C., and Rauch, W., Oral presentation;

 • Water Distribution Systems Analysis (WDSA2010), 12-15 Sept 2010, Tucson (US), Battle of the Water Calibration Networks (BWCN): A Component Status Changes Oriented Calibration Method for Zonal Management Water Distribution Networks, Diao, K., Zhou, Y., Li, J., and Liu, Z., Oral presentation.

Key research outputs

• Diao, K., Zhou, Y., and Rauch, W. (2013). ”Automated Creation of District Metered Area Boundaries in Water Distribution Systems.” J. Water Resour. Plann. Manage., 139(2), 184–190.

 • Diao K. and Rauch W. (2013). “Controllability analysis as a pre-selection method for sensor placement in water distribution systems”, Water Research, 47(16), 6097-6108.

 • Diao, K., Sweetapple, C., Farmani, R., Fu, G., Ward, S. and Butler, D. (2016). “Global resilience analysis of water distribution systems”. Water Research, 106, 383-393.

 • Diao, K., Wang, Z., Burger, G., Chen, C., Rauch, W., and Zhou, Y. (2013). “Speedup of water distribution simulation by domain decomposition”. Environmental Modelling & Software. 52, 253-263.

 • Diao, K., Farmani, R., Fu, G., Astaraie-Imani, M., Ward, S. and Butler, D. (2014). “Clustering analysis of water distribution systems: identifying critical components and community impacts”. Water Science & Technology, 70(11), 1764-1773.

 • Diao, K., Fu, G., Farmani, R., Guidolin, M., and Butler, D. (2015). "Twin-Hierarchy Decomposition for Optimal Design of Water Distribution Systems." J. Water Resour. Plann. Manage., 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000597, C4015008.

Consultancy work

• “Data-to-information-to-knowledge” solution for diagnosis of large-scale water networks (08/2011-09/2011), Tsinghua Holdings Human Settlements Environment, Individual consultant;

 • Evaluation of rehabilitation and operational control plans for Jinnan water distribution system (04/2010-05/2010), Tianjin Water Utility, Tech lead;

 • Research on Leakage Control and Zoning Planning for Beijing Water Distribution Network (08/2004-11/2005), Beijing Water Group, Major contributor;

 • Study on the Impacts of Peaking Factors on a Water Distribution System in Germany (06/2008-09/2008), Berliner Wasser and Technische Universität Berlin, Major contributor;

 • Study on Model Calibration, Storm Load Modelling and Step-feed Process Simulation of a Biological Wastewater Treatment Plant (03/2008-09/2008), Berliner Wasser, Major contributor;

 • Development of Information Management and On-line Monitoring System based on MapInfo platform for the Water Distribution System in Jinnan District, Tianjin City (2004), Tianjin Water Utility, Contributor;

 • Planning and design of storm sewer networks for Steel and Iron Co., Ltd. of Ningbo City (2003), Major contributor;

 • Rehabilitation Planning of Sewer Pipelines for Zhou Kou Dian Avenue, FangShang District, Beijing (2003), Major contributor;

 • Gray Water Recycling Project (2001), Beijing University of Technology, Major contributor.

Current research students

• Tomasz Kubrycht, MPhil/PhD in Holistic Approach to Leakage management in Water Distribution Systems, 2nd supervisor.

• Mayur Damania, MPhil/PhD in Pump Operational Control for Water Distribution Systems, 2nd supervisor.

• Faris Saleem, MPhil/PhD in Water Supply Utilities Benchmarking, 2nd supervisor.

Published patents

Granting body: State Intellectual Property Office of the People Republic of China

[1] An automated zoning planning method for water distribution systems, 201010599438.8

[2] Generation of real-time contour plots based on component classification, 201010599255.6

[3] A parallel hydraulic simulation scheme based on loop equation method, 201010599439.2

[4] A parallel hydraulic simulation scheme based on node equation method, 201110100163.3

[5] A pipe roughness calibration method under multiple fire flow constraints, 201110023432.0

[6] A sequential calibration methodology for C-Town-form water distribution systems, 201110023433.5

Professional esteem indicators

• Associate Editor of Water Science and Technology (International Water Association);

• Reviewer for:

  European Journal of Operational Research (Elsevier)

  Water Research (IWA);

  Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management (ASCE)

  Journal of Hydraulic Engineering (ASCE)

  Journal of Pipeline Systems - Engineering and Practice (ASCE)

  Journal - American Water Works Association (AWWA)

  Water Resources Research (AGU Publication)

Case studies

The major impacts of Dr. Diao’s researches are:

• The developed methods have resulted in six patents and 20+ papers, and around two years after the publication of the featured paper it reached 49 citations.

• The methods contributed to several cutting-edge projects, such as the ‘EU FP7 PREPARED Enabling Change (topics led by Professor Wolfgang Rauch), ‘EPSRC (UK) Safe & SuRe: A New Paradigm for Urban Water Management (led by Professor David Butler) and ‘EPSRC Clean Water for All: a UK and US collaboration (led by Professors David Butler and Kevin Lansey).

• Dr. Tom Walski, a top expert in the water industry, has given positive feedback and intention of collaboration: “I am familiar with Dr. Diao’s work and it is uniformly excellent. If there is fertile ground in this field, he will discover it”;

 • The researches have been disseminated by ‘International Innovation’, which broadcasts global insight and analysis on current scientific research trends to 120,000 academics; (

 • Two project proposals have been submitted in collaboration with leading companies;

 • Diao has been invited by Severn Trent Water, Shanghai Astropulsion and Shenzhen Water Utility to present his methods and discuss possible collaborations;

 • Diao has solved a long-lasting problem through an in-depth diagnosis of a large-scale water distribution system (of about 130,000 components) for Tsinghua Holdings Human Settlements Environment. This has led to established partnerships for project consulting and possible knowledge transfer in the future;

 • Established research collaboration with Zhejiang University (110 in World University Rankings 2015);

 • Invited as an elite speaker to talk on the 247th American Chemical Society National Meeting. 

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