Prof Western has more than twenty years experience in catchment and waterway research, teaching and consulting. He has experience in the fields of hydrology, water resources, hydraulics and related disciplines. He completed his PhD over the period 1991-1994 on hydraulic and hydrologic modelling to support environmental flow management in the Wimmera River. Since then he has worked as a researcher for the Centre for Environmental Applied Hydrology, Technical University of Vienna, The CRC for Catchment Hydrology and eWater CRC. He is now the Director of Infrastructure for the Melbourne School of Engineering. Prof Western has expertise in field monitoring, physically-based and conceptual catchment and river modelling, catchment water quality, catchment analysis and remote sensing and has concentrated on integrating these areas to support catchment system understanding and management. He has undertaken major field programs in Australia and New Zealand investigating catchment behaviour and has made leading contributions to spatial analysis in hydrology, particularly in the area of spatial soil moisture variability, patterns and processes.
A range of active collaborations with industry allow Prof Western to maintain the industry relevance of his work. These include projects concentrating on estuarine management, groundwater resources, catchment monitoring, water resources management and, through eWater CRC, catchment and stream water quality. He has contributed to development of the Thales physically-based catchment model, models of salinity stratification in inland rivers and soil property and vegetation data sets available through the Catchment Modelling Toolkit. In addition to his research and consulting work, Prof Western teaches surface hydrology, earth processes and environmental modelling and supervises a number of PhD students.