Expert Details

Expert in Environmental Physics, Hydrology, Soil Physics, Irrigation, Drainage, Applied Maths, Microirrigation

Expert ID: 731161 Australia

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ExpertCook's (Expert) career started in soil physics following study of mathematics and physical chemistry and has resulting in him designing instruments for the measurement of soil physical properties. He has also
models for estimating wetting patterns due to trickle irrigation and estimation of drainage when combined with evaporation. He and a colleague have recently written the first method to successful estimate surface
irrigation advance using the linear soil concept.

Expert has a written both papers on the formation and controlling conditions for acid sulfate soils as rates of transport of acidity within these soils. He has also worked on acid sediments and the measurement of
physical properties and modeling of the fluxes of acidity in these sediments. He was the Chairman of the International Working Party on Acid Sulfate Soils and organized a international conference on this topic.

His work on soil gases is highly regarded with a citation classic paper in Soil Biology and Biochemistry on the physical constraints to soil respiration. More recently he and a colleague have developed the first
mathematical solution for oxygen transport to both microbes and roots in soil. This has led to a number of subsequent applications of this work including understanding greenhouse gas transport and generation in soils.
Recently as part of a scholarship he has developed a method for upscaling nitrous oxide fluxes from urine patches to paddock, farm and regional scale.

Expert has used his skills in applied mathematics to model transport processes in soils and sediments, evaporation of water from water bodies, transport of contaminants in groundwater and surface water and to
design land treatment methods for waste water. His wide knowledge of porous media physics and applied mathematics has allow such a diverse application of his skills. He was the research leader for the Catchments
and Climates group in the EWater CRC that developed the SOURCE hydrology model. He developed a model for estimating pesticide contamination in catchments based on upscaling from paddocks using convolution
mathematics. More recently he was employed by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to write a review of how to couple water quailty models onto the Bureau's existing water quantity models. He also assisted in
developing and writing a funding proposal for this work which has been successful.

Expert developed the mathematical solutions that led to the development of WetUp micro-irrigation software. This build on the work he did in his early career with DSIR on measuring irrigation wetting patterns and
analysis of these. He woprked on the problem of surface ponding with some spray spray irrigation methods to avoid bypass flow and poor irrigation efficiencies.

Negotiated a contract for CSIRO and his firm with BHP Nickel West to model the salt transport in hypersaline waste heaps. This showed which was not realized by BHP that water would pond in the center of the heaps due to there concave conical shape and salt was being lost to the ground water via this route. The surface mineralogy was also measured by CSIRO with Expert managing the process and showed the client that some produces in the water heaps need different management.He was engaged by a client to investigate complete loss of rice crops following irrigation. He searched the literature and proposed a valid hypothesis for the losses due to multiple causes resulting from sedimentation from the irrigation water. He has also advised on how to overcome the problem using a combination of chemical and physical processes to cause sedimentation prior to irrigation. He provided consulting services to Plant and Food Crown Research Centre on denitrification processes in soils. He developed mathematical solutions which allowed analysis of existing data and new models for understanding threshold levels for generation of nitrous oxides.While with CSIRO he work with the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation to advise on acid sulfate soils issues associated with the Tugun Bypass tunnel. He developed statistical methods to determine the required sampling frequency of bores and when bores had recovered enough to stop monitoring. He also assisted with design of irrigation methods to flush the acidity from the soils and treat begfore reinjection.The expansion of irrigation in Northern Australia was investigated and he led a team to consider the biophysical aspects of what changes to the water regime would mean. He and this team developed scaling methods to allow objective assessment of benefits and costs, methods for assessing irrigation mosaics and effects of spacing and size and a new solution for groundwater mounding.


Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 2003 Degree: PhD Subject: Environmental Physics Institution: University of Technology Sydney
Year: 1980 Degree: MPhil Subject: Soil Physics Institution: Massey University
Year: 1976 Degree: Dip Agric Sci. Subject: Soil science Institution: Massey University
Year: 1974 Degree: BSc Subject: Physical chemistry, mathematics Institution: Massey University

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 2011 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Princpal/Director Department: Responsibilities: I am the principal and director of this consulting company.
Years: 1991 to 2011 Employer: Various Title: Senior Principal Research Scientist Department: Land and Water Responsibilities: I started with CSIRO Centre for Environmental Mechanics in 1991 as a Research scientist. This was amalgomated into Land and Water with a number of other CSIRO Divisions in 1997. I resigned from CSIRO in 2011 having risen to Senior Principal Research Scientist to start my own consulting company.
Years: 1976 to 1991 Employer: Various Title: from technician to Group Leader Department: Soil Bureau Responsibilities: I started as a technician in the soil physics group and rose to Group Leader of the Soil Water Processes group before leaving to join CSIRO.

Government Experience

Years Agency Role Description
Years: 2012 to 2012 Agency: Queensland Crown Law Role: Expert witness modeller Description: Modeling of water and nitrogen from waste water onto sand dunes. Advise on mistakes and shortcomings in the proponents case.
Years: 2012 to 2012 Agency: South Australian Dept of Environment Water and Natrural Resources Role: Project leader. Description: Development of acid transport models for acidity from sediment to lake water. Supervision of EPA employee modeling neutralization modeling. Report writing and presentation.
Years: 2011 to 2012 Agency: South Australian Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources Role: Project leader Description: Development of a conceptual model for acid drainage from land to the lake. Experimental, sampling and equipment design for sediment sampling and measurements. Data analysis and evaluation. Modelling groundwater fluxes and estimating acidity fluxes from land to lake. Report writing and presentations.
Years: 2013 to 2014 Agency: Australia Bureau of Meteorology Role: Consultant/reviewer Description: Writing of a report on how to couple water quality modelling onto existing water quantity models. Assistance with development of a project proposal that was successful on this topic.

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 1998 to 2000 Country / Region: Peoples Republic of China Summary: This project use the FILTER method which was developed by a team of people at CSIRO including ExpertCook to treat waste water and recover the water for late use. The trial site was at Wuching in North China and the the results showed that the drainage water collected had greatly reduced nutrients, pathogens and suspended solids.
Years: 2003 to 2005 Country / Region: Peoples Republic of China Summary: Developed the instrumentation for this project which was sited in Shanxi province. The aim to extend the FILTER system to also have a groundwater storage component so that waste water could still be disposed of in winter and reused for irrigation in summer. This project showed that this was possible but also demonstrated that irrigation was not really required as evapotranspiration had been over estimated due to the small size of the pans used by the clients.
Years: 2012 to 2012 Country / Region: New Zealand Summary: Worked with Plant and Food to develop better understanding of denitrification processes in the soils and develop new analysis methods.
Years: 2012 to 2013 Country / Region: Peoples Republic of China Summary: Developed a proposal for the land and water management in an irrigation area in Qinghai Province for ET Global. This involved putting together a team of international experts as well as writing the proposal.
Years: 2015 to 2016 Country / Region: Australia / Queensland Summary: Analysed soil and irrigation design data to determine the issue with saline water irrigation for a coal seam gas project. This was as a sub-consultant for EHS.
Years: 2014 to 2014 Country / Region: United States of America Summary: Analysed data for the US Army Corp of Engineers using the HYDRUS1D program.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Professional Appointments
Honorary Professor The University of Queensland.
Adjunct Associate Professor Griffith University.
Associate editor Soil Research
Awards / Recognition
Publications and Patents Summary
He has 272 refereed publications; 80 journal, 98 conference, 91 reports and 3 theses. His total citations are 3747 and hirsch number is 28.

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
I was an expert witness in a case where a developer wanted to irrigate sewage onto sand dunes. I provide modelling of the water and nitrogen fluxes in the soils and groundwater.

I appear as an expert witness in a mediation case between her and an Irrigation supply company with regard to crop damage due to poor quality irrigation water. This case is ongoing and I recently provided further information for the solicitor in this case. My expertise was sought to analyse the soil and water quality data and to provide expert advise on rehabilitation of the soil.
Training / Seminars
I have given a large number of seminars through the years on my research work as well as over 100 conference presentations.

I developed a training course on the HYDRUS suite of models which I give on two occasions to CSIRO and international colleagues. I have also assisted at HYDRUS training courses in Australia.
Vendor Selection
I am currently putting together a team of experts to provide capacity building for an irrigation project in Qinghai Province in the Peoples Republic of China.
Marketing Experience
The industries where my skills are of most use are in irrigation, micro-irrigation and drainage where the knowledge I have can be used to assist with design of systems and development of new products. I developed the calculation procedured for the micro-irrigation software WetUp.

The understanding of water quality on soil physical and chemical has led directly from a recent expert witness case to development of research proposals with colleagues to gain a better understanding of the effects of the ionic composition of water on soil properties. This has already led and the research will further refine methods for amelioration of sodic soils.
Other Relevant Experience
I have the HYDRUS2D/3D modelling platform with also the wetland module and can provide modelling of water and solute transport in a wide range of situations. I used this recently for modelling salt transport in mione waste heaaps for BHP Nickel West.

I also have the MatLab modelling platform which I have used to develop denitrification models for Plant and Food Crown Research Institute (New Zealand), and a non-rigid soil water transport model for BHP Nickel West to understand consolidation of the waste heaps.

I have a the mathematic software Maple which can be used to obtain solutions to mathematical problems and can also be used for modelling. Lastly I use SigmaPlot as the software I use for simple modeling and for generating high quality graphic presentation of results.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
English I have excellent speaking reading and writing skills in my native language English.

Fields of Expertise

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