Associate Professor Steven Kenway

UQ Amplify Researcher

Advanced Water Management Centre
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
+61 7 336 54170


Steven is a scientist and manager with over twenty four years research, industry, and consulting experience. He has developed this through roles with the Urban Water Security Research Alliance, CSIRO, Brisbane Water (now QUU), Sydney Water and private consulting. His expertise focusses on the urban water cycle, and related energy and greenhouse gas emissions and costs, integrated water and energy planning, systems analysis and urban water security. It also includes environmental, triple bottom line, sustainability and metabolic analysis, management and reporting.

  • More than 105 research articles including 11 books (3 peer-reviewed), 7 peer-reviewed book sections, 31 Journal articles (19 peer-reviewed ) and over 50 peer-reviewed conference articles.
  • Regular funded plenary and invited keynote presenter to peak international forums including: World Water Forum, (World Water Council: France, 2012 and Korea 2015), World Water Congress (International Water Association) Korea 2012, Montreal 2010 and Vienna 2008 (including a keynote presentation to water utility Chief Executive Officers and European Mayors); Water, Energy Climate Conference, (ANEAS and IWA) Mexico, 2014.
  • Invited scientific program member for the Water-Energy Specialty Conference (Mexico 2014); and its three predecessor conferences (Copenhagen 2010, Amsterdam 2011 and Dublin 2012).
  • Invited international Task Group Leader, for Water-Energy-Carbon Frameworks with the International Water Association (2012-).
  • Elected Board Member (and Secretary) for the Specialist Group for Sustainability in Water (IWA, 2012-) and invited Steering Committee Member, Cities of the Future (IWA, 2011-).
  • Board Member, Industrial Ecology Virtual Laboratory.
  • Invited member of the United States Alliance for Water Efficiency, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy working group for water-energy research.
  • Shortlisted 2014 for The Australian Innovation Challenge 2014, National Award, “Water management for energy-efficient cities” in the Minerals and Energy category.

Research Impacts

Dr Kenway’s research field includes “Urban Metabolism and the Water-Energy Nexus”. He is particularly focussed on developing tools for quantifying water-energy linkages (cause and effect relationships) in households, industry, water utilities and cities.

Dr Kenway shown how small changes to technologies (eg plumbing configurations or new technologies) and asset management (and its influence on water temperature) can achieve far greater energy impacts than within-utility actions. Dr Kenway has demonstrated that 9% of Australia’s primary energy use is influenced by urban water, and that much of the impact is indirect (and largely hidden) from the perspective of water utilities. This is primarily in the end use of water as heat. Dr Kenway has also developed urban metabolism theory to show its powerful use for the management of water including water security and planning.

Dr Kenway has pioneered water-energy work. His publication “Energy use in the provision and consumption of water” in 2008 has over 100 citations in high quality journals, international government reports, scientific books, and international on-line platforms. His work led to funded presentations to over 12 international forum between 2011 and 2015 including keynotes to peak global technical and policy events including the World Water Congress (IWA) and the World Water Forum (World Water Council). It has led to his invitation (by IWA) to lead the water-energy frameworks task force, his membership of the Steering Committee of “Cities of the Future”, and his invited scientific program membership of global Water-Energy conferences. Dr Kenway has H-indices of 5, 4 and 10, in Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar respectively to March 2015. Dr Kenway’s work on water-energy was shortlisted in the 2014 Australian Innovation Awards.

Dr Kenway has contributed to an 8-university consortium the development of the Industrial Ecology Virtual Laboratory (IELab). The IELab is now used by >40 scientists nationally. External nations including China, Brazil, Great Britain and Germany are seeking to develop similar infrastructure.

Dr Kenway’s work on water mass balance analysis has been widely used in the development of masters-level training at several universities internationally. His work is a dominant component of several masters programs in Australia and the USA. It was the subject of an invited presentation in the flagship “Future Cities” theme at the Montreal World Water Congress (2012). Dr Kenway played an instrumental role in initiating, directing and forming the Urban Water Security Research Alliance as a member of the CSIRO team. This $50m, 5 year alliance left an outstanding legacy of science:

Dr Kenway has contributed significant work in the field of Triple Bottom Line water management. This includes publishing an international guidebook. Steven delivered an invited presentation to the Vienna 2008 World Water Congress utility Chief Executive Officers. The book has sold well and remains for sale (to 2015) at major international vendors. This work, is being used by many water utilities and water management agencies internationally to improve internal systems and generate quality performance.

Dr Kenway’s work at Brisbane Water led to major changes in environmental and asset management, load-based licencing, risk management, public sustainability reporting (a first for Queensland) and biosolids management and environmental and integrated management system.

Dr Kenway has led substantial natural resources management, catchment studies, environmental impact statements (EISs), management plans (EMPs) and management systems (EMSs), particularly in water and wastewater management, but also mining and pipeline projects.


  • Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours), The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland


View all Publications


View all Grants


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Master Philosophy

View all Supervision



Book Chapter

  • Kenway, Steven J., Lam, Ka Leung, Sochacka, Beata and Renouf, Marguerite A. (2019). Integrated urban water systems. Decarbonising the built environment. (pp. 287-304) edited by Peter Newton, Deo Prasad, Alistair Sproul and Stephen White. Singapore, Singapore: Springer Singapore. doi: 10.1007/978-981-13-7940-6_15

  • Kenway, Steven (2016). Urban metabolism and water smart systems. Smart Water Utilities: Complexity Made Simple. (pp. 289-290) edited by Pernille Ingildsen and Gustaf Olsson. London, United Kingdom: International Water Association. doi: 10.2166/9781780407586

  • Kenway, Steven J. and Lant, Paul A. (2015). How does energy efficiency affect urban water systems?. Understanding and managing urban water in transition. (pp. 615-631) edited by Quentin Grafton, Katherine A. Daniell, Céline Nauges, Jean-Daniel Rinaudo and Noel Wai Wah Chan. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-94-017-9801-3_28

  • Kenway, Steven (2015). Management of the urban energy-water nexus. Climate, energy and water: managing trade-offs, seizing opportunities. (pp. 141-154) edited by Jamie Pittock, Karen Hussey and Stephen Dovers. New York, NY, United States: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139248792.009

  • Kenway, Steven, Pamminger, Francis, Priestely, Anthony, Wolff, Gary, Gradner, Ted, Hermanowicz, Slav and Rosenblum, Eric (2013). Urban metabolism: a way to make Australian cities more efficient?. Made in Australia: the future Australian cities. (pp. 246-249) edited by Richard Weller and Julian Bolleter. Perth, WA, Australia: UWA Press.

  • Kenway, Steven. J. and Lant, P. (2012). The influence of water on urban energy use. Water sensitive cities. (pp. 63-80) edited by Carol Howe and Cynthia Mitchell. London, United Kingdom: IWA Publishing.

  • Kenway, S. J., Priestley, A., Cook, S., Gregory, A., Lovell, A. and Smith, N. (2009). Energy use in urban water. Climate change and water: international perspectives on mitigation and adaptation. (pp. 111-122) edited by Carol Howe, Joel B Smith and Jim Henderson. London, United Kingdom: International Water Association and American Water Works Association..

  • Kenway, Steven and Tjandraatmadja, Grace (2009). Technological innovation in the provision of sustainable urban water services. Technology, design and process innovation in the built environment. (pp. 267-289) edited by Peter Newton, Keith Hampson and Robin Drogemuller. Abion, Oxon, United Kingdom: Taylor & Fancis.

  • Kenway, Steven (2008). Urban water use. State of the Environment Queensland 2007. (pp. 320-326) edited by Julie Freeman and Wynne Webber. Brisbane, Austalia: The States of Queensland Environmental Protection Agency.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Edited Outputs

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision