Digital multi-utility services and systems

Professor Rodney Stewart is an expert in engineering, construction and environmental engineering and is the Lead Academic for this research group. Collaborating with industry Prof Stewart and his team seek to integrate 'big data' metering and monitoring technologies and associated expert systems into infrastructure, particularly in the water and energy utility sector, in order to better manage these critical resources and better integrate contemporary solutions such as renewable energy and decentralised water supply.

Why is digital multi-utility transformation important?

  • System expansion to meet supply no longer viable; System optimisation to reduce costs and conserve resources is more sustainable
  • Accountability increasing - regulators expect better management - we can no longer just increase prices without adequate justification - customers expect efficiency
  • Demand management becoming a utility's 'duty of care' and can be managed across all utilities
  • Water-energy interaction needs to be better understood
  • Customer expectations for utility data and service is growing and their satisfaction is becoming critical for utilities
  • Single retailer providing all customer utility services within one platform appealing
  • Multi-utility retailers harnessing 'big data' to extract business opportunities from selling all customer utility resources


  • Providing 'empirical evidence' to improve the rate of diffusion of intelligent metering and sensor technology in the water and energy utility sector
  • Provide evidence-based research to demonstrate that intelligent utility networks can improve the efficiency of utilities and enhance customer service
  • Showcase application of multi-utility big data analytics to provide useful decision support data to government, utilities and customers
  • Barriers, drivers and strategies for the transition towards digital utility providers and digital multi-utility retailers
  • Utilisation of big data informatics to optimally substitute traditional sources of utility resources with contemporary alternatives (e.g.. distributed PV and energy storage for electricity, recycled water and rain tanks for water etc)
  • Evidence-based research on the performance of water, electricity and gas demand management strategies

Priorities of the program

  • Smart metering of water, electricity and gas
  • Big data analytics of multi-utility data for residential and commercial customers for a range of applications
  • Water and energy demand management
  • Water and energy operations optimisation
  • Customer interfaces and information systems
  • Change management aspects for digital utility transformation
  • Managing smart grid networks including distribution generation/supply

Intelligent Water Network


Recent selected publications

Beal, C. D., Gurung, T. R., & Stewart, R. A. (2016). Modelling the impacts of water efficient technologies on energy intensive water systems in remote and isolated communities. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, 18(6), 1713-1723. doi:

Bertone, E., Stewart, R.A., Sahin, O., Alam, M., Zou, P.X.W., Buntine, C., & Marshall, C. (2017). Guidelines, barriers and strategies for energy and water retrofits of public buildings. Journal of Cleaner Production, doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.11.065

Britton, T. C., Stewart, R. A., & O'Halloran, K. R. (2013). Smart metering: enabler for rapid and effective post meter leakage identification and water loss management. Journal of Cleaner Production, 54(Supplement C), 166-176. doi:

Gurung, T. R., Stewart, R. A., Beal, C. D., & Sharma, A. K. (2016). Smart meter enabled informatics for economically efficient diversified water supply infrastructure planning. Journal of Cleaner Production, 135(Supplement C), 1023-1033. doi:

Katsanevakis, M., Stewart, R. A., & Lu, J. (2017). Energy storage system utilisation to increase photovoltaic penetration in low voltage distribution feeders. Journal of Energy Storage. doi:

Our HDR students

Huda Almaarofi - Griffith School of Engineering

Markos Katsanevakis - Griffith School of Engineering

Melissa Jackson - Griffith School of Engineering

Kane Offenbaume

Abel Silva Vieira - Griffith School of Engineering

Fuxin Zhang
Ian Monks - Griffith School of Engineering

Connect and collaborate

For more information, get in touch.