Dr. Liao


  • Associate Professor - Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 2004
  • M.S., Urban and Environmental Science, Peking University, China, 1999
  • B.S., Hydraulic and Hydropower Engineering, Tsinghua University, China, 1996


University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211, USA



Qian Liao, Ph.D.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Research Interests:

  • Environmental fluid mechanics
  • Hydrodynamic-Biogeochemical modeling
  • Hydraulics and hydrology
  • Mixing and turbulence in aquatic systems
  • Imaging-based flow analysis


  1. Shen, C., Liao, Q. and Bootsma, H. A. (2020). Modeling the influence of invasive mussels on phosphorus cycling in Lake Michigan. Ecological Modelling, 416, 108920.
  2. Wang, F., Gao, A., Wu, S., Zhu, S., Dai, J., & Liao, Q. (2019). Experimental Investigation of Coherent Vortex Structures in a Backward-Facing Step Flow. Water, 11(12), 2629.
  3. Li, W., Liao, Q., and Ran, Q-H., (2019). Stereo-imaging LSPIV (SI-LSPIV) for 3D water surface reconstruction and discharge measurement in mountain river flows. Journal of Hydrology, 578, 124099.
  4. Cannon, D. J., Troy, C. D., Liao, Q., and Bootsma, H. A. (2019). Ice‐free radiative convection drives spring mixing in a large lake. Geophysical Research Letters. doi: 10.1029/2019GL082916.
  5. Jin, T. and Liao, Q., (2019) Application of Large Scale PIV in river surface turbulence measurements and water depth estimation. Flow Measurement and Instrumentation. 67, 142-152.
  6. Shen, C., Liao, Q, Titi, H.H., and Li, J. (2018). Turbidity of Stormwater Runoff from Highway Construction Sites. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 144(8), 04018061.
  7. Shen, C., Liao, Q., Bootsma, H.A., Troy, C.D., and Cannon D. (2018) Regulation of plankton and nutrient dynamics by profundal quagga mussels in Lake Michigan: A one dimensional model. Hydrobiologia, 815(1), 47-63.
  8. Sun, J., Liao, Q., and Wang, G. (2016) Not light or gravity but water guiding root to grow. Optik-International Journal for Light and Electron Optics, 127(8), 3834-3839.
  9. Sun, J., and Liao, Q. (2016) Fractal of random pore and directivity of soil seepage. Fresenius Environmental Bulletin, 4093.
  10. Wang B., and Liao, Q. (2016) Field observations of turbulent dissipation rate profiles immediately below the air-water interface. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 121(6), 4377-4391.
  11. Li, W., Ran, Q-H., Liao, Q., Tang, H-L., and Wang, M-Y. (2016) Application of an Automated LSPIV System in a Mountainous Stream for Continuous Flood Flow Measurements. Hydrological Processes, 30(17), 3014-3029.
  12. Troy, C., Cannon, D., Liao, Q., and Bootsma, H.A. (2016) Logarithmic velocity structure in the deep hypolimnetic waters of Lake Michigan. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 121(1), 949-965.
  13. Wang B., Liao, Q., Fillingham, J., and Bootsma H. A. (2015) On the coefficient of small eddy and surface divergence models for the air-water gas exchange. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 120(3), 2129-2146.
  14. Liao, Q., Wang, B., and Wang, P.F. (2014) In Situ measurement of sediment resuspension caused by propeller wash with an underwater Particle Image Velocimetry and an Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter. Flow Measurement and Instrumentation, 41, 1-9.