Peter Coombes's picture

Peter Coombes

Honorary Professor


PhD (University of Newcastle) in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Systems Thinking and Microbiology

B. Engineering (Civil) (Hons), B. Surveying (Hons), AD. Engineering (Distinction)

Fellow of Engineers Australia, Certified Practicing Engineer and Executive Engineer in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Leadership and Management.

B. Economics

Dip. Legal Studies

Contact details

Peter Coombes is an Honorary and Visiting Professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at Australian National University and a director of Urban Water Cycle Solutions that operates as an independent research, policy and consulting group. Peter holds quifications in Surveying, Engineering, Economics and Law. He and was most recently a Professor of Water Resources Engineering, Chair of Engineering and Associate Dean (Education) at Southern Cross University.

Peter is an editor the Urban Book of Australian Rainfall and Runoff published by Engineers Australia and was awarded the 2018 GN Medal for Hydrology and Water Resources and the 2019 Presidents Prize by Engineers Australia. Professor Coombes is a member of the steering committee at Imperial College London for the CAMELLIA research programme and a former Deputy President and treasurer of Stormwater Australia. He has held senior academic positions University of Newcastle, University of Melbourne and Swinburne University. Peter Coombes was a Chief Water Scientist in the Victorian Government and recently contributed to inquiries into stormwater management and flooding by the Senate of the Australian Parliament and into water resources by the Productivity Commission.

Peter’s experience includes managing director of Bonacci Water, a member of the water advisory group to the Prime Ministers Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, the advisory council on alternative water sources for the Victoria Government’s Our Water Our Future policy, a member of the advisory panel on urban water resources to the National Water Commission, an advisor on alternative water policy to the United Nations and a national research leader of innovative WSUD strategies in the eWater CRC. Peter Coombes has generated over 250 scientific publications (see Peter J Coombes Google Scholar and Peter J Coombes ORCID for research impact) and designed more than 120 sustainable projects including settlements that generate all of their water resources and manage flooding. Professor Coombes was also a co-author of Australian Runoff Quality and a former chair of the Stormwater Industry Association.

He has experience in change processes in government, development of government policy, regulation and managing complex engineering and science business collaborations. His professional and research interests include systems thinking and analysis, hydrology, water resources, economics, molecular sciences, water quality and public policy

Updated:  15 June 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team