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  • Asphalt Core Embankment Dams (ACED)-Why, Where & How

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Asphalt has been used to impound both liquids because of its longevity, strength, impermeability, and flexibility. This webinar will provide an overview of the use of asphalt in dams and makes the case for considering its use when appropriate.


    Asphalt has been used in engineering to impound both liquid and solid substances for millennia. The secret to its longevity is its strength, impermeability and flexibility. These qualities make hydraulic asphalt - dense asphalt concrete (DAC) - an ideal material to produce impermeable lining systems.

    Hydraulic asphalt has been vastly refined and improved, making it highly versatile and widely utilized around the world for dams, reservoirs, channels, lining landfill cells and for central core liners for large embankment dams. In this webinar you will learn:

        1.  The use of Dense Asphalt Concrete (DAC) for the provision of impermeable barrier systems for hydraulic structures
        2.  DAC materials, their physical and performance characteristics
        3.  The use of asphalt as an internal impermeable diaphragm to embankment dams - (Hydraulic Asphalt Core Embankment Dams - HACED’s)
        4.  Hydraulic Asphalt Core Embankment Dams

          -  Why would you consider using DAC as core to an embankment dam?
          -  Where (and when), would you consider using asphalt in a HACED?
          -  How do you construct a HACED?

    Target Audience

    Owners, Construction Engineers, Students, Construction Sectors

    David Wilson

    Senior Vice President and Managing Director

    WALO International AG

    David Wilson has been involved in the civil engineering and asphalt industries for over 40 years. Initially he was employed as an Indentured Engineer in the Engineering Department of a large Municipal Authority in the UK where his training was broad and varied. During this time he studied for his formal Civil Engineering and Professional qualifications and studied for a MBA.

    In 2008 he joined WALO as Managing Director of WALO UK Limited and has been involved in delivering many Hydraulic Asphalt Engineering projects in the UK and globally. He is now principally responsible for International work acquisition of Hydraulic Asphalt Engineering Projects for WALO International AG – in the English-speaking parts of the World.

    David is also a Senior Vice President of WALO USA, responsible for Hydraulic Asphalt Engineering sector, in North America.

  • Evaluating Complex Systems as Part of a Semi-Quantitative Risk Assessment

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    This webinar will review an approach to evaluating systems and human factors within a semi-quantitative risk assessment.


    An important first step in understanding, and ultimately quantifying, the complexity system impacts can have on risks, is to be able to describe the physical interactions that operational components can have on risks. Then one must consider the role that human factors have in those same systems. This webinar will review an approach to evaluating systems and human factors within a semi-quantitative risk assessment.  

    • Review Approaches to evaluating systems and human factors within a semi-quantitative risk assessment.
    • Review Importance, limits, and future of approaches relative to decision making.
    Target Audience

    Dam Levee Safety Engineers, Scientists, and other Professionals

    Eric Halpin


    Halpin Consulting LLC

    Eric is a registered professional engineer working as a dam and levee consultant specializing in risk and safety programs. He recently retired from the Corps of Engineers after almost 40 years of service where he led the agency Dam and Levee Safety Programs as well as the National Levee Safety Program. He has engineering degrees from Clemson University (1983) and Oklahoma State University (1989). Currently, he is the principal of Halpin Consulting LLC, where he works internationally on infrastructure issues facing society.

  • InSAR – Dam Safety Considerations and Applications

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes a Live Web Event on 04/22/2021 at 10:00 AM (MDT)

    Learn how InSAR can be useful for monitoring dam safety.

    InSAR Mosul Dam

    This webinar will be focused on interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) applications for geotechnical engineers engaged in dam safety. InSAR is a satellite-based, remote sensing technology capable of measuring ground & infrastructure displacement with mm-scale precision. The technology is deployed as an ongoing monitoring tool to help mitigate geotechnical risk across a number of verticals. InSAR is being adopted by geotechnical engineers in mining, oil & gas, transportation, government and urban infrastructure sectors as a means to feasibly identify subtle surface displacements both in the past and present. Such surface displacements provide insights into potential slope instability, internal erosion, landslide induced damage to assets, settlement related failure modes of assets etc. The webinar will introduce the technology methodology, and work into real industry examples/results. Outline:

    The InSAR methodology used on a hydroelectric dam may change depending on the target application. Therefore, in order to maximize the success of a program, users must understand the appropriate risk mitigation in which this technology should be applied, and should be equipped with the knowledge of it’s relative strengths/weaknesses. As such, the following topics will be discussed: 

    1. Introduction to InSAR
    2. SAR Satellite Data (Frequencies, wavelengths, precision, resolution)
    3. InSAR Methodology
    4. Strengths/Limitations
    5. Operational case studies

      Eligible for 2 PDHs

    For all live webinars, you will join the meeting by coming to this product page at the date and time listed and selecting the Contents Tab.  There you will be able to access the live meeting.

    Ben Pantony


    Benjamin Pantony ( works for 3vGeomatics Inc. (3vG). 3vG is based in Vancouver, BC and specializes in Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) technology. 3vG remotely identifies and monitors geohazards over very large areas for ground and infrastructure displacement using satellite images to inform clients of movement, subsidence, and uplift.

    William Empson

    Senior Dam and Levee Safety Risk Advisor Risk Management Center Institute for Water Resources


    Georgette Hlepas, PhD, PE (Moderator)

    National Geotechnical Policy Advisor

    US Army Corps of Engineers

    Located in DC, Dr. Hlepas is also the lead for the USACE Instrumentation and Performance Monitoring Community of Practice and the Chairperson for the USSD Monitoring of Dams and Their Foundations Committee.  She has ~13 years of experience in geotechnical engineering and instrumentation with USACE and has been an Presenter of several instrumentation courses.  Dr. Hlepas has a PhD in Civil and Materials Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Illinois.

  • Instrumentation and Performance Monitoring of Dams - Four Part Series

    Contains 6 Component(s), Includes Credits

    This four-part webinar will discuss best practices for planning, implementing, and managing a dam safety program. You will get a general overview of the role of instrumentation in project performance monitoring and the factors that influence the accuracy, reliability, and use of dam instrumentation data.


    This webinar will include presentations which all are intended to provide viewers with improved insight, understanding, and comfort with respect to instrumentation. 

    This webinar series will consist of four sessions.

    • Planning an Instrumentation Program
    • Installation of Dam Monitoring Instrumentation
    • Threshold Values and Action Levels
    • Evaluation of Data

    The presentations will discuss both embankment and concrete dams with a focus on PFMA in defining monitoring programs, thresholds and action levels, and evaluation of data.

    The panelists consist of representatives from owners, regulators, vendors, and consultants who will provide their perspective with regard to dam safety and the four topics above. The workshop sessions will be organized to allow for both panelist presentations and ample discussion and questions between attendees and the panelists.

    This webinar series seeks to provide participants greater understanding about real-world situations, and how they might best be addressed.


    Understand the purpose of a dam instrument monitoring program:     

    • Types of instruments and data collection alternatives
    • Use of data as input for Potential Failure Modes Analysis (PFMA) and risk analysis

    Purpose of instrumentation with regard to construction monitoring, design verification, and general health monitoring

    • Understand key considerations for installation of instrumentation, including best practices and common sources of error.
    • Understand the role of thresholds and action levels and considerations to establish them.
    • Understand key considerations in data evaluations and project performance.

    Encourage open discussions between panelists from across industry (i.e., owners, regulators, vendors, and consultants) and participants.

    Target Audience

    Novice to seasoned professionals will all benefit from the workshop. Engineers, dam owners, geologists, and technicians involved in dam safety should consider this webinar.

    Josh Brown

    Application Engineer, Infrastructure Group

    Campbell Scientific

    Josh has five years of Civil Engineering experience (Twin Falls, ID) and nine years of instrumentation experience (Campbell Scientific, Logan, UT).  Notable assignments included project and plan review for the City of Twin Falls, ID and third-party project management and oversight for the Idaho Transportation Department during major roadway projects.  He has assisted customers on a global basis with data acquisition systems for agricultural applications, bridges, buildings, and dams.  Josh earned a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Utah State University.

    Will Brown

    Branch Chief Division, Dam Safety and Inspections

    FERC, Atlanta Regional

    Will’s team annually reviews instrumentation and monitoring reports for over sixty high hazard dams.  Prior to joining the Commission in 2010, Will worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Service completing inspections, design and analyses of dams in Georgia.  Will also served on active duty as an engineer in the U.S. Army for nine and a half years completing construction and design projects in the U.S., Haiti, Nicaragua, Germany, Kuwait, and Iraq.  Will has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering and Engineering Management from the University of Missouri-Rolla.  Will is a registered Professional Engineer in Georgia and Missouri.

    Pierre Choquet

    Technical Advisor, Vice-President of Market Development

    RST Instruments

    Pierre has been involved in the field of Geotechnical Instrumentation and Monitoring for most of his career. He joined RST Instruments in 2007. Pierre graduated in Geological Engineering (Engineering Geology) from Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal and subsequently obtained a doctorate degree in Rock Mechanics from Ecole des Mines de Paris in France. From 1982 to 1993 he was a faculty member at the department of Mining and Metallurgy of Laval University in Quebec City where his specialty was rock mechanics, ground control, and applied geology. Pierre is a member of the ICOLD Technical Committee on Dam Surveillance and is also the Editor of the Instrumentation and Monitoring column of the Canadian Geotechnique magazine.

    Georgette Hlepas, PhD, PE

    National Geotechnical Policy Advisor

    US Army Corps of Engineers

    Located in DC, Dr. Hlepas is also the lead for the USACE Instrumentation and Performance Monitoring Community of Practice and the Chairperson for the USSD Monitoring of Dams and Their Foundations Committee.  She has ~13 years of experience in geotechnical engineering and instrumentation with USACE and has been an Presenter of several instrumentation courses.  Dr. Hlepas has a PhD in Civil and Materials Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Illinois.

    John Hynes, PE

    Geotechnical Engineer


    Mr. Hynes has 11 years’ experience in project technical leadership and geotechnical analysis and design, instrumentation data collection and analysis, and construction monitoring of heavy civil projects involving hydroelectric powerplants, spillways, earth and rockfill embankments, concrete gravity dams, pumped storage plants, seepage cut-offs, foundation improvements, rock blasting, and excavations. Mr. Hynes’ skills include leadership of multi-discipline teams, preparation of construction drawings and specifications, slope stability and seepage analysis, foundation analysis and design, development of instrumentation monitoring plans, evaluation of instrumentation data, and development and supervision of geotechnical investigations.

    Brandon Lanthier

    Project Engineer, SF Bay Area Branch

    Geosyntec Consultants, Inc.

    Brandon has seven years of professional civil engineering experience with four years focused on dam safety. Brandon's experience includes geotechnical analysis and design, instrumentation data collection and analysis, construction management and quality assurance, and dam safety review and analysis. He has also served as recorder on several FERC Part 12D PFMA workshops and is currently working closely with the California Department of Water Resources. Brandon earned B.S. and M.S. Degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCLA. Brandon is a registered Geotechnical and Professional Engineer in California.

    Brent Randall

    Infrastructure Group Manager

    Campbell Scientific, Inc.

    Brent received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Civil and Geotechnical engineering from Utah State University and a minor in Portuguese. His thesis project was to instrument and study snowmelt-induced movement on a slow-moving landslide in the mountains of northern Utah. While attending graduate school, Brent worked as a mechanical engineer for the U.S. Air Force in their Radomes, Towers, and Shelters group. Brent spent two summers working for the U.S. Forest Service as a Wildland Firefighter in the Rocky Mountains. Brent has worked as a geotechnical engineer in Washington State on projects throughout the United States and Canada. Projects included geotechnical field work, site surveys, environmental monitoring, and reports. Brent has pursued his interest in geotechnical instrumentation at Campbell Scientific in their infrastructure group as an Application Engineer. His work in the group has also included the role of Product Manager and most recently Group Manager. Campbell Scientific has allowed Bruce to assist on large infrastructure projects throughout the world. Brent teaches instrumentation classes and workshops internationally. Brent is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Utah.

    Bruce Rogers

    Levee Safety Program Manager

    North Atlantic Division of the Army Corps of Engineers

    Bruce has 38 years of experience at Corps districts, primarily in dam and levee safety.  He has provided instrumentation-related presentations at USSD events.  Bruce earned a Bachelor's Degree in Geophysical Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines and a Master's Degree in Computer Science at Temple University, and he is a registered Professional Geologist.

    Rodolfo “Rudy” Saavedra

    Senior Technical Adviser

    Durham Geo Slope Indicator

    Rudy has 30+ years of professional civil engineering experience focused on instrumentation and monitoring of dams, tunnels, bridge and other large structures. Rudy has helped with the instrumentation of several Dams in the USA, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru and other countries around the globe. Rudy's experience includes instrumentation installation, data analysis and correction. He has also served as committee member at TRB, USSD, Geo-I and ASTM. Rudy earned his Degree in Civil Engineering at the Catholic University in Guayaquil Ecuador.  

    Bill Walker

    Geotechnical Engineer

    Nashville District Corps of Engineers

    Bill has over 10 years’ experience specializing in dam and levee safety that includes; instrumentation and monitoring systems, dam safety modifications, and risk assessments. Key projects include the Wolf Creek and Center Hill ADAS and barrier wall installations; the Mosul Dam ADAS and emergency grouting; and contributing author of the USACE Dam Safety and Instrumentation Policy. He has both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Geological Engineering from Ole Miss and is a Professional Geologist.

  • Introduction & Overview of Rock Scour - Four Part Series

    Contains 6 Component(s), Includes Credits

    This four-part webinar will provide a general overview for the understanding of the factors that influence the erodibility of rock.


    One of the many lessons learned from the 2017 Oroville spillway incidents was there is a poor understanding in the industry of assessing the erodibility (scour) of earthen (soil and rock) spillway chutes.  There appears to be a general lack of knowledge in the information, tools, methods, and interpretation of the erodibility of earthen materials.  This workshop will provide the knowledge and understanding of what information is needed for a scour assessment, what current tools and methods are available to perform a scour assessment, and provide case histories illustrating the use and interpretation of the results of scour analyses.

    This webinar will be limited to the characterization, evaluation, analysis, and remediation of erodibility of rock scour.  Erodibility of soils will not be covered.


    This webinar will provide a general overview for the understanding of the factors that influence the erodibility of rock.

    Target Audience

    Novice to seasoned professionals will all benefit from this webinar.  All sub-disciplines of civil engineering and engineering geology should attend.

    Dr. George Annandale, P.E.


    George W. Annandale, Inc.

    Dr. Annandale has more than 40 years of experience specializing in water resources engineering.  He is known for the development of the Erodibility Index Method that has globally been accepted by the engineering profession for design and safety assessment of infrastructure.  The book "Scour Technology", which he authored and was published by McGraw-Hill in 2006 has become a standard reference in this field of specialization. Dr. Annandale consults internationally, has worked on projects in more than 25 countries and was named by International Water Power and Dam Construction as one of 20 engineers who globally made a significant contribution to dam engineering.

    Dr. Mike George, P.E.

    Geological Engineer

    BGC Engineering

    Dr. George is a geological engineer specializing in water resources and dam engineering with focus on foundation / spillway erodibility, scour remediation, rock mechanics, hydraulics, high-resolution remote sensing monitoring, and reliability methods. He has worked as a consulting engineer and researcher in the United States and abroad and has developed methodologies for evaluation of rock mass erodibility, delivered training to FERC/USACE on scour, and authored over 25 papers on the subject including sections of the recently updated FERC Engineering Guidelines for Arch Dams (2018). Dr. George is also co-chair to the newly formed International Working Group on Overflowing & Overtopping Erosion (IWGOOE) hosted through ICOLD.

  • Introduction to the Engineer of Record for Tailings Dams

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    The importance of maintaining an engineer of record and their responsibilities will be explained with consideration to recently promulgated requirements and guidance.


    This webinar will provide an introduction and overview of the Engineer of Record (EOR) concept. It will be the first of a series of webinars about the EOR through a joint effort of USSD and Canadian Dam Association (CDA).This webinar will include the following topics:

    • Background to the EOR
    • Description of the EOR
    • Roles and Responsibilities
    • Duties of an EOR
    • Qualifications of an EOR
    • Challenges faced by our industry with respect to the EOR

    An overview and history of the Engineer of Record role for Tailings Dams is provided. The importance of maintaining an engineer of record and their responsibilities will be explained with consideration to recently promulgated requirements and guidance. The expectations of the engineer of record and the owner will be discussed, referencing industry guidance from the Global Industry Standard on Tailings, ICMM, Mining Association of Canada, the Canadian Dam Association (CDA), and Geoprofessionals Business Association (GBA).

    Target Audience

    All owners and operators of tailing storage facilities worldwide that employ an engineer of record in the operation of their containment dams or may wish to employ an EOR. Also, engineers and consulting firms who serve as EORs.

    Christopher N. Hatton PE

    Senior Program Leader

    Golder Assoicates

    Christopher is a graduate of Colorado State University with an MS and BS in civil engineering.  With over 32 years of professional experience in the US and internationally, Christoper is a member of the USSD Tailings Committee, as well as the GBA, SME Tailings committee, and a TailENG Board member.  Christopher Chaired the GBA EOR Working Group in 2016 and has authored multiple papers regarding EoR and industry resource limitations, and has authored the operational chapter of the forthcoming SME Tailings book.  

    Andy Small, M.Sc., P.Eng

    Senior Staff Consultant

    Klohn Crippen Berger

    Andy Small is an experienced geotechnical engineer that specializes in the safety of dams in the mining industry.  He is based in Eastern Canada and has over 30 years of experience with mining dams around the world.  Andy is an active member of the Canadian Dam Association, having started the Mining Dams Committee that issued a guidance document for the safety of mining dams in 2014. Within that guidance document, was reference to the Engineer of Record concept. That was the first time that the EOR concept had been introduced in the context of mining dams. Since then, Andy worked extensively with members of CDA on enhancing and revising the guidance that had been provided in 2014, culminating in a revised version issued in 2019. In 2020, Andy has also worked closely with members of the USSD on the EOR concept. Andy is the EOR for several mine sites in Canada and understands the technical and non-technical aspects of the EOR position.

  • Just Go with the Flow: A Phased Approach to Understanding Your Spillway

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    This webinar will explain how a phased approach offers owners benefits from a cost and operational perspective along with limiting the amount of destructive examination that may be required to better understand the spillway and its subsurface conditions.


    Owners across the country are taking a phased approach to assessing and understanding their spillways in order to increase the reliability for performance during operation. The phased approach offers owners benefits from a cost and operational perspective along with limiting the amount of destructive examination that may be required to better understand the spillway and its subsurface conditions. The approach also provides owners with multiple spillways a means of initial screening (Phase1) and then prioritization of future assessments and/or maintenance (Phases 2 or 3). This presentation will cover all three phases.


    To provide case histories that demonstrate how a phased approach is beneficial in planning, funding, and undertaking spillway condition assessments to enhance understanding of spillway conditions and performance. The goal is to communicate to owners how phasing assessments allow flexibility to navigate operational constraints, funding challenges, and address unexpected and problematic findings.

    Target Audience

    Owners of Dams.

    Kenwarjit Dosanjh

    Hydraulic Structures Parctice Lead

    HDR Engineering

    Kenny Dosanjh is a registered engineer with more than 17 years of experience in the inspection, analysis, design, and retrofit of water resources, fisheries, hydropower, and levee related structures. Kenny has been a part of HDR’s Dams & Hydraulic Structures team since 2005.  His experience includes seismic analysis and retrofits of dams, FERC Part12’s and inspections, flood control projects, forensic investigations, canal retrofits, and levee designs. Kenny is certified by the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians as a level three rope access technician (supervisor). His technical experience includes computer modeling to assess the integrity of radial gates for dam spillways, spillway and radial gate condition assessments, and spillway rehabilitations. Kenny was named an ASCE “New Face of Civil Engineering” in 2010.

    Sam Planck, PE

    Principal Hudraulic Structures Engineer

    HDR Engineering

    Sam Planck is a registered professional engineer with more than 30 years of experience in the inspection, analysis, design, and retrofit of hydropower and water resources related structures. He is the founding member of HDR’s rope access dam inspection team, and has managed over 1000 rope-access inspections of hydraulic structures nationwide. Sam received a BS in Civil Engineering and MS in Structural Engineering from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

    Olivia M. Virgadamo

    Pyramid Dam Modernzation Program Manager

    California Department of Water Resources

    Olivia Virgadamo has been working for California Department of Water Resources since 2012. She started her career with the Department working in the Hydropower License and Compliance Office and then spent five years in the Division of Operation and Maintenance Dam Safety Services. While in Dam Safety Services she was the chief of the Southern Dam Surveillance team which was responsible for all state-owned dams in the State Water Project’s San Luis and Southern Field Divisions. Of the 11 dams in this portfolio, three are extremely high hazard dams and four dams are under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In 2018 she transitioned to project management of specialized dam safety projects:  Pyramid Dam Modernization Program, State Water Project Physical Security Modernization Project, and Palermo Tunnel Improvement Project. Currently, Olivia is a technical advisor to the State Water Project’s Deputy and Assistant Deputy Directors.

    Dawning Wu

    Pyramid Dam Modernization Project Engineer

    HDR Engineering

    Dawning Wu graduated from University of California in Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences and from Carnegie Mellon University with a Master of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She has contributed in both public service and private consulting roles, most recently centering on dam safety and inspections and investigations of hydraulic structures.

  • Low-head Dams: Explained, Purposes, and Inventory

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Topics Covered • Low head dams – defined, purposes, issues • What can be done – rehab, removal, signage • Our task group work and involvement Learning objective: Learn how to participate in creating a National Inventory of Low-head Dams Target audience: Dam Safety Directors, staff, and those in industry who support public safety efforts

    A low-head dam is a structure that is designed and built such that water passes over the crest continually from bank to bank.  These structures, also known as diversion dams and grade control structures, serve to provide a reliable water surface elevation upstream for diversion purposes or to control streambed incision.  There are thousands of these structures in the U.S. dating from colonial times to the present.  Besides presenting a barrier to upstream aquatic organism passage, conditions on the downstream side of the dam can present serious dangers to recreationists.  Hydraulic jumps form on the downstream side of low-head dams, and if the downstream depth is deep enough, the jump becomes submerged and forms a powerful reverse current called a “hydraulic.”  In these conditions, anyone passing over these innocuous-looking dams becomes trapped with very little chance of survival.  Those involved in attempted rescues also risk their lives.  These issues will be illustrated with examples and basic hydraulic theory.  Potential actions for those responsible for these structures include installation of signage, dam rehabilitation, or dam removal.  Many of these dams are no longer used for their original intent, while others continue to provide essential services.  To increase public awareness of the dangers and issues associated with low-head dams, the work of a national Task Force on the Creation of an Inventory of Low-head Dams will be described.  Opportunities to assist in this work will be explained to webinar participants.  Eligible for 2 PDHs

    Rollin Hotchkiss

    Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Brigham Young University

    Dr. Rollin Hotchkiss is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Brigham Young University.  He is currently chairing a joint Task Force comprising members of USSD, ASDSO, and the Environmental and Water Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers to create a national inventory of low-head dams.  Besides working to reduce fatalities at such structures, Dr. Hotchkiss conducts research in extending the useful life of dams and reservoirs and applications of machine learning in water resources.  He is a professionally licensed civil engineer and holds advanced professional registration with the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers.

    Manuela Johnson

    Administrator of the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF), and Indiana Silver Jackets State Lead

    Indiana Department of Homeland Security

    Manuela Johnson works at the Indiana Department of Homeland Security in the Response and Recovery Division.  She is the administrator of the State Disaster Relief Fund.   She is the State Lead for the National award winning Indiana Silver Jackets Team.  The Indiana Silver Jackets  has been actively working to draw public awareness to the issues associated with low head dams.  During the last legislative session Indiana passed a law directed specifically at safety at low head dams. 

    In addition, Manuela serves as co-Vice Chair of the Joint Task Force on Low-head Dams and is a member of the ASDSO Safety AT Dams subcommittee. 

     Manuela graduated from Indiana Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) with a Bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry and Biology. Manuela has worked and volunteered in public safety and emergency management for nearly 40 years.  She holds a number of firefighting and EMS certifications and has served as a certified fire service instructor and fire investigator.  She is married and enjoys gardening, photography, volunteering at her church and working as a safety team member for motorsports events regionally.

    Brian Crookston

    Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, and Utah Water Research Laboratory

    Utah State University

    Brian Crookston is an Assistant Professor at Utah State University in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and at the Utah Water Research Laboratory.  His research group is focused on water sustainability and resiliency including: hydraulic structures, fluvial hydraulics, and modeling and technology. Brian has particular interest in public safety at low-head dams along with the hydraulics of spillways, chutes, energy dissipators, nonlinear weirs, physical and numerical modeling, machine learning algorithms, flow acoustics, scour and erosion, ecohydraulics, embankment failures, flooding, and surface hydrology.  Brian serves as co-Vice Chair of the joint Task Force on Low-head Dams and as Chair of the USSD Spillways subcommittee.  He and his wife have five fantastic kids and love spending time together in a very wide variety of family activities.

  • Reclamation Consequences Estimating Methodology (RCEM)

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    This webinar provides the basics of dam failure life loss estimation for risk analysis, as illustrated through the application of the RCEM method.


    The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) Consequences Estimating Method (RCEM) is an empirically-based method for estimating life loss consequences from dam failure in support of dam safety risk analysis. This RCEM methodology considers the intensity of flooding and warning time to be the most important factors when selecting ranges of fatality rates for a given exposed population. The method is a simplified approach which relies on a data set comprised of dam failure, flash flood, and other flood-related case histories as a basis for fatality rate selection. Consensus results are developed through a team approach to life loss estimation and confidence in life loss estimates are evaluated. RCEM is the primary method currently used by Reclamation to estimate dam failure life loss.


    The attendee will learn the basics of dam failure life loss estimation for risk analysis, as illustrated through the application of the RCEM method.

    The course agenda will cover an introduction to concepts regarding dam failure consequences estimation, discussion of dam failure case histories, interpretation of inundation modeling output data, warning and evacuation, and the estimation of downstream population at risk. The RCEM method will be introduced and discussed in some detail, and an example RCEM analysis will be conducted as a hands-on exercise for participants.

    Target Audience

    Owners of Dams, Engineers, Geologists, All Involved with Dam Safety Risk Analysis

    Dom Galic

    Geotechical Engineer

    Bureau of Reclamation

    Dom Galic is a geotechnical engineer with the Bureau of Reclamation's TechnicalService Center in Denver. He has been with Reclamation for over ten years, sincecompleting his doctoral research (in rock mechanics) at the University of California,Berkeley. Dom has been a risk analysis facilitator since 2011 and is an active memberof the Reclamation risk cadre, a working group established to provide training andguidance on risk analysis methodology and promote consistency in risk informeddecision making. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Colorado.

    Bruce Feinberg

    Senior Hydraulic Engineer

    Bureau of Reclamation

    Bruce Feinberg is a senior hydraulic engineer, with the Bureau of Reclamation since1990. He specializes in dam failure inundation modeling, life loss consequencesestimation and downstream hazard classification. Bruce was part of the Reclamationteam which developed the RCEM methodology.

  • Seismic Thresholds for Embankment Dams & Their Return Periods

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    The process of developing seismic thresholds for 50 selected embankment/rockfill dams in the Western U.S. for post-earthquake notification and response.


    The webinar will describe the process of developing seismic thresholds for 50 selected embankment/rockfill dams in the Western U.S. for post-earthquake notification and response. This work was extrapolated to approximate the return period of the permanent displacement failure for each dam. Seismic hazard curves for dams in low and high seismicity areas will be compared to evaluate whether a ‘levelized’ return period, e.g. 10,000 years, would provide the desired level of consistency and conservatism when evaluating ground motions for dam safety.

    Target Audience

    Geotechnical Engineers, Earthquake Engineers, and Dam Safety Professionals

    Justin F. Smith, PE

    Senior Civil Engineer

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

    Justin F. Smith, PE is a Senior Civil Engineer in the Division of Dam Safety and Inspections at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, DC. Justin is an agency subject matter expert in the fields of seismicity and geotechnical engineering. Justin’s primary responsibilities include the seismic hazard analysis of hydropower projects including dams, powerhouses, and appurtenant features. Additionally, Justin assess the dynamic performance of earth embankment and rockfill dams and their foundations for liquefaction susceptibility, deformation, and post-earthquake stability.