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  • Reservoir Sedimentation and Sustainable Management

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes a Live Web Event on 11/18/2021 at 10:00 AM (MST)

    This webinar is for dam operators, consultants, and decision makers who may not have expertise in sedimentation, but who are interested in sustaining reservoir storage capacity. Management solutions include reducing sediment yields from the upstream watershed, passing inflowing sediments through or around the reservoir, or removing previously deposited sediments from the reservoir. Economic analysis of reservoir sedimentation management will also be discussed.

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    Ever wonder what happens when a reservoir reaches the end of its sediment design life? Ever thought about what it would take to replace the current water storage benefits of a reservoir? The problems and solutions to reservoir sedimentation will be described in the USSD webinar on reservoir sedimentation and sustainable management. This webinar is for dam operators, consultants, and decision makers who may not have expertise in sedimentation, but who are interested in sustaining reservoir storage capacity. In 2018, the USSD Board of Directors passed a resolution that “encourages all dam owners to develop long-term reservoir sediment-management plans for the reservoirs that they own or manage by 2030.” (https://www.ussdams.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Sustainable-Reservoir-Sediment-Management-Plan.pdf)

    All rivers naturally transport sediment (clay, silt, sand, and gravel) and reservoirs tend to trap this sediment, reducing water storage capacity. In addition, continued reservoir sedimentation will eventually threaten the reliable operation of dam outlets, reservoir water intakes, boat ramps and marinas. There are no early warning signs of sedimentation problems. The first symptom may be a dam outlet or water intake plugged with woody debris and sediment.

    Sustainable sediment management begins with monitoring, normally through repeat bathymetric surveys of the remaining storage capacity. Management solutions include reducing sediment yields from the upstream watershed, passing inflowing sediments through or around the reservoir, or removing previously deposited sediments from the reservoir. Economic analysis of reservoir sedimentation management needs to compare all costs and benefits associated with each alternative. Although some people assume that ignoring sedimentation is the cheapest option, the cost of sustainable sediment management can be less than the cost of upstream channel aggradation (increased groundwater and flood stage), downstream channel degradation (erosion of habitat, infrastructure, and property), diminishing reservoir storage capacity, eventual dam decommissioning, and the construction of replacement reservoir storage.

     2-hour webinar, including three 30-minute presentations, followed by a 30-minute question and answer session

     


    Eligible for 2 PDHs

    George W. Annandale, Ph.D., P.E.

    President

    George W. Annandale, Inc.

    Dr. Annandale has more than 45 years of experience as a civil engineer specializing in water resources engineering.  He has published numerous peer-reviewed papers and is author and co-author of five books on sedimentation and scour. He was named by International Waterpower and Dam Construction as one of 20 engineers who globally made a significant contribution to dam engineering. He specializes in scour of rock and sustainable development of water resource infrastructure; focusing on reservoir sedimentation management, dam safety and climate change assessment. 

    Gregory L. Morris, Ph.D., P.E.

    GLM Engineering

    Paul Boyd, Ph.D., P.E.

    Hydraulic Engineer

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    Paul is the Regional Technical Specialist for Sedimentation and Alluvial Processes for the USACE Northwest Division in Omaha, NE. He has 18 years' service as Hydraulic Engineer, Regional Technical Specialist, and Project Manager in sediment related fields. He also has experience with hydraulic design using HEC-RAS, HEC-6T, RMA2, SED2D, ADH, and GSTARS-HTC, as well as managing engineering teams for various studies. Paul's experience includes a wide variety of field work including terrestrial and hydro surveying, sediment sampling, on-site management, and problem solving. He is the current chair of the SEDHYD Sedimentation Committee.

    Currently, Paul's activities include being a team leader for 2-D Modeling with the Missouri River Recovery Program Habitat Assessment and Monitoring Plan (HAMP). He also takes part in the Lewis and Clark Lake Sediment Management/Flushing Study and serves as the Omaha team lead for the USACE Regional Sediment Management Program. In addition, he is the point of contact for sedimentation issues on the Missouri River Basin within USACE; and serves as the Technical Liaison for Missouri River Flow Frequency Update. Paul is also involved with Reservoir Sustainability Planning and Analysis and is the agency lead for the development of the Geomorphic Data Exchange Portal.

    Tim Randle, Ph.D., P.E. (Moderator)

    Retired

    Bureau of Reclamation (ret.)

    Tim Randle was formerly a Supervisory Civil Engineer (Hydraulics) and Manager of the Bureau of Reclamation's Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Group.  He received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Utah and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineer from the University of Colorado.

    Tim Randle is a registered professional engineer, member U.S. Society on Dams, member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer for the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers. He presently serves as chair of the National Reservoir Sedimentation and Sustainability Team, board member for SEDHYD, Inc., and serves on the SEDHYD Sedimentation Committee. He is past Chair of the interagency Subcommittee on Sedimentation.

    Tim Randle served the Bureau of Reclamation for 40 years—nearly all of that time with the Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Group.   He has developed several computer models and conducted geomorphic and hydraulic studies of many rivers throughout the western United States. He led an EIS for the reoperations of Glen Canyon Dam to deliver water, generate power, and improve environmental conditions in Grand Canyon. He provided the sediment management expertise for the Elwha River Restoration Project.  In 1997, he was honored as Reclamation’s “Engineer of the Year” and named one of the top ten Federal Engineers by the National Society of Professional Engineers.  In 2016, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

  • Probabilistic Flood Hazard Analysis

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes Multiple Live Events. The next is on 10/26/2021 at 9:00 AM (MDT)

    Upon completion of the workshop, the student will be able to summarize the theory behind PFHA models, list the required inputs and analyses, run a flow-based PFHA model, portray results, and communicate findings.

    Risk analysis for dams and levees requires a probabilistic flood hazard analysis (PFHA) to estimate the magnitude and frequency for a range of floods. The resulting flood hazard curve is summarized by plots and tables of peak stage (or flow, volume, depth, duration) versus annual exceedance probability. PFHA requires a different knowledge base and skill set compared to the traditional approach of using a single design flood estimate, such as the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF). The workshop provides an overview of methods and tools used to develop a flood hazard curve for use in a dam or levee risk analysis. The theory and fundamentals behind stochastic event flood models and Monte Carlo simulation are presented. A modeling framework and required inputs are provided for flow based PFHA models. The workshop emphasizes flow based methods. Precipitation based applications using NOAA Atlas 14 will also be presented. Example applications, exercises, and case histories provide students with some hands-on experience.

    The target audience includes civil engineers and hydrologists who have education, knowledge, and experience in flood hydrology fundamentals such as performing flood frequency analysis following the Federal Guidelines and performing reservoir routings using standard methods and tools. The typical student should have a minimum of 2-5 years experience in flood hydrology. Students may have limited experience in risk analysis, but a basic understanding of risk analysis concepts is recommended.

    Eligible for 8 PDHs


    David Margo, P.E., USACE

    Lead Civil Engineer, Risk Management Center

    US Army Corps of Engineers

    David Margo currently serves as a Lead Civil Engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Risk Management Center. He provides technical leadership, oversight, and guidance in support of the dam and levee safety programs. The Risk Management Center is responsible for supporting the Corps of Engineers portfolio of more than 700 dams and more than 14,000 miles of levees.  The Risk Management Center provides technical services and advice both nationally and internationally.  

    Mr. Margo spent the first part of his career working as a staff engineer for the Huntington District office of the Corps of Engineers performing dam break analysis, designing lock filling and emptying systems, and developing numerical models to estimate dam and levee risks. He then moved back to his hometown to work for the Pittsburgh District as a staff engineer for the District, a regional engineer for the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, a national specialist for the Risk and Reliability Directorate, and finally as a dam and levee safety specialist for the Risk Management Center. He feels blessed to have worked on many interesting and challenging projects which include developing concept designs for the Panama Canal lock expansion, performing the first screening risk assessments for the Corps dam portfolio, and developing the Corps Levee Screening Tool.  

    His primary interests include hydrology, hydraulics, risk assessment, and risk management. He holds Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Pennsylvania.

    Keil Neff

    Principal Engineer

    Stantec

    Keil Neff is a principal engineer at Stantec supporting dam and levee risk assessments by 
    (i) quantifying risk and uncertainty;
    (ii) developing and reviewing flood hazard information;
    (iii) providing H&H subject matter expertise and co-facilitation support in risk assessments; and
    (iv) leading downstream consequences studies to evaluate potential loss of life and economic damages that may result from dam/levee breaches. 

    Keil's professional experience includes working at the Bureau of Reclamation where he led several Issue Evaluation, Corrective Action Studies, and Final Design projects and served on the Dam Safety Advisory Team. Keil served in a similar capacity at TVA, and initiated TVA’s downstream consequences and probabilistic flood hazard assessment programs.

    Haden Smith

    Senior Technical Specialist

    US Army Corps of Engineers

    Haden Smith is a senior technical specialist with the USACE Risk Management Center with more that 15 years of experience in hydraulic and hydrologic engineering and risk management. His experience in this position has included developing and advancing risk methodology, performing flood hazard assessments for high priority dams and levees, and developing flood hazard and risk analysis software, such as RMC-BestFit, -RFA, -RRFT, and -TotalRisk. Mr. Smith obtained a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Memphis, an M.S. in Risk Management from Notre Dame of Maryland University, and is currently finishing an M.S. in Economics from Colorado School of Mines.

    Allen Avance

    Hydraulic Engineer

    US Army Corps of Engineers

    Allen Avance is a Hydraulic Engineer with the USACE Risk Management Center with 19 years of experience in Water Management and flood hydrology, and over 10 years of experience in Dam Safety. He is currently a H&H Regional Lead providing technical guidance and oversight to Dam and Levee Safety studies. He has a B.S. in Hydrology and Water Resources from Tarleton State University, and is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Texas.

  • Filter and Drain Design and Construction Details

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes a Live Web Event on 10/21/2021 at 10:00 AM (MDT)

    Gradation design of filters for dams often is not fully understood. This presentation will cover best practices for filter compaction and how filter design and construction details can influence the evaluation of internal erosion risk.

    Guidance on gradation design of filters for dams is available from several Federal agencies and is widely used, although often not fully understood. However, successful design and construction of filters and drains is dependent not only on appropriate gradation design, but also on a number of practicalities – filter compaction methods and requirements; filter and drain zone dimensions and placement methods; material sources for filters and drains; filter fines content; drain pipe configurations; drain pipe materials; among others. Sources of definitive guidance information on many of these practicalities are more limited and less widely understood and applied. This presentation will cover best practices for these topics and how filter design and construction details can influence the evaluation of internal erosion risk.

    Eligible for 2 PDHs

    John W. France, PE, D.GE, D.WRE, M. ASCE

    Managing Member

    JWF Consulting LLC

    Mr. France has more than 40 years of experience in engineering consulting and design. Most of Mr. France’s technical work for the past 36 years has focused on dams engineering, and he has been involved in dam safety risk analysis for more than 20 years. His risk analysis work has included serving as facilitator or subject matter expert on semi-quantitative risk analyses (SQRAs) and full quantitative risk analyses (QRAs) for such clients as the New Mexico OSE, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation Reclamation), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver Water, the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, and Aqua Ohio. Mr. France has also completed assignments reviewing risk analyses completed by the USACE and Reclamation. 

    His experience in dam safety risk analysis led to his selection as a member of a four-person team that is developing a three-day SQRA course for USSD, to be presented for the first time in October 2019. In addition to his risk analysis work, he has served on senior technical review panels/boards for the USACE, Reclamation, BC Hydro, Brookfield Renewable Energy, and the Lower Colorado River Authority. Mr. France has developed a reputation as one of the leading practitioners in dam engineering and dam safety, which resulted in his selection to lead the six-person team charged with completing a forensic investigation of the 2017 Oroville Dam spillway incident. He regular publishes papers and makes presentation for conferences of ASDSO, USSD, and ASCE, and he has twice received the prestigious President's Award from ASDSO for his contributions to dam safety. He also regularly lectures at courses on dam safety topics

    Joels Malama (Moderator)

    Dam Safety Program Manager

    USBR

  • Leveraging PFMA to Perform SQRA

    Contains 8 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes Multiple Live Events. The next is on 10/04/2021 at 9:30 AM (MDT)

    Part of the 2021 Fall Workshop Series -- This live online course will take place over 5 days and will cover review of the PFMA process, TRG’s, using the PFMA results to perform a SQRA (including additional required input and how to obtain it), estimating consequences including but not limited to life safety, assessing the results, building the dam safety case, and prioritizing risk reduction actions.

    Despite the criticism that Potential Failure Mode Analysis (PFMA) has received following the Oroville Dam spillway incident, it has been viewed as a standard of care for dam safety evaluations in the U.S., and with some possible improvements to be more expansive, is expected to be so into the future.  Many PFMA’s have been performed for state- and federally-regulated dams, and as a result of that investment, considerable knowledge has been obtained about vulnerabilities associated with specific dams.  As the federal dam owners have embraced risk assessment as the next step in ensuring that dam safety risks are properly evaluated and managed, it is expected that private and state dam owners will benefit from following suit.  Indeed, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has recently adopted Risk Informed Decision Making (RIDM) as part of their engineering guidelines.  The intent of this training is to leverage and improve on the significant investment that has already been made in performing PFMA’s, and use this information to perform semi-quantitative risk assessments (SQRA) for individual dams or dam portfolios.  These assessments can then be used as a screening tool to identify PFM’s and overall risks which are not likely to meet Tolerable Risk Guidelines (TRG) based on life safety, and as a prioritization tool for reducing risk, performing additional investigations or studies, or performing quantitative risk assessments.  A simplified method for categorizing additional consequences such as those incurred at Oroville is also presented in this training.

    Eligible for 20 PDHs

    Target Audience

    The target audience for this training is dam owners and regulators who are familiar with the PFMA process, and are wanting to move these types of evaluations into the risk arena.  This would include FERC licensees and their consultants; private, municipal, and state dam owners; and state and federal dam safety regulators.


    John W. France, PE, D.GE, D.WRE, M. ASCE

    Managing Member

    JWF Consulting LLC

    Mr. France has more than 40 years of experience in engineering consulting and design. Most of Mr. France’s technical work for the past 36 years has focused on dams engineering, and he has been involved in dam safety risk analysis for more than 20 years. His risk analysis work has included serving as facilitator or subject matter expert on semi-quantitative risk analyses (SQRAs) and full quantitative risk analyses (QRAs) for such clients as the New Mexico OSE, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation Reclamation), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver Water, the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, and Aqua Ohio. Mr. France has also completed assignments reviewing risk analyses completed by the USACE and Reclamation. 

    His experience in dam safety risk analysis led to his selection as a member of a four-person team that is developing a three-day SQRA course for USSD, to be presented for the first time in October 2019. In addition to his risk analysis work, he has served on senior technical review panels/boards for the USACE, Reclamation, BC Hydro, Brookfield Renewable Energy, and the Lower Colorado River Authority. Mr. France has developed a reputation as one of the leading practitioners in dam engineering and dam safety, which resulted in his selection to lead the six-person team charged with completing a forensic investigation of the 2017 Oroville Dam spillway incident. He regular publishes papers and makes presentation for conferences of ASDSO, USSD, and ASCE, and he has twice received the prestigious President's Award from ASDSO for his contributions to dam safety. He also regularly lectures at courses on dam safety topics

    Gregg A Scott, P.E., F. ASCE

    Scott Consulting, LLC

    Mr. Scott received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He started his career with the Bureau of Reclamation in 1976, where he worked for 34 years before joining the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Risk Management Center as Lead Civil Engineer, where he worked through 2018. He has been involved with design, analysis, and construction of dams and dam safety projects, as well as the development and application of potential failure mode analysis and risk analysis for dam safety. He served on several review panels for Bureau of Reclamation and Corps of Engineers dam construction and dam safety projects. He has authored over 35 technical papers in journals and conference proceedings related to dam safety and dam engineering. He is now retired from Federal service, but continues to consult on a limited basis. 

    Bill Fiedler, P.E.

    Senior Technical Advisor

    HDR

    Bill had 42 years’ experience in hydraulic and structural engineering designs for concrete dams and appurtenant structures, with the Bureau of Reclamation. While with Reclamation, he served as a technical specialist and design team leader for numerous water resource projects. In the later part of his career, he served as a member of Reclamation’s three person Risk Advisory Team, which was responsible for developing additional risk analysis methodologies and providing training for Reclamation

    staff. Bill has particular expertise in concrete dam and spillway modifications, including: project planning and design coordination; analysis and design of structural modifications; review of design drawings and specifications; construction support; and risk analysis methodologies and facilitation. He has been written numerous papers focused on dam safety evaluations and dam safety modifications. He was a lead author on a Reclamation manual focused on drains for dams and on a FEMA manual focused on flood overtopping protection for dams. For the past two years, he has worked as a consultant in the role of senior technical advisor.

    Mel Schaefer, Ph.D. P.E.

    MGS Engineering Consultants, Inc.

    Mel Schaefer is a Civil Engineer with over 35 years of experience in dam safety engineering specializing in analyzes of extreme storms and floods for assessing the hydrologic adequacy of dams and spillways. He began his career as a staff hydrologist with the Washington State Dam Safety Program and became Head of the State Dam Safety Program in 1990 where he managed a group of hydrologic, geotechnical and structural engineers. During his 7-year tenure as head of the Dam Safety Program, he developed the risk-based design/analysis methods and performance standards and regulations for dam safety that are in-use today. He was involved in the inspection, flood analyses and remediation of over 100 dams while with the Dam Safety Program.

    In 1997, he started a private consulting firm, MGS Engineering Consultants Inc. which specializes in surface water hydrology, particularly probabilistic and risk applications of extreme precipitation and floods. Over the 20-years in private practice, he has conducted probabilistic flood analyses for use in risk analyses for over 40-dams for BCHydro, US Bureau of Reclamation, US Army Corps of Engineers, Southern California Edison and the Tennessee Valley Authority including notable projects such as Mica Dam on the Upper Columbia River BC, Folsom Dam on the American River CA, and Mammoth Pool Dam on the San Joaquin River CA. He has conducted large scale regional precipitation-frequency (PF) studies for: the province of British Columbia; the states of Washington and Oregon; a seven State area surrounding the Tennessee River valley; the States of Colorado and New Mexico; central Texas and New Brunswick and States in New England. He has pioneered methods for numerous elements for conducting hydrologic risk analysis including: regional PF analysis (SWT climate region method); storm transposition by the OTF and ESTP methods; stochastic generation of watershed PF relationships for synoptic scale mid-latitude cyclones, tropical storms and remnants, and mesoscale convective storms; and uncertainty analysis.
    He is lead developer for the Stochastic Event Flood Model (SEFM) for computing probabilistic flood loadings and hydrologic hazard curves and L-RAP software for conducting regional precipitation frequency analysis. Both SEFM and L-RAP are commercial software products. He routinely serves on FERC Board of Consultants and Peer Review teams for review of site-specific PMP and PMF studies and for applications of hydrologic risk.

  • Instrumentation Data Analysis Tips and Tricks

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    This webinar focuses on how to analyze the data from instrumentation to understand project performance. It highlights common errors and misunderstandings to be avoided as well as how to identify concerning data.

    This webinar will focus on how to analyze the data from instrumentation to understand project performance.  It will highlight common errors and misunderstandings to be avoided as well as how to identify concerning data.

    30min – Jeff Barrett (Barrett Consulting, Inc.) – Data analysis considerations and overview 
    30min – Pierre Choquet (RST) – Piezometer data analysis 
    30min – Mike Davis (Stantec) - Manual slope inclinometer data analysis – the finer points, pitfalls, and short-comings.
    30min – Panel Discussion – Q/A

    Eligible for 2 PDHs

    John Hynes, PE

    Geotechnical Engineer

    Stantec

    Mr. Hynes has 12 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.

    Mike Davis

    Senior Geotechnical Consultant

    Stantec

    With more than 15 years of geotechnical engineering experience, Mike is passionate about the use of technology and enhanced dam monitoring practices that make dam operations and mining projects safer and more sustainable. In his current role, Mike’s primary focus on enhancement of dam safety management systems allows project and client teams to achieve greater efficiency and confidence in making important operational and management decisions. He is best known for geotechnical performance monitoring using discretized sensor networks, automated systems, GIS based inspection and monitoring systems, and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) analysis.

    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.

    Jeff Barrett

    President

    Barrett Consulting, Inc.

    Jeff has over 15 years’ of industry experience including 5 years with an instrumentation manufacturer and 10 years with a global engineering firm.

    Jeff holds degrees in Civil Engineering and Geotechnical Engineering as well as a diploma in Technology Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of New Brunswick in Canada.

    Jeff has worked on instrumentation projects for several high profile sites including Boone Dam, Oroville Dam, Samarco Mine, Zelazny Most Tailings Dam, and multiple Canadian oil sands projects. He has also worked on geotechnical analysis and design projects in the dams, mining, and Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) sectors for clients such as Tennessee Valley Authority, US Army Corps of Engineers, Atlantic Gold, Trevali, and Vale.  

  • Data Acquisition and Visualization

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Learn about data acquisition from the field, and general considerations for efficient data collection/transfer/storage. Once that data is collected, visualization is key, and there will be discussions on how to transform that data into useable information for evaluation and communication.

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    Learn about data acquisition from the field, and general considerations for efficient data collection/transfer/storage.  Once that data is collected, visualization is key, and there will be discussions on how to transform that data into usable information for evaluation and communication.

    Eligible for 2.0 PDHs

    Josh Brown

    Global Infrastructure Group Manager

    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.

    Mike Davis

    Senior Geotechnical Consultant

    Stantec

    With more than 15 years of geotechnical engineering experience, Mike is passionate about the use of technology and enhanced dam monitoring practices that make dam operations and mining projects safer and more sustainable. In his current role, Mike’s primary focus on enhancement of dam safety management systems allows project and client teams to achieve greater efficiency and confidence in making important operational and management decisions. He is best known for geotechnical performance monitoring using discretized sensor networks, automated systems, GIS based inspection and monitoring systems, and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) analysis.

    Shaun Dustin

    President & Founder

    Dustin Engineers

    Shaun was trained as a Geotechnical and Water Resources Engineer. He was the VP of development for Sideplate Systems. In 2009 he received his PhD from Utah State University. He ran Campbell Scientific's Geotechnical and Structural Monitoring group for several years, then went to work for Allen Marr at Geocomp as a Senior Engineer for monitoring systems.

    In May 2018, Shaun left GeoComp and won the contract for instrumentation of the Qiddiya Project, a multi billion dollar entertainment complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Bill Bradford joined the firm in October 2018, and now Dustin Engineers is managing several projects in Saudi Arabia and the USA.

    Georgette Hlepas, PhD, PE

    National Geotechnical Policy Advisor

    US Army Corps of Engineers

    Dr. Georgette Hlepas is the National Geotechnical Policy Advisor for the US Army Corps of Engineers and is located in the Headquarters office in DC.  She 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 instructor of several instrumentation courses.  She has a PhD in Civil and Materials Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Illinois.

  • Underwater Inspection Technologies and Construction Techniques for Dams

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    This webinar provides overviews of manned diving and successful remote technologies; underwater construction techniques to make structural repairs of concrete structures and mechanical equipment; and will wrap up with 3 relevant case histories.

    The average age of dam in the United States is about 60 years. With passing years, underwater structures in dams face integrity issues. These include:

    1) Cavities/cracks/defects in the dam face. These defects could impact the integrity of the dam and create a dam safety issue.

    2) Leakage / concern of operability of emergency gates and seals

    3) Grooves for lowering gates could be corroded and broken

    4) Cement lining of penstock could be compromised thus leading to water leakage

    5) Over years, silt could have been deposited in the reservoir (and Tail race channel) thus giving the dam owners a deceptive reading of water availability in reservoir

     Engineering assessments of existing dams require inspections of submerged structures such as intake structures, gates, valves, waterways, tail races and stilling basins.  Underwater manual inspections have been typically performed by divers. Though divers have historically carried out underwater inspections, they are hampered by water depth / bottom time, differential of pressure (Delta P) potentials and subjectiveness of observation. Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are gaining popularity for inspection of dams: unaffected by depth, able to be put in harm’s way, able to ‘see’ through turbidity. New technologies in underwater robotic inspections are continually being developed and upgraded. The first session of the webinar will focus on presenting manned diving as well as remote technologies that are available and been used successfully for performing a variety of underwater inspections. The second session will be devoted to underwater construction techniques utilized to make structural repairs to concrete structures as well as mechanical equipment.  The third session will present 3 case histories.

    Eligible for 1.25 PDHs

    For all live webinars, join the meeting by

    1. logging in to the USSD Learning Center 10 minutes before the webinar starts (be sure you have a user name and password set up before the webinar starts!)

    2. Click the Contents tab.

    3. Select the correct webinar.


    Frank Immel

    Business Development Account Executive

    Global Diving & Salvage, Inc.

    Frank Immel, has been with Global Diving & Salvage, Inc. since 2005. In his current position of Business Development Account Executive, he works to develop and nurture client relationships and uncover opportunities that will benefit from Global’s extensive experience and capabilities in underwater inspection, repair, maintenance and construction. Global Diving & Salvage, Inc. is a leader in the marine services industry with decades of experience managing complex, critical and technical projects in and around the water. Our skilled and seasoned professionals offer safe and reliable marine construction, commercial diving, and marine casualty response.

    Dave Gillson

    Principal / Senior Project Manager

    Infrastructure & Marine Consultants

    David Gillson launched Infrastructure & Marine Consultants, LLC in 2011. His background encompasses over 35 years in the marine/underwater construction industry.  His experience as a commercial diver and diving supervisor along with his experience as a Business Unit Leader and as a member of the Board of Directors for several engineering/environmental firms has led to representing owners during large marine/underwater projects. His professional pursuits have entailed the effective exercise of both executive decision-making and hands-on project and construction management. Infrastructure& Marine Consultants provides expertise in Project Management, Construction Management and QA/QC inspection services for complex industrial projects within the marine and underwater construction industry.  Project Management includes; Feasibility Studies, Constructability Review during design; Construction Management includes; On-site Owners Representatives during construction. Risk Management; Change Order Review; Progress Payment Review. Final Inspection & Punch List; Construction Approval, Acceptance and Close-out. 

    Jared Bell

    Vice President of Western Region

    Ballard Marine Construction

    Mr. Bell is a highly experienced Senior Marine Engineer/Project Manager with an experienced history of steering complex engineering and construction projects to completion meeting all specifications with exactness on-time and on-budget. Mr. Bell serves as a pivotal member of the Ballard Marine Construction engineering and project management team creating and implementing plans in a variety of highly technical disciplines. He interfaces effectively with clients, owners, government agencies and other key personnel through the entire life of a project from design to completion.

    Mark Binsfeld

    Vice President - Business Development

    J.F Brennan Company, Inc.

    Mark Binsfeld is the Vice President of Business Development at J.F. Brennan Company and Brennan Marine, Inc., headquartered in La Crosse, WI, where he oversees sales, marketing, and client management across all five of their market areas. Brennan is a marine contracting company that provides above and below water services throughout the inland and coastal waterways of the United States. Market areas include marine construction, dam construction, railroad bridge construction, harbor management services, and environmental remediation and restoration.  Brennan employs nearly 600 people through the Midwest and east coast, of which 85 are ADCI certified commercial divers. Mark is part of the 4th generation of ownership at Brennan, which recently celebrated its 100th year in business. His background includes several years spent as a project manager on environmental dredging, marine construction, and lock and dam repair projects. He has a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master in Business Administration from Boston College.  

    Alex Kaplan

    Project Manager

    ASI Marine

    Alex has 20 years of experience in robotic inspection, starting with the development, testing and manufacture of underwater robots, and then moving into the service side of the industry as an ROV operator, field supervisor, and project manager. Alex has worked with clients in oil & gas, hydroelectric, nuclear, water supply, wastewater, and governments.

    Alex currently specializes in project planning, working with the customer and operations management to develop project scope and operational details; and project management, coordinating between the customer, suppliers, and field personnel. 

    David Paul

    Paul GeoTek Engineering

    David B. Paul, P.E., is retired from the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) at the end of 2018 after 42 years of Federal service, as the Dam Safety Officer for the Mosul Dam Task Force which provided technical assistance to the Government of Iraq in to mitigate dam safety issues associated with Mosul Dam.  He also served as Special assistant for Dam Safety at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) headquarters in Washington, D.C., responsible for managing the USACE’s portfolio of 715 dams.  He was the national specialist on critical infrastructure design, dam design, levee design, construction engineering, engineering risk assessments, interim risk reduction measures (IRRM), and dam and levee safety modifications.  He recently participated in the Risk Assessment for Oroville Dam in California.  Mr. Paul is currently a Trustee of the Deep Foundations Institute and a member of the United States Society of Dams (USSD), Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He is DFI Trustee for the Seepage Control and Grouting Committees and serves as Chairman of the USSD Committee on Construction & Rehab, and is also active with the Embankment Dams Committee. He is the USSD Representative to the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) Embankment Dams Committee.

    Merry Dang

    ASI Marine

    Melissa Philpott

    Pursuit Manager

    Ballard Marine Construction

  • 2021 USSD Virtual Conference Technical Sessions

    Contains 30 Product(s)

    There are 30 On-Demand Sessions with over 45 PDH are available within the 2021 Virtual Conference Technical Sessions.

    The complete 2021 USSD Virtual Conference Technical Sessions are now available here.  If you are already registered, click on the Content tab above to access all the sessions and view them in any order at any time.  For those not registered you have the option to purchase all the sessions at one low price.

    PROCEEDINGS are available on USSD's main page under the Resource Center tab. Go back to the USSD main page by clicking the USSD Website tab in the upper right of this page, then look for the Resource Center tab (just left of center on the main page) and choose Publications from the dropdown menu. Finally, click on "Read More" under the Proceedings tile. 

  • InSAR – Dam Safety Considerations and Applications

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    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

    Ben Pantony

    3vGeomatics

    Benjamin Pantony (bpantony@3vgeomatics.com) 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

    USACE

    Manuele Pichierri, PhD

    Senior R&D Data Scientist

    3vGeomatics Inc. Electrical/Geomatic Engineering

    Dr. Manuele has 8 years working on the pre and post-processing of airborne and space-borne polarimetric InSAR and optical remote sensing data.

    Georgette Hlepas, PhD, PE (Moderator)

    National Geotechnical Policy Advisor

    US Army Corps of Engineers

    Dr. Georgette Hlepas is the National Geotechnical Policy Advisor for the US Army Corps of Engineers and is located in the Headquarters office in DC.  She 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 instructor of several instrumentation courses.  She has a PhD in Civil and Materials Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Illinois.

    Richard Carande

    General Atomics

    David Cohen

    General Atomics

    Baron Worsham

    USACE

  • 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.