Fall 2022 Fundamentals of Facilitating a Semi-Quantitative Risk Analysis
DLS-113 Fundamentals of Facilitating a Semi-Quantitative Risk Analysis
The Dam and Levee Safety industry is in the process of adopting Risk-Informed Decision Making (RIDM) as a framework for identifying and managing risks associated with dams and levees. A core component of RIDM is risk analysis workshops. In these workshops a team of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), aided by a Facilitator conduct a PFMA/SQRA. This course is intended for SMEs with risk analysis experience who wish to learn the role and responsibilities of a risk analysis facilitator. By the end of the training, participants will have a basic understanding of how to:
• Develop skills as a facilitator
• Understand the role of the facilitator and the appropriate behaviors needed to be successful
• Organize and lead a PFMA/SQRA
• Assess the needs of the project and owner and scale the PFMA/SQRA appropriately
• Ensure that the proper level of preparation is conducted prior to the workshop
• Lead the PFMA/SQRA workshop including facilitation skills
• Encourage focused, constructive, and respectful discussion
• Encourage engagement from all SMEs
• Identify and advise SMEs if the proceedings are being impacted by cognitive errors (e.g., recency bias, anchoring)
• Lead close-out activities including summarizing and portraying risk
• Ensure that proper documentation and review is conducted
• Discuss challenges and potential solutions
In addition, examples, exercises, and breakout sessions will be provided where attendees will have an opportunity to practice taught skills.
This training course is not intended to cover development of PFMs and elicitation of risk estimates. The student should already have this experience from participation in past workshops. Rather, this course is intended to prepare facilitators for their unique role as an independent leader of the workshop, to minimize bias, and ensure that proper communication and integration of facts and opinions are documented.
This is a basic training course for becoming a facilitator. However, it requires a significant amount of experience in dam safety risk assessments to act as a facilitator. This training along with real SQRA experience can ultimately lead to becoming an effective and qualified risk facilitator.
Prerequisite minimum experience suggested to benefit from this course:
• Have a professional engineering or engineering geologist registration.
• Have 10 or more years in dam design and evaluation experience and could qualify as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) or Independent Consultant for FERC Part 12 or similar review.
• Acted as an SME for at least 2 dam safety SQRAs or QRAs.
• Primary author for at least 1 SQRA or QRA report.
• Completed at least the SQRA training course DLS-103 (Leveraging PFMA to Perform SQRA )
Jonathan Harris currently acts as the National Practice Leader for Dam Safety and Risk at Schnabel. He has over 27 years of experience specializing in geotechnical engineering, embankment dam design, seismic engineering, dam safety, and risk analysis. He spent 11 years with the Bureau of Reclamation, working at the Technical Service Center as a Technical Project Lead. Jonathan has conducted numerous dam safety assessments for Reclamation, FERC licensees, and other hydropower owners in the United States and other countries. He spent three years working in New Zealand performing dam safety and risk assessments within New Zealand and other countries.
Jonathan has performed as a facilitator and subject matter expert for qualitative and quantitative risk analyses for numerous dam facilities. He has actively been involved in providing training for dam safety and risk analysis for over 15 years and is currently part of the United States Society on Dams risk-informed decision making (RIDM) training development leadership team and helped organize the semi-quantitative risk analysis RIDM training.
Jonathan has overseen numerous embankment dam projects for new and existing structures including site investigation, design, construction, and remediation. He has also been involved with many dam safety assessments for a variety of dam structure types and appurtenant structures, including embankments, spillways, and concrete dams.
AECOM, Dams and Reservoirs Group
Jennifer Williams is a registered professional engineer out of the Denver AECOM office. She has 20 years of experience with the majority of her professional career focused on dam safety including inspection; risk assessment; field investigations and characterization; seepage, stability and deformation analyses; alternatives studies; final design drawings and contract documents; and construction inspection observation.
Ms. Williams’ design engineering experience includes new dams and rehabilitation design of existing embankment dams for seepage, stability and hydrologic deficiencies. She has been the lead designer on over 10 dams in the last 15 years. Ms. Williams’ experience in risk analysis includes Potential Failure Mode Analyses and risk assessments since 2004 with state, federal and private dam owners and regulators including state dam safety offices, USACE, Reclamation, and FERC.