Underwater Inspection Technologies and Construction Techniques for Dams

  • Registration Closed

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 2 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, his roles include developing and nurturing client relationships and uncovering opportunities that will benefit from Global Diving’s extensive experience and capabilities in underwater inspection, repair, maintenance and construction. Prior positions at Global include Lead Estimator and Marketing Manager. 

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 (Moderator)

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 (Moderator)

ASI Marine

Melissa Philpott (Moderator)

Pursuit Manager

Ballard Marine Construction


Live Webinar
06/24/2021 at 10:00 AM (MDT)  |  Recorded On: 06/29/2021
06/24/2021 at 10:00 AM (MDT)  |  Recorded On: 06/29/2021
2 Questions
PDH Certificate
2.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available
2.00 PDH credits  |  Certificate available