A water-level view of spillway gates of a hydropower dam.

2024 USSD Annual Conference & Exhibition

2024 USSD Annual Conference & Exhibition

CREATING BETTER DAM SAFETY SOLUTIONS, TOGETHER

Black san serif text that changes from "Sleepless in Seattle" to "See You in Seattle."

If dam safety concerns keep you up at night, you’ll want to connect with us at this year’s USSD Annual Conference in Seattle. From spearheading the industry’s first comprehensive, online resource for state-of-the-practice dam engineering guidance to developing the next generation of outstanding dam safety leaders, Gannett Fleming is shaping the future of safer, more resilient dam infrastructure.

During the conference, our forward-thinking team members will discuss some of today’s most pressing issues facing the dams community. We’re offering six dynamic presentations, ranging from complex modeling and design to risk assessment and analysis to crisis response and recovery. Unable to catch all of our sessions? Drop by Booth #50 to visit with our presenters and other talented technical staff. We’re eager to learn more about your challenges and discuss how we can create better dam safety solutions together so that you can get a good night’s rest.

Sleep tight, and we’ll see you in Seattle!

April 22-26, 2024

Booth #50

Westin Seattle
1900 5th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101

Organizer: United States Society on Dams (USSD)

Markets

Solutions

Check Out Our Six Technical Sessions

3D CFD Modeling and Design of a Staged Arced Labyrinth Weir and Converging Chute at Springton Dam

TUESDAY, APRIL 23 • 1:40 P.M.

A male, wearing a blue suit jacket and yellow tie, smiles for a headshot.

Seth Thompson, PE
Dams and Hydraulics Engineer
Connect on LinkedIn
Email Seth

Built in 1932, Springton Dam is a 70-foot-high, 1,600-foot-long earthen embankment dam built in Delaware County, Pa. It experienced reduced spillway capacity due to a converging chute restricted by a highway bridge opening. Coordinating with the owner, engineer, and state department of transportation, Gannett Fleming designed a widened bridge opening and spillway enlargement to increase conveyance capacity. This presentation summarizes critical details and lessons learned throughout the 15-year project lifespan.

The Dam Safety Toolbox – A New Online Resource for the Dam Safety Industry

TUESDAY, APRIL 23 • 3:40 P.M.

A male wears glasses, a gray suit jacket, and a red tie.

Gregory Richards, PE, CFM
Senior Project Manager
Connect on LinkedIn
Email Greg

Gannett Fleming’s Greg Richards will introduce the Association of State Dam Safety Officials’ Dam Safety Toolbox, an online resource offering state-of-the-practice dam engineering guidance. This wiki-style platform aims to standardize practices, educate professionals, assist regulators, support consultants, aid dam owners, and facilitate state-to-state information sharing. This presentation will provide an overview of the Dam Safety Toolbox’s development, format, and functionality. Opportunities to contribute to the website and get involved in this exciting resource’s long-term expansion and maintenance will also be shared.

Response and Recovery Plan: A Dam Owner’s Go-To When Crisis Occurs

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24 • 8:45 A.M.

A male wearing glasses, a tan collared shirt, and striped tie smiles for the camera.

Robert Lankford, PE
Project Engineer
Connect on LinkedIn
Email Robert

A woman with dark hair in a white shirt and black vest smiling for the camera.

Kelsey Short
Security & Safety Analyst
Connect on LinkedIn
Email Kelsey

Natural and non-natural disasters, though rare, pose a significant risk to public safety and the operational integrity of a dam facility. Understanding and planning for potential failure modes and their consequences is crucial for effective emergency management and recovery. Robert and Kelsey will discuss how to develop a response and recovery plan and how it relates to other emergency plans to provide a comprehensive framework for emergency response and restoring assets to an operational state.

Human Factors in Dam Safety Risk Analysis

Wednesday, April 24 • 11:10 A.M.

A male wearing glasses, a blue collared shirt, and a blue patterned tie smiles for a headshot.

Alexander Walsh, EIT
Civil Structural Designer
Email Alex

Human factors such as cognitive bias, overconfidence, and financial pressures can lead to underestimating uncertainties and potential failures and impact dam safety risk analyses. Join Alex to hear examples of human factors Gannett Fleming observed during potential failure mode analyses and risk analyses, learn their potential impacts, and understand how to overcome them.

Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: Why All Dam and Levee Owners Should Conduct Risk Assessments

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24 • 3:30 P.M.

A female engineer with long, brown, curly hair smiles for a headshot.

Elizabeth Landowski, PE
Risk Management Practice Leader
Connect on LinkedIn
Email Elizabeth

With the ever-increasing age of dams and levees, owners must prioritize their limited resources for regular maintenance and rehabilitation. While regulations often require owners to manage risks and perform facility assessments, non-regulated owners can also benefit from the streamlined and accessible process. Join Elizabeth for a discussion of the risk assessment Gannett Fleming performed for the Hillsborough River Dam owned by the non-regulated City of Tampa, Florida. Topics include the participants, data, and improvements undertaken by the city since the risk assessment.

First Generation Risk Analysis for Non-Federal Dam Owners

Wednesday, April 24 • 3:55 p.m.

A male wearing glasses, a blue collared shirt, and a blue patterned tie smiles for a headshot.

Alexander Walsh, EIT
Civil Structural Designer
Email Alex

The dam safety industry has moved toward risk-based evaluations, allowing owners to quantify their portfolio risks and prioritize safety resources. This presentation covers risk analysis elements, such as potential failure modes, consequence evaluation criteria, and required resources and time to help attendees evaluate risks and regulatory guidelines. Alex will share lessons Gannett Fleming learned from performing risk analyses for nearly 50 dams and levees in the past five years – ranging from small earth embankment facilities to some of the largest dams in the U.S.

April 23 | 1:40 P.M.

3D CFD Modeling and Design of a Staged Arced Labyrinth Weir and Converging Chute at Springton Dam

TUESDAY, APRIL 23 • 1:40 P.M.

A male, wearing a blue suit jacket and yellow tie, smiles for a headshot.

Seth Thompson, PE
Dams and Hydraulics Engineer
Connect on LinkedIn
Email Seth

Built in 1932, Springton Dam is a 70-foot-high, 1,600-foot-long earthen embankment dam built in Delaware County, Pa. It experienced reduced spillway capacity due to a converging chute restricted by a highway bridge opening. Coordinating with the owner, engineer, and state department of transportation, Gannett Fleming designed a widened bridge opening and spillway enlargement to increase conveyance capacity. This presentation summarizes critical details and lessons learned throughout the 15-year project lifespan.

April 23 | 3:40 P.M.

The Dam Safety Toolbox – A New Online Resource for the Dam Safety Industry

TUESDAY, APRIL 23 • 3:40 P.M.

A male wears glasses, a gray suit jacket, and a red tie.

Gregory Richards, PE, CFM
Senior Project Manager
Connect on LinkedIn
Email Greg

Gannett Fleming’s Greg Richards will introduce the Association of State Dam Safety Officials’ Dam Safety Toolbox, an online resource offering state-of-the-practice dam engineering guidance. This wiki-style platform aims to standardize practices, educate professionals, assist regulators, support consultants, aid dam owners, and facilitate state-to-state information sharing. This presentation will provide an overview of the Dam Safety Toolbox’s development, format, and functionality. Opportunities to contribute to the website and get involved in this exciting resource’s long-term expansion and maintenance will also be shared.

April 24 | 8:45 A.M.

Response and Recovery Plan: A Dam Owner’s Go-To When Crisis Occurs

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24 • 8:45 A.M.

A male wearing glasses, a tan collared shirt, and striped tie smiles for the camera.

Robert Lankford, PE
Project Engineer
Connect on LinkedIn
Email Robert

A woman with dark hair in a white shirt and black vest smiling for the camera.

Kelsey Short
Security & Safety Analyst
Connect on LinkedIn
Email Kelsey

Natural and non-natural disasters, though rare, pose a significant risk to public safety and the operational integrity of a dam facility. Understanding and planning for potential failure modes and their consequences is crucial for effective emergency management and recovery. Robert and Kelsey will discuss how to develop a response and recovery plan and how it relates to other emergency plans to provide a comprehensive framework for emergency response and restoring assets to an operational state.

April 24 | 11:10 A.M.

Human Factors in Dam Safety Risk Analysis

Wednesday, April 24 • 11:10 A.M.

A male wearing glasses, a blue collared shirt, and a blue patterned tie smiles for a headshot.

Alexander Walsh, EIT
Civil Structural Designer
Email Alex

Human factors such as cognitive bias, overconfidence, and financial pressures can lead to underestimating uncertainties and potential failures and impact dam safety risk analyses. Join Alex to hear examples of human factors Gannett Fleming observed during potential failure mode analyses and risk analyses, learn their potential impacts, and understand how to overcome them.

April 24 | 3:30 P.M.

Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: Why All Dam and Levee Owners Should Conduct Risk Assessments

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24 • 3:30 P.M.

A female engineer with long, brown, curly hair smiles for a headshot.

Elizabeth Landowski, PE
Risk Management Practice Leader
Connect on LinkedIn
Email Elizabeth

With the ever-increasing age of dams and levees, owners must prioritize their limited resources for regular maintenance and rehabilitation. While regulations often require owners to manage risks and perform facility assessments, non-regulated owners can also benefit from the streamlined and accessible process. Join Elizabeth for a discussion of the risk assessment Gannett Fleming performed for the Hillsborough River Dam owned by the non-regulated City of Tampa, Florida. Topics include the participants, data, and improvements undertaken by the city since the risk assessment.

April 24 | 3:55 P.M.

First Generation Risk Analysis for Non-Federal Dam Owners

Wednesday, April 24 • 3:55 p.m.

A male wearing glasses, a blue collared shirt, and a blue patterned tie smiles for a headshot.

Alexander Walsh, EIT
Civil Structural Designer
Email Alex

The dam safety industry has moved toward risk-based evaluations, allowing owners to quantify their portfolio risks and prioritize safety resources. This presentation covers risk analysis elements, such as potential failure modes, consequence evaluation criteria, and required resources and time to help attendees evaluate risks and regulatory guidelines. Alex will share lessons Gannett Fleming learned from performing risk analyses for nearly 50 dams and levees in the past five years – ranging from small earth embankment facilities to some of the largest dams in the U.S.

Meet Our Team at the USSD Annual Conference & Exhibition

In addition to our dynamic presenters, meet our other team members attending the USSD Annual Conference.

  • Dina Hunt, PE, USSD President | Vice President and Chief Earthquake Hazard Engineer
  • Bill Foos, CPP, PSP, USSD Treasurer | Vice President and Director, Security and Safety
  • Aimee Corn, PE, USSD YP Committee Chair and 2024 Annual Conference Chair | Senior Project Engineer
  • Dean Durkee, PhD, PE, Peng, ICOLD Vice President – America | Vice President and Area Manager
  • Daven Oswalt, Executive Vice President and Executive Director, Water, Energy & Environment
  • Jeremy Begley, PE, Structural Engineer
  • Arne Nervik, PE, Chief Engineer, Water Conveyance & Penstocks
  • Ryan Conrad, EIT, Associate Dams & Hydraulics Designer
  • Grace Lui, CPSM, Vice President and Business Development Director
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