Influencing engineering

21 February 2011

To celebrate the importance of the dam engineering sector, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 people we believe have made the biggest difference to the sector over the last 10 years. This list – in alphabetical order – was compiled using nominations from contacts and readers around the world, and was decided by the IWP&DC editorial team and industry experts

Dr George Annandale

Dr Annandale was the first engineer to develop and publish a scientifically defensible and validated approach to predicting scour of rock. He published a seminal paper in 1995 that forms the basis of the Erodibility Index Method and the understanding of rock scour that developed since then. Over the last 10 years this method has matured through testing, case study validation and refinement, and has been internationally accepted by the engineering profession for use in the design of new dams and for developing mitigation designs ensuring the safety of existing dams. Dr Annandale authored the book “Scour Technology” that was published by McGraw-Hill in 2006.

Dr. Anil Chopra

Dr Chopra is well known for pioneering methods for earthquake response analysis of structural systems, including dynamic interaction with soils and fluids. He serves as a consultant on earthquake engineering problems to numerous governmental and private organizations.

A professor at the University of California at Berkeley, he has been instrumental in encouraging students to study a number of very tough issues associated with concrete dams (gravity and arch) since the 1980s.

He has authored more than 300 papers on this work, a monograph, Earthquake Dynamics of Structures, A Primer, 2005, and a textbook, Dynamics of Structures: Theory and Applications to Earthquake Engineering, 1995, 2001, and 2007.

Mr Don Deere

Mr Deere has over 30 years of experience in the design and construction of dams and reservoirs. He has worked on over 50 dam and reservoir projects in his career. His expertise includes earth, concrete, and rockfill dams and their foundations, and he has played a key role in the development of modern techniques in engineering geological investigations for dam foundations. He has extensive experience in slope stability of both natural and excavated rock and soil slopes. Typical slope stability projects range from design of excavated slopes for civil and mining projects to investigations and repair design of recent landslides.

John Dunnicliff

A consulting engineer, Mr Dunnicliff specialises in geotechnical instrumentation. He has taught more than 100 CPD courses on geotechnical instrumentation worldwide, and is author of the book Geotechnical Instrumentation for Monitoring Field Performance. Since 1984 he has been the editor of the North American magazine Geotechnical Instrumentation News (GIN), soliciting and editing articles and writing a column for each issue. In 2010 he was awarded Distinguished Membership of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Mr. Joe Ehasz

Mr Ehasz has over 45 years of experience in civil engineering, design and construction of dams, hydroelectric facilities, tunnels, and power plants. His major field of interest is in civil and geotechnical related aspects of water resources projects; in particular, the soil and rock mechanics design, analysis and construction of earthworks and foundations for dams, embankments, and major civil works. He has achieved many extraordinary accomplishments in leadership roles of design engineer, chief engineer, construction manager and geotechnical engineer in worldwide water and power projects, notably Design Director, Senior Technical Review and Project Consulting Panel Member for the 200m, 395MW San Roque Multipurpose Project in the Philippines; and Project Construction Manager for the $800M, 32Oft high RCC Olivenhain Dam Emergency Water Storage Project in California, US.

Mr. Paulo Cezar Ferreira Erbisti

Mr Erbisti is the author of the important textbook, ‘Design of Hydraulic Gates’. Based on the author’s extensive expertise and experience as an engineer of hydromechanical projects, this book describes the principal aspects of the design, manufacture, installation and operation of hydraulic gates. This Brazilian engineer has contributed greatly to hydropower/dam engineering in the last 35 years in Brazil, Venezuela and in several other countries of the world due to his extensive consulting work. He has worked on a number of important project including Itaipu, Guri, Caruachi and Tocoma.

Prof. Dr.h.c. Michele Fanelli

Michele Fanelli has been active in the field of dam analysis and design for more than 50 years. He was among the first to advocate and promote the study, development and practical application of Finite Element numerical methods in Civil Engineering, with particular emphasis on concrete dam engineering. He has been involved in the design of several arch dams, including the 135m high Tsankov Kamak arch dam in Bulgaria. Now a private consultant he continues to inspire dam engineers with his experience and expertise.

Brian Forbes

Australia-based GHD’s Manager for major dam projects, Mr Forbes has over 40 years of international experience in the investigation, spillway modelling, design, documentation and construction of all types of dams, with an international reputation for his expertise in RCC dams, having been closely involved in over 40 projects in 19 countries.

He is considered instrumental in the introduction of roller compacted concrete (RCC) for use in dams in Australia.

Desmond Hartford

During his 30-year career in Canada, where he worked with BC Hydro and klohn-crippen Consultants, and in Ireland, Mr Hartford has been developing the knowledge base and promoting new and modern approaches to the assessment and management of dam safety. He was one of the first in the dam engineering community to recognize that the risk-informed and systems-based approach can significantly improve the decision-making process in dam safety. He is currently a leading authority on probabilistic risk assessment and management for dams.

He is the principal author of the textbook “Risk and Uncertainty in Dam Safety” and also a principal author of the international-commission-on-large-dams (icold) Bulletin on Risk Assessment in Dam Safety Management. He is also the author of numerous papers on the subject of probabilistic risk assessment for dams and broad issues of geotechnical engineering and soil mechanics.

Prof. Alfred ‘Skip’ Hendron

Prof Hendron works as consultant full-time on the design and construction of dams around the world with active projects in Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America and throughout North America. Most notably he is the primary consultant to the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) which has regulatory authority over all non-federally owned hydroelectric dams in the US. In this role, he has direct and demanding influence over the design and construction of new dams and the remediation and re-build of existing dams that are under FERC jurisdiction. In recent years, this has included the Saluda Dam Remediation Project and the Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir Re-build and the Silver Lake Rebuild.

David E Kleiner

Kleiner was the head of the geotechnical group in Harza Engineering in Chicago. In his position, he directed the design of many world class earth and rockfill dams, including Yacyreta in Argentina; Guri and La Honda in Venezuela; San Roque in the Philippines; Cerron Grande and 15 de Septiembre in El Salvador; Bath County, Kinzua and Rocky Mountain in the US; THP in China; Mohale in Lesotho, and many others. He has also participated in many other dam projects reviewing and defining the foundation for the dam (Olivenhain and Mossyrock in the US for example), or as member of review boards or panel of experts (Toulnustouc in Canada, and others). He has also been a long time participant in USSD and ICOLD, presenting papers during ICOLD congresses, and participating in the technical committees, specifically the Materials for Embankment Dams Committee.

Dr. Harald Kreuzer

A swiss consulting engineer, Dr Kreuzer has participated in a number of international events and has also served on a number of panels worldwide, particularly concerning dam safety issues. His vast experience and knowledge has made a great contribution in addressing dam safety issues in a number of countries, including Sri Lanka.

Dr. Giovanni Lombardi

Dr Lombardi is a specialist in civil works and tunnel construction. A Swiss engineer, he has contributed significantly to new theoretical developments in the field of civil engineering hydraulic structures, particularly arch dam design. A past president of the International Commission on Large Dams, he has influenced the construction of numerous structures throughout his engineering life.

Prof. Vahid Lotfi

Prof Lotfi has 24 years academic experience and 22 years professional experience in analysis of concrete dams. He was lead analyser and designer of seven large concrete dams and technical advisor for several concrete dams in Iran. His knowledge and abilities on finite element, concrete dams, and fluid-structure interaction courses have inspired many Iranian students to pursue their future studies or career in dam engineering. He has been lecturer and/or supervisor of many of the best dam analysers in Iran. He has published more than 43 journal and 42 conference papers.

Bayardo Materon

Mr Materon is the actual President of the CFRD International Society. He has participated in the design and construction of the world’s highest CFRDs, and has been involved with many leading engineering organisations on design and construction of rockfill dams and hydro projects. He has been involved in numerous conferences and is author of hundreds of papers that have influenced dam engineers worldwide.

Dr. Paul C Rizzo

Dr Paul C. Rizzo has made a tremendous impact in dam engineering through his involvement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), his dedication to numerous panels and committees, and his commitment to dam safety. He is an internationally recognized expert in geotechnical, civil, and seismic engineering. He has more than 44 years of experience related to a wide range of projects including dams, waterfront facilities, pumped storage facilities, and power plant structures. As founder of Paul C. Rizzo Associates, Inc., Dr. Rizzo has built the firm into one of the leading consultants in dam safety. In April 2010, the firm completed the Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir Rebuild Project, for which it served as the Engineer of Record and Construction Manager.

Prof Dr Anton J Schleiss

Currently Director of the Civil Engineering Department of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne (EPFL), Prof Schleiss has extensive experience in hydraulic engineering and underground waterways. He is involved as international expert in several dam and hydropower plant projects all over the world as well as flood protection projects mainly in Switzerland.

Glenn Tarbox

Glenn Tarbox has 49 years of experience as a civil/structural engineer in all facets of water resource project development and management. Currently Vice President, Dams Practice Leader for MWH, he is an internationally recognized leader and expert in the design and construction of dams, with specialized expertise in concrete dams. Tarbox has served as Design Engineer, Project Manager or Principal-In-Charge on more than 26 major projects in the US and throughout the world. He continues to be involved in RCC dams as Project Manager of the design review of Baise RCC Dam in China and Olivenhain RCC Dam. He was awarded the ASCE Opal Civil Engineering Award of Merit in 2005 and Milestone RCC Project 1987 to 2007 at the 5Th International Symposium on RCC Dams, Chairman ITR Committee for the USACE, and is currently lead designer for the 117-foot-high raising of San Vicente Dam in San Diego, California, using RCC technology. In his management role, he has influenced and mentored young engineers in the development of sound engineering practices and contributed to the development of dam engineering and dam safety practices.

Dr. Alexander Tseng

Dr Tseng has a long, distinguished, multi-national career as an engineer, entrepreneur, educator and problem-solver that spans 60 years. He is founder and president of ORENCO (Oriental Engineering and Supply Company), a subsidiary of Tseng Enterprises in Palo Alto, California. Dr Tseng was the driving force behind the design and development of the self adjusting flood control gates that have recently been deployed on over 200 major hydro projects in China. These gates are rapidly becoming the standard means in China to both raise the level of existing dams and create impoundment facilities on rivers at low cost.

Dr. Martin Wieland

Dr Wieland has more than 38 years of experience in the analysis and design of complex civil engineering projects, and is a leading expert in the fields of earthquake engineering and structural dynamics. He is the author of over 200 technical papers, and is a member of various international professional organizations, Chairman of the ICOLD Committee on Seismic Aspects of Dam Design, and Chairman of the earthquake committee of the Swiss Committee on Dams. One of his key qualities is his interest in gathering existing experiences and knowledge and disseminating this knowledge to other dam engineers.

To comment on this feature, or send suggestions for future listings, please email:

Privacy Policy
We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.