Dam Risk Assessment Short Courses

Due to popular demand, there is consideration to run another Risk Assessment Short Course. To expres your interest in this, please advise Michelle Miller at the secretariat ancold@ancold.org.au


This short course is in response to a keen interest shown in the dam industry in the use of risk assessment as a key tool to better manage Australia’s dams and to ensure both those experienced and those less experienced in dam risk assessment are well informed in its value and application. Presentations will provide both basic and more detailed information.

Day 1 will discuss – what is risk assessment, why it is so important for dam safety, its strong take up in Australia and use of ANCOLD’s risk assessment guideline and proposed update.

This leads into planning for risk assessment to meet dam owner due diligence, duty of care, regulatory and business needs and identifying the 5 key components of risk assessment process. The rest of the day will cover 2 of the 5 key components – Risk Identification (including hazards & failure modes) and Probability Analysis (including approaches, load states and scenarios, uncertainties and estimation of likelihood).

Day 2 will briefly recap key aspects of Day 1 to lead into covering the 3 remaining key components – Consequences Analysis (including approach, failure scenarios, dam break and inundation mapping, consequences estimation and key issues), Risk Evaluation (including risk estimation, tolerable risk criteria, actions need including ALARP) and Risk Reduction & Residual Risk Outcomes (including reduction options, adequacy of residual risk, risk reduction strategies and long-term risk management).

The program below provides further information.


Attendees may claim as CPD hours, for this short course, when subject to audit for the National Professional Engineers Register or National Engineering Technologists Register.

Attendees will be issued via email after the short course with a certificate of attendance detailing the hours of attendance, if requested.


The course is designed to be of interest to all levels of dam industry professionals and operators from those relatively new to the industry wishing to understand the basics of dam risk assessment, to the those more experienced in dam engineering and risk management wishing to brush up on their knowledge and latest developments, to dam owners/managers and dam regulators wishing to better understand the value and use of risk assessment in dam safety. It could also be of interest to professionals in other similar risk assessed industries.


ANCOLD Member $800 $480
Non Member $900 $540
ANCOLD Young Professional $700 $420
Non Member Young Professional $800 $480


Shane McGrath

Shane is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers with more than 30 years of experience in the construction, maintenance and management of dams. Shane led the development and implementation of a risk based upgrading program for a large portfolio of dams beginning in the late 1990’s and in 2000 was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study the international use of risk assessment for dam safety. He is a Board Member of Seqwater and leads the working group updating the Guidelines on Risk Assessment.

Malcolm Barker

Malcolm has 40 years of civil engineering experience in the design, construction and safety of dams, hydropower projects, canals and tailings dams and currently works for GHD. He has participated in many dam projects in Australia, Canada, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and China. He has been involved in the design and construction of embankment, rockfill, RCC and concrete dams and HEP projects as well as tailings dam planning and design for upstream and downstream construction and coal seam gas pond design and construction certification. In addition, he has participated in numerous dam safety reviews and risk assessments including understanding of the performance of key dam components such as dam foundations, their functions, issues and upgrade solutions. He has also served in different capacities in the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD).

Mark Foster

Mark has 20 years of experience in geotechnical engineering and dams engineering.  Mark has a particular interest in the quantitative risk analysis for dam safety risk assessments. Mark has performed risk analysis for many embankment and concrete dams in Australia, New Zealand and USA, for both Portfolio and Detailed Risk Assessments.

Peter Hill

Peter Hill is Director of Hydrology and Risk Consulting (HARC). He has over 20 years of experience in the application of risk analysis techniques to dams and worked on more than 100 dams; many in a peer review capacity. He is a regular contributor to ANCOLD conferences on dam risk related topics and has co-authored more than 80 technical papers.  He was a committee member for the recent revision of the ANCOLD Guidelines on Assessment of the Consequences of Dam Failure and is the Convenor for the ANCOLD Acceptable Flood Capacity Guidelines and member of the committee reviewing the ANCOLD guidelines on risk assessment. He is a past member of Engineers Australia’s National Committee for Water Engineering and is lead author of 2 chapters of the national flood guideline – Australian Rainfall and Runoff.

Robert Keogh

Rob Keogh is the General Manager, Asset Strategy & Management for SunWater.  He has 35 years experience as a civil engineer (BE Civil(Hon), RPEQ) in the water industry in both New South Wales and Queensland where he has held a number of roles including dam construction, water infrastructure design, operations and maintenance.  Rob also spent a number of years in a regional business manager role. Over the last 12 years Rob has lead SunWater and its Board in understanding the risks of owning a large portfolio of dams and developing policy and applying decision criteria that evaluates risks and puts in place risk reduction measures to satisfy the organisation duty of care under ANCOLD guidelines.

David Watson

David Watson is the Managing Director of Davwil Designs & Management Services P/L, a sole consultancy involved with dam safety management and the water industry for the past 15 years. Overall he has worked in the water industry for 45 years with earlier roles with SMEC Victoria and as the Victorian Government’s dam safety and water industry asset administrator. He instigated the introduction of risk assessment for dams and water asset management in Victoria in the 1990’s and has since been involved in a wide range dam risk assessment and safety upgrade projects and reviews around Australia and overseas including assisting with dam safety regulatory enhancement particularly in Victoria and New South Wales. He was a member of the team that produced the 2003 ANCOLD Risk Assessment Guideline and has since been a contributor to a range of risk related guidelines and as convenor for four ANCOLD short courses.



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