Professional Development Working Group

Update: October 2013

Since the ANCOLD Conference in Perth last year this working group has been busy developing a series of dam related short courses, workshops, seminars and webinars to be brought out progressively across Australia.

Its initial series of one day seminars, relating to Retarding Basin Fundamentals, was presented in the east coast capitals in April 2013. The presenters comprised members of ANCOLD’s Retarding Basin Guidelines working group, namely Richard Rodd, Kelly Maslin and Norm Himsley. The seminars were well received and the Melbourne seminar was taped for future use by ANCOLD in a webinar format.

A two day workshop on Hydrology, dambreak and consequence assessment was presented in east coast capitals in September 2013. The workshop was convened by David Watson with expert presenters, Wayne Graham from the USA, along with our own Janice Green, Rory Nathan, Peter Hill, Grantley Smith and Simon Lang, and assisted by local ANCOLD volunteers. The seminars were well received and the Melbourne seminar was taped for future use by ANCOLD in a webinar format.

A one day short course on Internal Erosion and Piping of Dams was presented in east coast capitals in October 2013. The short course was convened by Professor Robin Fell with expert assistance from Mark Foster. The short courses were well received.

All of the above courses run in 2013 were very well attended.

A short presentation on Corporate Governance and Risk Management matters has been developed by Dennis Green. A pilot was held targeted for Ministerial Advisors, Board Members and Senior Executives in October 2013 and the course is now being fine-tuned based on feedback for future use as required.

Further ANCOLD professional development opportunities are planned over the coming year including:

  • One day seminars on Dam Safety Emergency Planning in early 2014 organised by Angus Paton;
  • Various seminars and short courses on river management issues over the coming year organised by Joe Davis;
  • One day short courses on Basic Dam Design Fundamentals in early 2014 organised by Paul Heinrichs and David Watson;
  • Workshops / Short Courses on Spillways, Outlets and Associated Mechanical and Electrical Matters in mid 2014 organised by Marius Jonker, Brian Cooper and David Watson; and
  • One day short courses on Tailings Dams Design and Management in April 2014 organised by Norm Himsley.

As you can see our group has ambitious targets and I would like to thank all those named, plus their bands of assisting volunteers, for their commitment and efforts. Many thanks also to the staff from Leishman Associates for doing all the marketing, behind the scenes organising and on-ground work for the running of the seminars / courses.

I encourage everybody to support ANCOLD’s endeavours by attending its proposed events (preferably also by booking early to minimise ANCOLD’s risks).

Keep your eyes peeled to the ANCOLD website for details as they become available and, if you have any ideas for courses etc, or want to volunteer your assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Norm Himsley

Chair, ANCOLD Professional Development Working Group



The ANCOLD Professional Development Working Group was formulated after the 2011 ANCOLD Conference and has been working through the year on reviewing the previous working group’s current education module listing (and suggested additions by the ANCOLD survey) and assessed these modules in relation to the following parameters:

Grouping into common themes (eg relate to audience, dam field etc);

Target audience;

Delivery mode (eg course, seminar, webinar etc);

Status (eg start from scratch, adapt existing etc);

Ability to Implement;

Priority (relate to survey data and finally working group’s priority);

Partners (ie who can help to produce, present etc).

After significant discussion, a table of Dam Industry Training Needs was formulated for implementation comprising  25 modules for dam industry professionals and owners and 7 modules for dam operators (five of which are currently being implemented under the Australian TAFE system).  Members of the working group were allocated to progress the development and implementation of priority modules (eg seminars, webinars, short course as deemed appropriate), with the thankful assistance of many volunteers already nominated to ANCOLD, over the next 12-18 months as follows (with tentative dates / locations for roll out):

Ian Landon-Jones SEED lectures (webinar),Technical site visits (as appropriate),Guidelines workshops (when required)
Steven Flynn Tailings Dams (1-2 day seminars in NSW, QLD, WA)
Dennis Green Dams Management for Boards, Execs (short  presentations across Aust)
Peter Hill (& young professionals) Fundamentals of Dam Engineering (progressive roll out of short seminars on priority basis)
Angus Paton Dam Safety Emergency Planning (1 day seminars across Aust)