ASDSO Conferences and Seminars


November 5-7, 2014 at the Commons Learning Center/J.J. Pickle Research Campus, University of Texas at Austin, in Austin, Texas.

Registration for this course is CLOSED.  View Seminar Agenda or Instructor Bios.  

(Posted 10/14/14) This Technical Seminar has just been approved for credit to satisfy mandatory continuing education requirements for Professional Engineers licensed in New York.  The course is classified as CE Training and participants who complete the course and the assessment quizzes will receive a certificate for up to 19 professional development hours (PDHs).  See details and eligibility guidelines.

Course Objectives: This seminar provides comprehensive instruction in inspection and evaluation techniques for dams.  The principles, concepts and procedures taught will be readily adaptable to any organization conducting dam inspections and evaluating their compliance with current design standards.  The target audience is state and federal dam owners/regulators, local and private dam owners/operators, consulting engineers and personnel responsible for the operation and maintenance of dams.  Participants learn about a variety of dam types and their appurtenances, the function of typical dam features, and common dam failure modes and the conditions that can led to these failure modes.  Actual dam failure cases will be presented.  Public safety, security, and liability will also be discussed along with approaches to responding to dam incidents.

Acceptable standards for the condition and operation and maintenance of dams will be presented.   The importance of reviewing records, conducting visual examinations, and monitoring instrumentation will be emphasized.  Participants will be introduced to specialized inspection techniques, including confined space entry, conduit inspections using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and underwater diving inspection.  The seminar includes a visit to two local dams to practice inspection techniques, observe a conduit inspection using an ROV, observe the proper operation of water control gates, and collect dam instrumentation readings. The importance of identifying hazard creep as part of the inspection process will also be discussed.

There are no specific education or experience prerequisites for this course, although some knowledge/experience in dam safety would be beneficial.

Course Materials: Course materials will be produced on DVD. The Workshop DVD will include copies of the presentation slides, plus several helpful references including:

FEMA Technical Manuals, including:
•         Impacts of Animals on Earthen Dams
•         Impacts of Plants on Earthen Dams
•         Conduits Through Embankment Dams
•         Best Practices
•         Filters for Embankment Dams
•         FEMA P-919 – Summary of Existing Guidelines for Hydrologic Safety of Dams;
•         plus a number of internet URLs for sites where additional information can be found.

What to Bring: Attendees interested in participating in the visit to local dams to practice inspection techniques should bring appropriate outdoor apparel.  Personal protection equipment (hard hat, steel toed boots, etc) is not required for this field tour.

Professional Development Hours: This technical seminar contains up to 24 hours of classroom instruction.  (This includes the optional evening session on Nov. 6). Forms for the documentation of PDH credits will be provided to all registered attendees.  Notes: 1. ASDSO is not an approved provider for New York continuing education credits. 2. Florida-licensed P.E.s must submit license number to ASDSO with the registration form in order to receive credit from the Florida Board of Professional Engineering.

Registration Fees: Fees prior to October 20 are $850 for ASDSO members and $950 for non-members.  A late fee of $50 will be applied for registrations received after October 20.  Registration fees include all course materials, daily refreshment breaks, and field trip transportation.

To Register: Registration is closed.

Cancellation & Refund Policy: Cancellations received in writing by Wednesday, October 29 will receive a refund. All refunds are subject to a $75 processing fee. After Oct. 29, registration fees are no longer refundable.

Provision of Services for Sensory Impaired Attendees: ASDSO will provide services to sensory impaired persons attending the seminar if requested at least five days prior to the date of the seminar. Please contact Susan Sorrell at ASDSO (859) 257-5146 for more information.

Attendee Parking:  Individual parking is $3 per car, per day paid by the individual attendee at the kiosk in the parking lots. Please note that these kiosks take exact change or credit/debit cards only.  All attendees must use Burnet Road entrance and stop at the guard shack.  If a car has no parking permit (either from the guard or from the kiosk), they will be ticketed, and Commons Learning Center does not have the authority to void any tickets.

Overnight Accommodations:  For participants who wish to reserve overnight accommodations, the Commons Learning Center has assembled a list of quality hotels conveniently located less than three miles from the facility.  Many offer discounted rates and free shuttle service to conference attendees.  For details see:

No ASDSO group room blocks have been reserved, but these hotels may offer government per diem or other discounted rates.

Confirmation and Attendee Profile:  A registration confirmation message will be sent via email. You will also receive a link to a short on-line survey prior to the seminar date. Please take a moment to complete the survey, as your participation will help us efficiently tailor the content to the needs of the attendees.

Questions:  Call Jennifer Burns, ASDSO, at (855) 228-9732 or email

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