Event Tree Principles and Applications for Dam Safety Risk Assessment: Download

Event tree analysis is commonly used in dam safety risk analysis.  Event trees are tools used to aid in understanding, analyzing, and communicating dam safety risks and for informing dam safety decisions.  Like all other tools they are imperfect and their potential value depends on the skills of their user.  Event trees can be used to obtain quantitative estimates of the probability of dam failure and its associated consequences.  This can be done for an existing dam or for structural or to compare non-structural risk reduction alternatives. Event trees can also serve as qualitative or diagrammatic representations of failure modes and their consequences.

This webinar will summarize the principles of event trees and their application in dam safety risk assessment.  It will include discussion of the construction of event trees, the calculations associated with event tree analysis and various type of post processing such as tolerable risk evaluation, which is important in support of dam safety decisions.  Examples from the presenter’s experience of using event trees over the past 35 years will be included throughout the webinar.

David S. Bowles, Ph.D., P.E., P.H., D.WRE, F.ASCE

Managing Principal, RAC Engineers and Economists, LLC

Since 1978 David and his colleagues have pioneered the development and practical application of risk-informed approaches to dam safety management.  They have completed individual and portfolio risk assessments for more than 800 dams in many countries, ranging from screening assessments to detailed assessments with uncertainty analysis.  David has assisted with the development of tailored frameworks for dam and levee safety risk management for government and private owners, regulators and professional bodies in many countries.  Clients have included Reclamation, USACE, TVA, FERC, BIA, World Bank, WMO, IAEA, EPRI, EU, ANCOLD, CDA, NSW DSC and many major engineering firms.  David has served as an expert witness for law suits related to dam and canal failures, reservoir operation and hydropower generation, toxic tort, and urban flooding.

David is the Managing Principal of RAC Engineers and Economists and an Emeritus Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Utah State University (USU).  Previous positions include Director of the Institute for Dam Safety Risk Management and Director of Utah Center for Water Resources Research at USU, Engineering Department Manager and Branch Manager for Law Engineering’s Denver office, and a construction and design engineer for a large international contractor based in the UK.


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