Published Paper Award of Excellence

This award of excellence recognizes the contribution made by CDA members in authoring or coauthoring an outstanding article or technical paper related to dam engineering and/or the management of dams. Any papers (conferences, peer-reviewed journals, congresses, online magazines) are accepted. Presentations done in workshops and webinars are accepted, only if a related accompanying paper was submitted and published in a magazine, journal, compendium of papers, conference proceedings.

The award is offered annually to the author(s) of a selected publication made in Canada or internationally. The author, or at least one of the co-authors, is required to be a CDA member at the time the paper is published, in order for the publication to be considered for this award.

Nominations from both CDA members and non-members are sought every year for outstanding technical papers. Please submit your nomination no later than Friday, August 4, 2023, directly to attaching the technical paper, with any relevant information or statements that come in support of the nomination.
For 2023, papers must have been published between August 4th, 2022 and August 4th, 2023.


Meet the 2022 recipients:

Haley Schafer, PhD
Haley is a PhD candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.  She will convocate in Fall 2022.  She has a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering and a M.Sc. in Geoenvironmental Engineering from the University of Alberta.  Haley is currently working as a Geotechnical Engineer-in-Training at BGC Engineering.  


Renato Macciotta, PhD, PEng
Renato is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Engineering Safety and Risk Management at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. He has a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the Catholic University of Peru, and a Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Alberta. Renato has 13 years of research experience and over 15 years of practical experience working in civil, mining and risk engineering projects. His work has been published over 60 peer-reviewed journal publications, and over 40 conference proceedings.  

Nicholas Beier, PhD, PEng
Dr. Nicholas Beier is an Associate Professor of Geoenvironmental Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta. His research interests include mine waste management and cold regions engineering including tailings dewatering technology development, simulation modeling, and the long-term management and closure of mine waste structures.  Prior to entering academia, Dr. Beier amassed over 15 years of industrial engineering experience, including acting as a Technical Advisor for Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA).  


The previous recipients are:

  • 1996 - Jerry Levay
  • 1999 - Dr. Thomas Vladut
  • 2001 - The Bennett Dam Sinkhole Investigation
  • 2006 - Stephen Rigbey
  • 2007 - Marc Smith, Claude Marche and Benoît Robert
  • 2008 - Ettore Contestabile and Abass Braimah
  • 2009 - Vladimir Alicescu, Jean Pierre Tournier & Pierre Vannobel - Design and Construction of Nemiscau-1 Dam
  • 2010 - Jose A. Vasquez and Jose J. Roncal - Testing River2D & Flow-3D for Sudden Dam-Break Flow Simulations
  • 2011 - CDA/ACB Regulatory Committee
  • 2012 - Jason Bond, Don Kim and John Fletcher - A Study of the Use of GPS Sensors for Structural Monitoring  of the Mactaquac Dam 
  • 2013 - Greg Snyder, Wade Beisiegel, Don MacIntyre - Kootenay River OM&S Manuals Streamlining for Functionality
  • 2014 - Alexandre Tournier, Benoit Mathieu, Pierre Vannobel, Yves Tremblay - Conception du profil et construction du socle de béton sous le noyau des ouvrages de retenue de l’aménagement hydroélectrique de la Romaine-2
  • 2014 - Jared Malenchak, Kevin Sydor, Joe Groeneveld, Don Murray, David Fuchs - Cofferdam Risk Review Assessment for River Management at the Keeyask Generating Station in Northern Manitoba, Canada
  • 2015 - Bill Chin, Joseph Quinn, Mark Pernito, Jody Scammell - Geotechnical Assessment of Alameda Dam
  • 2016 - John Perdikaris, Steve Nash - Responding to Major Catastrophic Events for Dam Owners 
  • 2017 - Bill Kappel, Syed Abbas, Seifu Guangul, George Sabol, John Menninger, and Sal Figliuzzi  - Updating PMP for the Elbow River: Complex Terrain, Unique Solutions
  • 2018 - Paul Knox, Andrew Cornett, Mitchel Provan, John Menniger, Rick Lux and Syed Abbas - Assessment of Debris Issues Impacting Design of a Flood Diversion Project in a Large Scale Physical Model
  • 2019 - Valérie Michaud, Judson Kennedy and Ryan Blanchard - Using Magnetometric Resistivity to Identify Preferential Seepage Flow Paths at a Tailings Dam
  • 2020 - Stephen Rigbey and Desmond (Des) Hartford - Oroville in Retrospect: What needs to change?
  • 2020 - Jeremy Boswell, Amy Rentz, Paul Cavanagh, Larry Staples and Lianne Lefsrud - Preliminary Work by the Alberta Dam Integrity Advisory Committee (DIAC) Towards Thinking Clearly and Communicating Effectively about Risk 
  • 2021 - This award was not granted in 2021.
  • 2022 - Schafer, H.L.; Beier, N.A.; Macciotta, R. A: Failure Modes and Effects Analysis Framework for Assessing Geotechnical Risks of Tailings Dam Closure. Minerals 2021, 11, 1234.