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 2023 recipients:

Dr. Nahyan M. Rana, PhD, GIT



Dr. Negar Ghahramani, PhD



Dr. Stephen G. Evans, PhD, P.Eng.



Andy Small, MSc, P.Eng.



Nigel Skermer, MSc


Dr. Scott McDougall, PhD, P.Eng.;




Dr. W. Andy Take, PhD, P.Eng.


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.
  • 2023 - Dr. Nahyan M. Rana, PhD, GIT; Dr. Negar Ghahramani, PhD; Dr. Stephen G. Evans, PhD, P.Eng.; Andy Small, MSc, P.Eng.; Nigel Skermer, MSc; Dr. Scott McDougall, PhD, P.Eng.; Dr. W. Andy Take, PhD, P.Eng.: “Global magnitude-frequency statistics of the failures and impacts of large water-retention dams and mine tailings impoundments”