The CDA Scholarships

The Canadian Dam Association (CDA) offers annually two scholarships to full-time post-graduate students attending a Canadian university or college whose program of study focuses on dam safety and/or the management of dams.

The scholarships are awarded primarily on the basis of academic excellence and the relevance of the research project to the stated objective, as well as leadership and community involvement. Further information and the application information is available below for download.

Gary Salmon Memorial Scholarship
Student Award of Merit Scholarship

Meet, Nahyan Rana, 2022 recipient

Nahyan Rana is a PhD Candidate in Engineering Geology at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. He is a leading researcher in the CanBreach project, a collaboration between 3 universities (University of Waterloo, The University of British Columbia, and Queen's University) that is supported by NSERC and five industrial partners (Klohn Crippen Berger, BGC Engineering, Golder Associates, Imperial Oil, and Suncor Energy) to study tailings dam failures. Nahyan's research focus is on performing empirical-statistical assessments and remote sensing (GIS and InSAR) investigations to estimate global failure rates, map downstream consequences, analyze precursor deformation rates, and develop post-failure digital elevation models. 

Read Nahyan's acknowledgment letter

Meet, Micah May, 2022 recipient

Micah is a M.Sc. candidate at the University of Victoria interested in ecological restoration. Micah has a background in environmental science and biology, having gotten his B.Sc. from the University of Northern BC. He is interested in investigating how the principles of restoration can help us tackle environmental degradation, including in novel ecosystems. He loves the outdoors, and he has a passion for working on challenging environmental issues, particularly those in remote locations, combining technical field work with data analysis and community engagement. Micah is supervised by Dr. Nancy Shackelford and his research focuses on investigating ways to implement erosion control measures along hydroelectric reservoir drawdown zones through revegetation and improved soil stability. His research is in partnership with Tsay Keh Dene Nation, Chu Cho Industries, Chu Cho Environmental, and BC Hydro, and focuses on the Williston Reservoir, located in northern BC.  

Read Micah's acknowledgment letter

The previous recipients are: 

  • 2009 - Tarek Hamade, McGill University
  • 2009 - Kaley Crawford-Flett, University of British Columbia
  • 2010 - Bryan Tatone, University of Toronto
  • 2011 - Maryam Kalantarnia, McGill University
  • 2012 - Jennifer Nafziger, University of Alberta
  • 2013 - Carl Bernier, Université de Sherbrooke
  • 2014 - Marie-Eve Jean, University of Alberta
  • 2015 - Vincent Castonguay, Université Laval
  • 2016 - Elena Zabolotnii, University of Alberta
  • 2017 - Neeltje Slingerland, University of Alberta
  • 2018 - Haley Schafer, University of Alberta
  • 2019 - Lamine Boumaiza, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi 
  • 2020 - Mayari Bernard-Garcia, École Polytechnique de Montréal (CDA Bulletin - Fall 2020)
  • 2021 - Vinoth Ganapathiraman, University of British Columbia (CDA Bulletin - Fall 2021)
  • 2022 - Nahyan Rana, University of Waterloo

The previous recipients are: 

  • 2013 - Ryan Rasmussen, University of British Columbia
  • 2014 - Marta Lopez-Egea, University of Ottawa
  • 2015 - Kevin Sagan, University of Manitoba
  • 2016 - Sylvain Renaud, École Polytechnique de Montréal
  • 2017 - Brittany Dixon, University of New Brunswick
  • 2018 - Fatoumata Maiga, University of Ottawa
  • 2019 - Nicole Winstanley, University of Alberta
  • 2020 - Elijah Edie, University of Manitoba (CDA Bulletin - Fall 2020) - Laura Luna, Dalhousie University - Ali Fallah Yeznabad, Western University
  • 2021 - this scholarship was not awarded
  • 2022 - Micah May, University of Victoria 

CDA Scholarship Application

Who was Gary Salmon, P.Eng?

The “CDA Gary Salmon Memorial Scholarship” is dedicated to the memory of Gary Salmon, P. Eng. who passed away on October 17, 2007.

Gary devoted his professional life to promoting and improving the practice of dam safety.  Amongst his many professional achievements Gary was one of the founders of the Canadian Dam Safety Association (now the Canadian Dam Association - CDA), and served as President of the association from 1993 to 1995.  He was one of the principal authors of the Canadian Dam Safety Guidelines, and represented Canada on the Dam Safety Committee of the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD). Gary pioneered risk-based management of dams.  He first presented risk criteria as a tool for dam safety evaluation in 1993 at the ICOLD dam safety workshop in Grindlewald, Switzerland. Much of the progression of the risk-based evaluation of dam safety from a concept to usable tool for decision making is attributed to Gary. His legacy in this field will endure for decades to come.
In 1965, after working eight years in California, Gary joined B.C. Hydro. During his 32-year tenure with B.C. Hydro he held several positions with progressively increasing responsibilities. He was in charge of the structural design of the Revelstoke Project, Manager of the Development Department, and a member of the Canadian Joint Venture studying the feasibility of the Three Gorges Project on the Yangtze River in China as Manager of Design.  Nine years before his retirement he held the position of Chief Engineer and Director of Dam Safety, where he was responsible for the development and implementation of the dam safety program that established B.C. Hydro as one of the world’s leading centers for dam safety.

After his retirement from B.C. Hydro in 1998 he worked as an international consultant and as Technology Coordinator for the CEATI Dam Safety Interest Group (DSIG), a user-driven research group. Under his leadership the group grew from six national organizations to twenty-four organizations from around the globe. Guided by Gary’s vision, practical approach and willingness to consider new ideas, the DSIG pursued a number of practical R&D projects that yielded significant contributions to dam safety process, evaluation, and techniques, including the publication of Risk and Uncertainty in Dam Safety, a handbook for practical decision making based on risk assessment.

Gary was the recipient of the CDSA "Inge Anderson Award" for his contribution to the advancement of Dam Safety, the "Meritorious Achievement Award" from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, and was made a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada.


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