Featured Sessions

Sunday, October 16 

A Special Thank You
to our Session Sponsor


Speed Networking

Bannerman Ballroom – St. John’s Convention Centre
4:30 – 6:30 PM

What a better way to kick off the conference – speed networking.  Attendees will have 3-4 minutes to meet each other then rotate! Be sure to attend this fast paced event where you’ll walk away with new contacts and maybe even new business.  Tip: Once you’ve met people, find them on Mobile App to connect even further!


Monday, October 17

speaker picKeynote Speaker

From Mobilizing Muskrat Falls to Modernizing Provincial Assets: Hydroelectricity is the Foundation to Meeting Demand for Green Energy. 

With a duty to respond to a global climate crisis, with aging infrastructure powering many communities, with growing demand for green energy and electrification—utility planners have much to consider, and balance, as we make the right decisions about our energy future in our jurisdiction, as well as with our neighbours both near and far. Dams, old and new, continue to be the foundation for the supply of renewable energy in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Commissioned in fall 2021, the Muskrat Hydroelectric Generating facility joins NL Hydro’s existing hydro assets in delivering renewable energy to our customers. Hydroelectric generation developed throughout our province is well on the way to delivering 98% of our domestic load in Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition, we deliver more than 29 terrawatt hours to Quebec's customers from the 5,428 MW Churchill Falls plant in Labrador, and we have recently started serving our neighbours in Nova Scotia with hydroelectricity from Labrador. And, there are thousands more megawatts of hydroelectricity possible to develop in our beautiful province.
NL Hydro, is among the leaders in Canada regarding hydroelectric generation. As NL Hydro forges ahead, we do so with some difficult decisions in the rearview mirror and we bring those lessons learned forward to support evidence based decision making. Ms. Jennifer Williams, President and CEO,  will share her thoughts on the continued and evolving role of hydroelectric dams within the energy mix, including the challenges and opportunities with delivering on large scale developments, as well as the role that our tried and true assets play in a modern energy system. Finally, Ms. Williams will share her enthusiasm for what lies ahead for the industry, and how hydroelectricity has become the foundation of our renewable system with unmatched potential for addressing unprecedented growth and demand for clean energy in Newfoundland and Labrador and beyond.

Jennifer Williams
President & CEO, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro

Jennifer was appointed CEO in June 2021, having served as President of Hydro since February 2019.  Jennifer had served as Hydro’s Vice President, Production, since August 2016 and held earlier positions including General Manager, Hydro Production, as well as Manager, Regulatory Engineering. Jennifer joined our team in 2014, having previously worked with both Newfoundland Power and the St. John’s International Airport Authority. A Memorial University graduate, Jennifer has a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and is a member and former member of the Board of Directors of the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador (PEGNL). Jennifer was awarded the Fellow of Engineers Canada in 2016 and was elected as a Fellow to the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2020.


Wednesday, October 19

Climate Change - Adaptation for Dams 

Climate change is, to a large extent, water change. Changes to the hydrologic cycle are the primary way that the impacts of climate change are manifest. Changes to precipitation patterns such as shifts in seasons, shorter winters, and less snowpack alter the timing and quantity of the spring freshet and alter the dynamics of glacier fed rivers. This, along with more frequent intense precipitation events, impacts the potential for flooding, water storage, and reservoir operations, and has implications for dam design and safety, especially for aging dams that were designed under the assumption of a stationary climate. The fact that the past can’t be used as a reliable predictor of design and operational parameters for the future creates the need to use climate change projections for these purposes.  While evidence for the impacts of climate change on freshwater is clear, there are gaps in our understanding and uncertainty in relevant water parameters that create challenges for informing practice and site-specific adaptation to climate change.  What types of impacts are expected related to dam safety and design? What are the key climate parameters necessary for adapting existing dams to potential changes in flow regimes?  Which are most important for dam safety considerations and the design of new dams?  This talk will attempt to answer these questions and provide guidance on the necessary steps required to properly consider potential climate change on dams.

Climate change in Canada is expected to bring hotter, wetter, and wilder weather, which could impact dams across the country. In the dam industry, existing dam safety and operations guidelines and regulations do not specifically address how to adapt dams to climate change in Canada. Therefore, the impact it may have on dams, the need to act, and the path forward to address climate changes to dams is not yet well understood. CSA Group initiated a research project, conducted by WSP Canada, to better understand this issue. The study included a literature review, stakeholder interviews, and a workshop, and resulted in a research paper, reviewed by an industry advisory panel, which summarizes the findings of the research and the next steps CSA Group is taking to address climate adaptation for dams. This study found that the inconsistency in the consideration of climate risk and the potential vulnerabilities identified for dams in Canada presents a need for guidance on the steps to take towards adaptation. Stakeholders were interested in having processes and best practices for climate change adaptation outlined, but there were some identified barriers. These included limitations in the availability and interpretation of climate data and limited industry experience in applying this data to assess impacts and adaptation actions for a site or watershed.  The following actions were provided as a road map towards climate adaptation to address current barriers and seize opportunities for industry alignment:

  1. Assess and address climate change data needs for dams through research and collaboration. 
  2. Establish best practices and prepare a guidance document for conducting climate change vulnerability and risk assessments for dams. 
  3. Establish best practices for climate and non-climate related risk-based decision-making for dams.
  4. Create a process that can be used to guide adaptation decision-making through consultation with stakeholders and researchers who have worked on climate adaptation specific to dams.
  5. Conduct further research on the climate change related impacts to small dams and prepare a guidance document with climate adaptation considerations specific to small or lower consequence dams. This study concluded that climate adaptation best practices compiled in a standard or guideline would be valuable for Canadian dam owners and practitioners as it could provide knowledge of unknown risks and tools for appropriate adaptation to climate change.
Climate Change Panel Session
Moderater: Violeta Martin
Joseph A. Daraio, Ph.D. P.Eng.
Associate Professor, Deputy Head, Memorial University

Joe’s primary interests lie in the potential impacts of climate change on storm water infrastructure and interdisciplinary research that links hydrology, hydraulics and ecology. Prior to joining Memorial, he was an assistant professor of water resources engineering at Rowan University in New Jersey (2012-2015) where he worked on the potential impacts of climate change on local water resources.
Joe has also published work on climate change impacts using hydrologic simulations to assess potential response of stream flow, storm water related infrastructure, and is developing new methods with which to incorporate climate change uncertainty into infrastructure design. He is working with the Government of NL on a Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) funded project to build adaptive capacity through technical training of professional engineers in this area. The NRCan project provides a direct means of knowledge transfer of results from research to practise which has been done through a series of workshops held in St. John’s on Building Climate Resilience.


Lisa MacTavish, M.Eng., P.Eng.

Lisa MacTavish is an Advisor in Climate Risk and Resilience for WSP Canada in Toronto.  She combines her collaboration skills with a technical background in Structural Engineering to work with stakeholders and experts in understanding climate change risks to communities and organizations and to provide resilient solutions. She has over seven years of experience providing technical advice and services to her clients in the hydropower and dams, public infrastructure, mining, and real estate industries. Lisa has performed resilience and vulnerability assessments on both the portfolio scale and site-level for dams, communities, residential, industrial and commercial real estate, and rail, air and naval operations. She has experience facilitating conversations with diverse stakeholders and disseminating complex technical information in reporting and workshop settings. Lisa also has experience in project management, structural design of steel and concrete structures, condition assessments of hydropower, wind and mining infrastructure, dam safety assessments and compliance, technical report writing and presentation delivery. She strives to apply her skills to design and adapt policy, infrastructure and operations to create a more resilient future. 


Ivica Karas, M.A.Sc.,
Strategic Initiatives Manager, Construction and Infrastructure Standards, CSA Group

Ivica Karas is a Strategic Initiatives Manager for Construction and Infrastructure Standards within CSA Group’s Standards Division. He has worked with CSA Group since 2018, mostly on climate change adaptation and construction materials standards. Ivica has over 14 years of project management and policy development experience, which he gained while working for the CSA Group, European Commission and the European Cement Industry Association.

Ivica is passionate about developing collaborative solutions with diverse stakeholders in challenging topics. He has successfully facilitated the development of standards, research projects, and regulations at international level in diverse and sensitive subject areas, including environment and climate change adaptation, and research and innovation in agriculture. His role has included engagement with governmental, industrial, academic and civil society stakeholders.

Ivica holds a Master of Science in Public Policy from the University of Brussels (Belgium) and a Bachelor and Master of Science in Business Administration from the University of Bologna (Italy).


bio pic
Christophe Rigny
Vice-President, Practice Lead, Waterpower & Dams - SNC-Lavalin Inc




bio picMike Noseworthy, P.Geo., P.L.Eng.
A/Head, Dam Safety Section, Ministry of Forests, British Columbia

Mike Noseworthy, P.Geo., P.L.Eng. has been employed with the BC provincial government for the last 15 years, working as a regulator for freshwater dams.  Mr. Noseworthy is currently the Head of the BC provincial Dam Safety Section.

He has been actively involved with the CDA, participating on both the Dam Safety Review and Design and Construction working groups, participated on organizing committee for the Kelowna 2017 CDA Conference & Exhibition, and was the BC Director on the Board of Executives in 2019/2020

Mike has been a member of the Review Task Force for Engineers & Geoscientists BC professional practice guidelines on "Legislated Dam Safety Reviews in BC" and "Site Characterization of for Dam Foundations in BC".