Dams are often synonymous with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Responsible for more than 740 dams across the nation, USACE and its Dam Safety Program is responsible ensuring these structures provide many significant benefits to the nation while also reducing risks to people, property, and the environment.
Central to this effort in the Southwestern Division are the engineers working for the Dam Safety Production Center. A centralized resource for Civil, Geotechnical, Hydraulics, Hydrology, Construction and Cost Engineering, the DSPC are responsible for a host of vital efforts that reduce risk and ensure dam safety including:
- Dam Safety Modification Studies
- Dam Risk Assessments
- Modification Design, Plans, and Specifications
- Engineering Support During Modification Construction
The DSPC is responsible for dams throughout the Southwestern Division but also provide technical assistance and engineering expertise to projects on a worldwide basis. The dams they support are responsible for reducing more than $95 billion a year in direct damages. Yet as important as these structures are, many of them are more than 50 years old.
Constructed during the "big dam era" that began in the 1930s and lasting for over 30 years, many of these dams were originally constructed to provide multiple benefits including flood risk mitigation, navigation, hydropower, water supply, and recreation. To keep these structures in service requires an ongoing commitment to review, inspect, and assess the integrity of dams in order to identify any changes over time. This ongoing effort ensures that the dam is performing as expected and allows USACE to determine how best to respond if an emergent issue
requires a dam to be modified or its operations changed.
Key to this mission are the technical experts necessary to keep the dams operating as safely and efficiently as possible. To this end, the DPSC needs high-quality engineers ready to take on the challenge of overseeing the operation, integrity, and risk management of these impressive civil works.
If you're interested in learning more about the USACE Dam Safety Program or the history of dams in the United States we recommend you check out the linked resources. If you're a highly qualified engineer looking for an opportunity for excellent pay and benefits along with one of the most modern workforces in the federal sector, check out a full list of opportunities available in the Southwestern Division for Civil Engineers.