Al Preston, Ph.D., P.E. (California) is leading Geosyntec's participation in an international research project to evaluate models of internal erosion failure of earthen embankment dams.Al is a Senior Engineer based in California with more than 20 years of experience in developing and applying numerical models in hydraulics, hydrology, hydrodynamics, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD).
He attended the inaugural workshop in Stillwater, Oklahoma on October 15 and 16, 2019. The workshop was held at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Hydraulic Engineering Research Unit (HERU) where pioneering work on internal erosion of embankment dams led to the development of the WinDAM computational model that is capable of modeling embankment dam failure due to overtopping, erosion, and internal erosion or "piping."
Workshop participants included leaders in model development, including researchers from USDA, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Électricité de France (EDF), HR Wallingford from the U.K., and academia. The workshop developed a framework to evaluate a range of internal erosion models through systematic comparisons to laboratory research and case studies as part of an international and collaborative research project. Outcomes of the project will be recommendations as to the applicability of different models, or components of different models, that can readily be used to assist dam owners in quantitatively assessing risks and consequences of earthen embankment dam failure.
The Agricultural Research Service is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency.
About Agricultural Research Service (ARS): https://www.ars.usda.gov/about-ars/
Learn more about Al: https://www.geosyntec.com/people/al-preston