April 5, 2024

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Onur Tastan Presents on Dam Safety at ASDSO Southeast Regional Conference

Onur Tastan, PhD, PE (North Carolina), will present “Data-Driven Mitigation Strategies for Dam Safety, Emergency Preparedness, and Asset Management” at the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) Southeast Regional Conference at the Knoxville Convention Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, at 3:30 pm EDT on Tuesday, April 9, 2024.

Also in attendance from Geosyntec will be John Barrett, Stephanie Owens, and Missy Setz. Geosyntec is a sponsor if this year’s event.

Onur Tastan is a Principal Geotechnical Engineer based in North Carolina with more than 13 years of experience focused on geotechnical and geostructural engineering, including field investigation, analysis, design, and construction support. Onur supports clients with a diverse mix of projects including dams and levees, nuclear power plants, water treatment plants, bridges, landfills, and flood control structures.

The ASDSO Southeast Regional Conference gathers dam and levee safety professionals from across the US Southeast to network, learn from industry leaders, and share their knowledge with others in the community. ASDSO works to improve the condition and safety of dams and lower the risk of dam failures through education and support for state dam safety programs, as well as by fostering a unified dam-safety community.


Data-driven decision-making is essential for both regulators involved in emergency management and dam owners focused on asset management. The effectiveness of emergency preparedness for dams facing natural disasters is improved with a practical approach that merges thorough inspections with strong quantitative assessments within a risk assessment database. For smaller dams, this method involves building and maintaining a detailed database that includes each dam. Within this database, standardized inspection forms equipped with a scoring system for typical failure modes are crucial, enabling quick detection and prioritization of potential hazards. For larger dams, this practical strategy is broadened to include a quantitative analysis of each dam's specific components. This type of assessment is vital not just for regular monitoring of the dam's condition, but also for determining an overall risk profile and breaking down the risk into major contributors. Linking this specific data with historical instances of dam failures creates a substantial pool of information, which aids in making informed decisions for those managing the dams and for regulators. This integrated database system thus becomes a key resource in managing dam emergencies, facilitating preventative measures and quick action plans in response to natural disasters, as well as assisting large dam owners in forming risk-informed asset management plans. Utilizing the data collected from standardized and quantitative assessments, alongside historical failure patterns, allows dam authorities or owners to make smart, prompt decisions to reduce risks and protect downstream communities.

More Information

About the event: Southeast Regional Conference | Association of State Dam Safety
About ASDSO: Association of State Dam Safety
Learn more about Onur Tastan: E. Onur Tastan (geosyntec.com)
For consultation regarding dam safety, contact Onur Tastan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Joe Goldstein at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Learn more about John Barrett: John Barrett (geosyntec.com)
Learn more about Stephanie Owen: Stephanie Owen (geosyntec.com)
Learn more about Missy Setz: Melissa Setz (geosyntec.com)