Derek Morley is a Senior Principal Engineer based in California with more than 25 years of experience in geo-civil engineering and engineering management for dams, levees, and other water and power facilities.
Derek has provided clients program and project management, technical leadership, specialty expertise, and senior oversight for dam and levee evaluations, inspections, feasibility studies, design, and construction. His experience includes risk assessment, issue evaluation, risk-informed decision making (RIDM), and all phases of dam/levee safety modification projects.
For seven years at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Derek provided leadership for the USACE Dam Safety Program as the Geosciences Branch Chief in the regional Dam Safety Production Center. Derek led the development of the regional program, conducted project planning, and served in key technical and management roles for dam safety planning and modification projects.
Derek's clients benefit from his management and technical leadership for their complex and impactful projects, including some of USACE's highest risk dams, as well as the largest levee design project in California and the first truly risk-informed design project for a major dam in the West. For the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR)'s Folsom Dam, Derek was the Lead Engineer for design of the raise of the Folsom Dam facilities, including modifying the main dam spillway Tainter gates and piers, crest raises for the 11 earth dams comprising the facility, and developing a new emergency spillway release diagram. Derek also developed and implemented new methodology to incorporate dam safety risk into design development, coordinating extensively with USBR and the California Division of Safety of Dams.
Specializing in the incorporation of dam and levee safety principles into infrastructure projects, Derek leverages his experience with USACE risk assessment, risk-informed decision-making, and risk-informed design. He provides this expertise to projects he leads and for others in a senior advisory role, such as for the California Department of Water Resources during the Oroville Dam spillway incident. Derek regularly publishes papers and presents at conferences, especially on emerging topics that advance the state of the practice.