Catrin Bryan
McMillen Corp.

Dixie Curtis

Zahra Zahmatkesh
KGS Group

Christopher Steinmetz
Grant County PUD



Description: There are big dam safety changes taking place in North America as we update potential risks due to flood, seismic, debris loading, and changes in the climate. The panel includes two speakers, one presenting a case study of a completed Part 12 and STID update under the new guidelines, and a second speaker from the FERC providing an update on their assessment of the new program.

Who Should Attend: All owners who have FERC-licensed facilities. All consultants who work on FERC-licensed facilities.

Why you Should Attend: Implementation of the new FERC dam safety guidelines impacts not only dam safety but resource allocations, priorities, budgets, project operations, and economics.

Catrin Bryan, Principal Engineer Dam Safety, McMillen Corp.


  • Dixie Curtis, Structural Engineer- Generation, FortisBC
  • Zahra Zahmatkesh, Water Resources Engineer KGS Group
  • Christopher Steinmetz, Dam Safety Engineer, Grant County PUD



Panelists Bios:

  • Catrin Bryan has over 33 years of management and engineering experience and has extensive power facility management and dam safety expertise. She is a contributing author for dam monitoring and inspection guidance, teaches dam safety workshops, and acts as the Chief Dam Safety Engineer (CDSE) for several utilities.  She served as President of the Canadian Dam Association and is serving a second term on the Northwest Hydro Association Board. She has completed over 40 dam safety reviews or Part12s; and as a utility manager, she led a multi-million-dollar operations and capital program and was responsible for managing all aspects of hydro plant generation including capital improvements and O&M, long-term planning, FERC license article implementation, and working with staff, the public, and elected Boards.
  • Dixie Curtis is a structural engineer with Wood on behalf of FortisBC in the southern interior of British Columbia. Dixie graduated from McMaster University in civil engineering, worked for many years in heavy industry as a structural designer, then moved to the hydro industry to work on dam safety and structural upgrade projects. She enjoys structural asset management and long-term planning, hence running projects to increase the lifespan of hydro facilities.
  • Zahra Zahmatkesh is a water resources engineer with KGS Group based in Bellevue, Washington.  Zahra completed her post-doctoral at McMaster University in 2018, researching on flood resilience and mapping. After that, she joined the hydro industry, working on hydrology, hydraulics and dam safety projects.
  • Chris has 8 years of experience as a Civil Engineer with 5 years’ experience in Dam Safety Engineering. He has B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from University of Idaho. He is currently a Dam Safety Engineer for Grant County Public Utility District located in central Washington state. His responsibilities include dam safety surveillance and monitoring data review, review and evaluation of engineering and risk analyses, management of mitigation and improvement projects, and coordination with the FERC Division of Dam Safety and Inspections.