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jan 2023

jan 2023


A holistic approach for improved safety of concrete dams

Dams are large structures, often made out of concrete, a heterogenous material, and are built on a natural foundation of significant variation from dam to dam. There are standards and guidelines for risk evaluation at the design and assessment phase of dams but there is a need to develop these methods to improve evaluation of already existing structures. With todays measures evaluation of existing structures often lead to overly conservative results. Therefore, this project will aim to provide dam engineers with a better understanding of the risk of concrete dam failure in already existing structures.

Today, technological advances allow us to use more refined calculation methods which are normally not utilised in the design or assessment stage of dams. In this project a procedure will be developed that utilises these technological advances in a cost-effective way to strenghten the competence in this field. In this project the following research topics will be investigated:

  • The effect of different load cases on the overall probability of failure
  • The effect of joints in the rock mass
  • The effect of degradation of the concrete
  • The most dominant and important failure mode for each dam type


Gabriel Sas