Dr. Violeta Martin of Knight Piésold Canada Delivers the 20th Geological Engineering Distinguished Lecture on Mining Dam Safety
Dr. Violeta Martin of Knight Piésold Canada Delivers the 20th Geological Engineering Distinguished Lecture on Mining Dam Safety

Dr. Violeta Martin of Knight Piésold Canada Delivers the 20th Geological Engineering Distinguished Lecture on Mining Dam Safety

April 5, 2024, Vancouver, BC, CanadaDr. Violeta Martin, Specialist Hydrotechnical Engineer at Knight Piésold Canada, was invited to deliver the 20th Geological Engineering Distinguished Lecture. Held on April 3, 2024, at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, British Columbia, the lecture was hosted by Dr. Erik Eberhardt, Director of UBC Geological Engineering, and was attended by students, faculty members, and industry professionals.  

Now in its 20th year, the lecture is organized annually by UBC Geological Engineering, together with the Vancouver Geotechnical Society, featuring long-time contributors and well-respected members of the geological and geotechnical communities in Vancouver, across Canada, and abroad.

With mining dam safety being increasingly scrutinized in the wake of recent catastrophic events, Dr. Martin gave a talk titled “Why Dam Failures Happen and What Can We Do About It?” It focused on hazards associated with, and specific considerations related to, mining dams, including failure modes and mechanisms and recent advancements in evaluating the consequences of potential failures.

“Understanding the consequences is critical because every life matters, the damage to the environment matters, and the loss of cultural and economic values matters,” said Dr. Martin. “This knowledge can lead to design improvements, further advancements in risk mitigation, and safe dam decommissioning.”

With over 30 years of consulting and teaching experience, Dr. Martin has extensive experience in dam breach analysis for both water retaining and tailings dams. She is a co-chair of the Tailings Dam Breach Working Group of the Mining Dams Committee of the Canadian Dam Association (CDA), a member of the CDA Dam Safety Committee, and an observer member of the Committee on Tailings Dams and Waste Lagoons of the International Commission on Large Dams. She is also an adjunct professor at UBC Civil Engineering.

“From serving in industry organizations to giving talks like this lecture series, we are incredibly proud of Violeta for being a leading voice in the dam engineering community,” said Ken Embree, President of Knight Piésold Canada. “She continues to champion advancements in dam breach analysis, strengthening Knight Piésold’s position at the forefront of dam safety and emergency planning.”

Embree added, “Her recognition as a distinguished lecturer is a well-deserved accomplishment, serving as an inspiration to our team and most especially to our up-and-coming young engineers.”

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