• 08 Apr 2019
    • 7:00 AM (CDT)
    • 11 Apr 2019
    • 6:00 PM (CDT)
    • Chicago, Illinois -- Hilton Chicago Hotel

    Second City – Second Chances: Stories of Rehabilitation, Modification, and Revitalization

    April 8-11 -- Chicago Hilton

    Local Host:
    Federal Energy Regulatory

    Conference Program Coming Soon

    Check back often for conference updates!
    Preliminary program here

    Dams and levees continue to provide essential public benefits including flood control, water supply, renewable energy, recreation, navigation, and habitat and environmental enhancement.  The need to maintain and improve our aging infrastructure has been well publicized, making it important to also share the great success stories of restoration and upgrades for dams and levees.

    The “Second City” of Chicago is the site for the 2019 USSD Annual Conference.  The conference theme echoes Chicago’s history of rebuilding and modernization to adapt to changing public needs.  Rehabilitation, modification, and revitalization of dams and levees give new life to these existing structures through increased public safety and new or enhanced benefits. Papers and presentations addressing the conference theme and other technical topics remind ourselves and the greater community of the value of, and need for, dams and levees in society.
    Conference Topics
    • Conference Theme: Second City, Second Chances: Stories of Rehabilitation, Modification, and Revitalization 
    • Advocacy and Public Awareness
    • Concrete Dams
    • Construction and Rehabilitation
    • Dam Safety
    • Earthquakes
    • Embankment Dams
    • Environment and Sustainability/Dam Decommissioning
    • Foundations
    • Hydraulics and Hydrology
    • Levees
    • Monitoring of Dams and their Foundations
    • Public Safety, Security and Emergency Management for Dams 
    The conference and exhibition will include a legacy presentation, USSD committee meetings, and plenary  and concurrent technical sessions. Events throughout the week will offer plenty of networking opportunities. 

    Legacy Lecture Series

    On Monday, April 8th, Dr. Donald Bruce, President of Geosystems, L.P. will be the  speaker for this continuing series designed to provide an opportunity for esteemed professionals to discuss projects, people, thoughts, and paradigm shifts that led to their advancements. View description of Legacy Lecture here


    Several workshops developed by the USSD Technical Committees are scheduled for Thursday, April 11th and are included with your full conference registration 

    Field Tours

    The $3.6-billion Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) Project in Chicago is a mega project, one of the largest civil engineering projects ever undertaken in terms of scope, cost and time frame.

    There will be two 1/2-day options available at an additional cost of $50.

    View tour details here.

    Conference Closing Party

    The conference closing party will take  place at the indoor 1-acre botanical garden at historic Navy Pier. Event ticket is included with all full conference and guest registration fees.

    Exhibitor Booths Available                                                           

    The Exhibit Hall promises to be a hub of excitement and activity in 2019.  Almost 50% of booths were pre-sold in Miami, so don't miss out on your chance to be part of the action!

    Already have your booth in Chicago? Download the Freeman Exhibitor Kit

    Booths sell out every year; don't miss out on yours! Purchase here

    Download the Exhibitor and Sponsorship Prospectus

    Conference Sponsorships Available

    Expand your marketing efforts and increase your ROI by supporting USSD through an exclusive sponsorship. Join companies like HDR and Phillips & Jordan!



    Download the Exhibitor and Sponsorship Prospectus for detailed information.

    5k FUNds Run

    Run, walk, or be a virtual runner and sleep in. The 5th Annual 5k FUNds Run will take place in Grant Park on Wednesday, April 10th. Net proceeds benefit the USSD Scholarship Program. Registration is separate from the conference registration and will open on Nov. 14th. Race registration is $40 until March 27th; $50 after March 27th.

    Become a Partner in Education Donor and support the USSD Scholarship Program!  For $350, donors will get their logo on the 5k Race poster that will be displayed on the conference website, on the event mobile app, and at the conference. Partner in Education Donors also receive one race registration.

    Hotel Information and Registration

    The conference hotel is the Hilton Chicago with an additional room block at the nearby Congress Plaza Hotel.  Room blocks are filling up quickly, so don't delay. Information on both hotels here.

    Information for Confirmed Authors/Presenters

    Click here for important deadlines for authors and presenters

    Abstract submissions for the 2019 Conference are closed and no longer being accepted. All authors whose abstracts have been accepted have been notified. The call for abstracts for the 2020 Conference will open next summer.

    Cancellation Policy

    Conference attendee cancellations must be received by email in order to receive full refund prior to March 15, 2019. No refunds after March 15th, however substitutions are permitted.

    For More Information:

    Conference Planning Chair: Rachael Bisnett,  

    USSD Executive Director Sharon Powers:

    USSD general or conference information:  Tonia Bengtson, Member Services Coordinator:; 303-792-8753

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