• Home
  • 2018 USSD Conference and Exhibition

2018 USSD Conference and Exhibition

  • 30 Apr 2018
  • 7:00 AM
  • 04 May 2018
  • 5:00 PM
  • Hyatt Regency Miami, 400 SE Second Avenue, Miami FL

For the first time, USSD will hold its annual meeting in the state of Florida. The Theme of the 38th Annual Conference, A Balancing Act: Dams, Levees and Ecosystems, reflects the importance of environmentally sustainable water projects within diverse and sometimes fragile ecosystems.

The Host for the 2018 Conference and Exhibition is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District.

Call for Papers

Abstracts are now being invited in response to the Call for Papers.  To submit an abstract, you must first set up an account with Catalyst, the tool we'll be using to manage abstracts and paper submissions, and reviews.  Catalyst Instructions.

Abstract submission

The deadline to submit an abstract is August 21.


The 2018 USSD Conference Theme is A Balancing Act: Dams, Levees and Ecosystems.  Dams and levees have, and continue to provide significant benefits to society.  These benefits include flood control, water supply, irrigation, renewable energy, navigation, recreation, and habitat and environmental enhancement.  Many of our existing dams and levees are poised to provide additional benefits and solutions to some of our nation’s future infrastructure, environmental, social, and economic challenges. 

For the first time, the USSD annual conference will be held in Florida. The  theme represents some of the unique challenges that coastal environments and delicate ecosystems face,  which requires balancing the purposes of dams and levees with environmental, social and economic interests.

Herbert Hoover Dike

USSD continues to recognize, discuss and communicate the beneficial and adverse impacts of these  important facilities. USSD and its members continually work to identify and advance solutions that minimize impacts and maximize the benefits of dams and levees in their environment, working toward structural, economic and environmental sustainability.  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 to society while increasing awareness of how these structures contribute to environmental sustainability.

Who Should Participate

USSD and ICOLD Members as well as all professionals involved in dams, levees, and water resource engineering are invited to submit abstracts. Abstract submissions must be for proposed papers and/or presentations that are original and have not been published or accepted in a journal or conference proceedings, nor presented at another conference. Submissions must not be concurrently under consideration for publication or presentation elsewhere.

Authors are invited to submit abstracts describing research or experience relating to the Conference Theme, or corresponding to topics addressed by USSD Technical Committees, as shown below.

While not required, all presenters are strongly encouraged to prepare a paper, which will be included in the electronic Conference Proceedings. The Planning Committee will favor acceptance of abstracts from authors who indicate that they will prepare a paper.  Abstracts will be selected by members of the Conference Planning Committee based on scientific/engineering merit, relevance, and overall quality. Due to time and space constraints, it is possible that not all submissions will be selected for the Conference.  Abstracts will be accepted for presentation as follows:

  • 15 to 20-minute oral presentation
  • 5 to 10-minute oral lightning round presentation

Following acceptance, authors will submit a draft paper for peer review. Following this review, authors will prepare final papers.

All authors and presenters are expected to attend the Conference and pay the discounted registration fee for authors and presenters. Those who do not return the commitment form and register by the deadlines will not be included in the final program.

Young Professionals (under age 35) are encouraged to submit abstracts, and will receive a reduced conference registration fee.  Planning Committee members and session moderators are prepared to offer advice and support throughout the process, from submitting your abstract, to preparing the draft paper, to finalizing your presentation.

Conference Theme Topics

  • Upstream siltation and its impact on the ecosystem
  • Dams and levees role with respect to rising sea water levels, water quality, and as sediment traps
  • Impact of dams and levees on wetlands
  • Lessons learned from tailings dam and coal combustion impoundment failures
  • Managing  fish migration — are there proven ways that work and are there effective non-structural measures?
  • Dam and levee safety inspections and construction with respect to wildlife
  • Dam and reservoir water management practices for improved environmental and wildlife conditions
  • Shoreline management and recreation at water projects – balancing the social aspects and benefits with costs and safety.
  • Using levee stormwater treatment areas (STAs) for improved water quality to ecosystems
  • Hurricane effects on dam and levee systems in south Florida
  • Lessons learned in levee flood fighting
  • Water project infrastructure practices that contribute to increasing economic, social, and environmental sustainability

Other Technical Topics

  • Concrete Dams
  • Construction and Rehabilitation
  • Dam Safety
  • Dam Decommissioning
  • Earthquakes
  • Embankment Dams
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Foundations
  • Hydraulics of Dams
  • Levees
  • Monitoring of Dams and their Foundations
  • Public Awareness
  • Public Safety and Security for Dams
  • Tailings Dams

Conference Schedule

 Abstracts Due  August 21, 2017
 Notify Authors
 September 15, 2017
 Drafts Due
 November 1, 2017
 Review Comments
 January 15, 2018
 Final Papers Due
 March 1, 2018
 Conference  April 30-May 4, 2018

   Herbert Hoover Dike

Conference Information

Activities will begin on Monday, April 30, with USSD Committee Meetings. The Conference Opening Plenary Session at 5 pm will be followed by the Kick-off Reception and Exhibition Opening.  Tuesday morning will feature a Plenary Session, with concurrent technical sessions taking place on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday. 

Thursday and Friday will provide additional opportunities for learning, with field tours and workshops. Meals and social events throughout the week will offer plenty of networking opportunities.

Exhibition and Sponsorships

An Exhibition will be held for organizations wishing to showcase their products and services to a wide range of professionals involved in dams, levees and water resources. 

Event and product sponsorships throughout the Conference will offer additional marketing opportunities. 

Exhibitor reservations and the sponsorship program will be available this fall.

Field Tours

A half-day tour on Thursday afternoon will visit the Tamiami Trail, part of the Florida Everglades restoration project.

The day-long Friday tour will feature the Herbert Hoover Dike, a 143-mile-long earthen dam that surrounds Lake Okeechobee, the heart of the Everglades system.  Various construction projects designed to reduce the risk of catastrophic failure of the aging structure are ongoing.

                                               Tamiami Trail Bridge


Several concurrent workshops, organized by USSD Technical Committees, will be held on Thursday and/or Friday. USSD Technical Committees are invited to submit workshop proposals to the planning committee by August 14.

Hotel Reservations

All Conference activities will take place in the downtown Miami Hyatt Regency and the connected Miami Convention Center. Overlooking the Miami River, the Hyatt Regency Miami is a landmark hotel with easy access to popular attractions, like Brickell City Center, Wynwood Art District, Coral Gables, Port of Miami, and the Latin flavor of Little Havana.  Here is the link to make room reservations. The special conference rate is $209.00. A limited number of rooms are available at the government per diem rate of $156.00

Conference Registration

Conference registration will open this fall.

United States Society on Dams
1616 Seventeenth Street #483 • Denver, CO 80202 - USA

Copyright © 2016 USSD

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software