Gary Salmon, P Eng.


The “CDA Gary Salmon Memorial Scholarship” is dedicated to the memory of Gary Salmon, P. Eng. who passed away on October 17, 2007.

Gary devoted his professional life to promoting and improving the practice of dam safety.  Amongst his many professional achievements Gary was one of the founders of the Canadian Dam Safety Association (now the Canadian Dam Association - CDA), and served as President of the association from 1993 to 1995.  He was one of the principal authors of the Canadian Dam Safety Guidelines, and represented Canada on the Dam Safety Committee of the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD).

Gary pioneered risk-based management of dams.  He first presented risk criteria as a tool for dam safety evaluation in 1993 at the ICOLD dam safety workshop in Grindlewald, Switzerland. Much of the progression of the risk-based evaluation of dam safety from a concept to usable tool for decision making is attributed to Gary. His legacy in this field will endure for decades to come.
In 1965, after working eight years in California, Gary joined B.C. Hydro. During his 32-year tenure with B.C. Hydro he held several positions with progressively increasing responsibilities. He was in charge of the structural design of the Revelstoke Project, Manager of the Development Department, and a member of the Canadian Joint Venture studying the feasibility of the Three Gorges Project on the Yangtze River in China as Manager of Design.  Nine years before his retirement he held the position of Chief Engineer and Director of Dam Safety, where he was responsible for the development and implementation of the dam safety program that established B.C. Hydro as one of the world’s leading centers for dam safety.

After his retirement from B.C. Hydro in 1998 he worked as an international consultant and as Technology Coordinator for the CEATI Dam Safety Interest Group (DSIG), a user-driven research group. Under his leadership the group grew from six national organizations to twenty-four organizations from around the globe. Guided by Gary’s vision, practical approach and willingness to consider new ideas, the DSIG pursued a number of practical R&D projects that yielded significant contributions to dam safety process, evaluation, and techniques, including the publication of Risk and Uncertainty in Dam Safety, a handbook for practical decision making based on risk assessment.

Gary was the recipient of the CDSA "Inge Anderson Award" for his contribution to the advancement of Dam Safety, the "Meritorious Achievement Award" from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, and was made a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada.