Short Courses

Short courses will be given on the side-lines of the ICOLD Congress in Marseille, inspired by those proposed by the Canadian Committee just before the Ottawa meeting in 2019.

The five course themes are based on the practices of the profession, described, for the most part, in publications of French COLD and the French community:

  1. Risk analysis for dams: French practice through Safety Review Risk Assessment
  2. Risk analysis for levee systems
  3. Analysis methods of dam survey data
  4. Justification of dams: French practice through the semi-probabilistic approach
  5. Stochastic methods for flood estimation

Course format and organisational aspects

  • Date: Friday, November 12, 2021.
  • Venue: Coffee breaks and lunch will take place indoors or outdoors depending on the weather conditions.
  • Duration: one day (6 hours + breaks), starting at 9:00 am and ending at 5:30 pm.
  • The number of trainees per course is limited to 30 to 40 to promote interaction.
  • Educational contents are adapted to an international audience (oral English language, bilingual powerpoint presentations). Basic principles of methods will be developed and applied to specific examples, possibly through group exercises around a PC.
  • Powerpoint presentations are provided in hard copy in the form of a binder, to facilitate note taking by trainees. A list of references is also provided.
  • Training certificates are handed out at the end of the session.

Course Programme

Course 1

Risk analysis for dams: French practice through Safety Review Risk Assessment

Coordination: Laurent Peyras (INRAE) and Guirec Prévot (PoNSOH)

Other speakers: Eric Vuillermet (BRL-i), Frédéric Laugier (EDF), Jean Charles Palacios (SAFEGE) and others to be identified

French regulations in 2007 made it mandatory to carry out risk analyses for large dams (classes A and B – around 650 dams) through the dam Safety Review Risk Assessment (SaRRA). At the heart of the risk prevention system, the SaRRA is an essential working basis for the development of dam risk management strategies. Carried out under the responsibility of the owner of the structure, it is aimed at identifying risks, quantifying their occurrence and consequences and demonstrating how the risks of major accidents associated with the dam and related structures are managed. SaRRAs are carried out by consulting agencies authorised by the State for their proven expertise. Finally, State's supervisory authority investigates them. SaRRAs required by French regulations explicitly refer to risk analysis and associated operational safety methods.

This course aims to present the French approach to dam risk analysis. It is illustrated throughout the lectures by several examples from dam SaRRA and includes the development of different risk analysis methodologies:

  • Introduction to Risk Analysis for Dams: French regulation, main concepts, definitions, examples, framework – 30 mn – Laurent Peyras (INRAE)
  • Functional Analysis applied to Dams – Risk Analysis Input Data and Data Collection – 60 mn – To be confirmed
  • Methods For Dam Failure Modes: Preliminary Risk Analysis (PRA), Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA),– 60 mn - To be confirmed
  • Tree based Methods to model scenarios of dam failure: Event Tree Analysis, Fault Tree Analysis, Bow Tie method– 60 mn - To be confirmed
  • Assessment of the Probabilities of Failures and Dam Reliability: quantitative probabilistic methods, semi-quantitative probabilistic methods – 60 mn – To be confirmed
  • Assessment of Consequences and Criticality: flood wave, issue assessment, assessment of exposed populations, criticality analysis – 60 mn – To be confirmed
  • Conclusions: Positive Impacts of Safety Review Risk Assessment in Dam Safety Management - – 30 mn - Guirec Prévot (PoNSOH) and To be confirmed (EDF)

Price: 300 € incl. VAT, including a bookbinder containing the course materials

Course 2

Risk analysis for levee systems

Coordination: Rémy Tourment, Bruno Beullac (INRAE)

Other speakers: Ben Gouldby / Jonathan Simm (HR Wallingford, UK), Thibaut Mallet (SYMADREM, F), Sébastien Patouillard (DREAL Centre, F) et Sylvain Palix (ANTEA, F)

French regulation requires that structures protecting populations against floods or sea storms be considered not individually, but within levee systems. It organizes the governance of the infrastructures in order to constituting a single manager per levee system.

Risk analysis is mandatory for these structures as soon as they are classified as levee systems. As for dams, it is framed by regulations on Hazard Studies enacted in 2007 and adapted in 2015.

Performed under the levee system manager's responsibility, SaRRA aims to identify the risks involved in relation of the system, quantifying their occurrence and their consequences and to demonstrate the relevance of their management, among others justifying the definition of the levee system, the protected area and their level of protection, these three elements must of course be consistent. Hazard studies are carried out by design offices authorized by the State for their proven expertise. State supervisory authority check their compliance.

This course presents the international approach to risk analysis of levee systems described in chapter 5 of "International Levee Handbook" and its French version through Hazard studies. Illustrated by several examples, it addresses the following aspects, largely developed in a guide published by INRAE in 2019 (guide in French, available as an option):

  • Introduction and general framework of the risk analysis of levee systems - Rémy Tourment (INRAE, F) - 60 mn
  • Functional analysis. Hydraulic functions of systems and subsystems and structural functions of levee components. Failure mode analysis: general principles and INRAE method - Bruno Beullac (INRAE, F) - 90 mn
  • National and regional flood risk analysis approaches in the United Kingdom - Ben Gouldby / Jonathan Simm (HR Wallingford, UK) - 60 mn
  • A practical application to Hazard Studies in France: the example of SYMADREM for the evaluation of the probabilities of levee failure and of the characteristic levels of the system (protection, safety and danger) - Thibaut Mallet (SYMADREM, F) - 60 min
  • Use of the results of the risk analysis applied to the Authion levee system: decision support (design and management) of flood protection system - Sébastien Patouillard (DREAL Center, F) and Sylvain Palix ( ANTEA, F) - 60 min
  • Conclusion - Risk analysis of flood protection systems: contributions, current practices and development needs. Decision making support integrating Cost-Benefit Analysis and Multi Criterion Analysis - Rémy Tourment - 30 min

Price: 300 € incl. VAT, including a bookbinder containing the course materials

Course 3

Analysis methods of dam survey data

Coordination: Alexandre Simon (EDF), Claudio Carvajal (INRAE)

Other speakers: Mathilde de Granrut (Artelia), Cyril Guidoux (Geophyconsult), to be completed…

This course offers training on analytical methods that make it possible to exploit all the wealth of information contained in the survey measurements, with the objective of achieving the most precise diagnosis of the dam's civil engineering and of its evolution.

The course is aimed at dam managers and operators responsible for risk assessment and management, as well as engineering firms that produce monitoring reports on behalf of dam managers and operators.

This course provides the theoretical and practical bases for analysing survey measurements with the help of tutorials that enable participants to apply learnings on real measurements. The trainers have recognized expertise in the field of analysis of survey measurements and the interpretation that can be made to provide an opinion on the behaviour of civil engineering structures.

Detailed program:

  • Introduction: objectives and interests of the analysis of survey measurements - A. Simon, C. Carvajal - 15 min
  • Classic survey measurement devices (measuring devices) –To be confirmed(supplier or design office) - 25 min
  • Examples of dam monitoring devices – To be confirmed - 20 min
  • Presentation and interpretation of raw measurements - C. Carvajal (INRAE) - 30 min
  • Statistical analysis of survey measurements - A. Simon (EDF) - 90 min
  • Tutorials in groups of three people on a PC: statistical analysis of survey measurements - A. Simon, C. Carvajal + Mathilde de Granrut (Artelia) - 1h30
  • Case studies: examples showing the interest of monitoring (detection of failure mechanisms, prevention of incidents or accidents, calibration of digital models, etc.) – To be confirmed - 45 min
  • An overview of technological and methodological developments – To be confirmed- 30 min
  • Review of the day - A. Simon, C. Carvajal - 15 min

Computer support: A Windows 10 laptop PC, with course materials, preinstalled  software and data will be made available for three participants.

Price: 372 € incl. VAT, including a bookbinder containing the course materials and computer support

Course 4

Justification of dams: French practice through the semi-probabilistic approach

Coordination: Guillaume Veylon (INRAE), Thomas Carlioz (DGPR)

Other speakers (to be confirmed): Matthieu Ferrière (CNR), Moez Jellouli (ISL), F. Andrian (Artélia), Emmanuel Robe (EDF), Justine Faure (ISL) & Eric Vuillermet (BRLi)

Faced with the observation of various practices in the justification of the structural safety of dams, both nationally and internationally, French COLD undertook to produce a common framework applicable to French hydraulic works. It results in the publication of a body of recommendations that apply to gravity dams (2012), embankment dams and levees (2015) and arch dams (2018).

Inspired by the semi-probabilistic approach of the Eurocodes, these recommendations successively examine design situations and actions on the structure, determination of characteristic values of resistance parameters, structural failure mechanisms and associated limit states, sets of partial coefficients and safety factors to justify stability.

Detailed program:

  • Framework of justifications. The justification of structures in the risk analysis of a hydraulic structure, different justification approaches (deterministic / probabilistic / semi-probabilistic), state of the art in France and in Europe, the semi-probabilistic approach - G. Veylon (INRAE) & Th. Carlioz (DGPR) - 30 min
  • Definition of actions and combinations of actions. General principles, special case of floods, special case of earthquakes - G. Veylon & Th. Carlioz - 60 min
  • Gravity dams, including a tutorial on the justification of a gravity dam using the free CADAM software - Matthieu Ferrière (CNR, to be confirmed) & Moez Jellouli (ISL, to be confirmed) - 90 min
  • Arch dams. Build on the presentation on an example of a case study. Develop all the justifications (CFBR recommendations) with particular focus on the construction of the model - Xavier Molin (Tractebel, to be confirmed) & F. Andrian (Artélia), Emmanuel Robe (EDF) - 90 min
  • Dams and embankments. Slope sliding - operating situations, rapid emptying, calculation approaches, partial coefficient sets. Internal erosion (models, justifications, risk analysis method), according to the publication of the CFBR guide on internal erosion - Justine Faure (ISL, to be confirmed) & Eric Vuillermet (BRLi) - 90 min
  • Conclusions - Th. Carlioz & G. Veylon - 15 min

Computer support: A Windows 10 laptop PC, with course materials, preinstalled software and data will be made available for three participants.

Price: 372 € incl. VAT, including a bookbinder containing the course materials and computer support

Course 5

Stochastic methods for flood estimation

Coordination: Emmanuel Paquet (EDF), Patrick Arnaud (INRAE)

Other speakers: David Penot (EDF), Stéphanie Diss (ARTELIA), Yoann Aubert (BRLi), Didier Organde  (HYDRIS)

The French methods for estimating design floods of structures fall within the scope of probabilistic methods: they estimate the distributions of pertinent variables (such as peak discharge or flood volume) for up to long return periods (10,000 years). This is a particularity on the international stage, which tends to be dominated by so-called "deterministic" methods of the Maximum Possible Rainfall-Maximum Probable Flood type.

Complementing "conventional" methods drawing on observed rainfall and discharge statistics (GRADEX and similar methods, AGREGEE and SPEED), the 2000’s saw the emergence of some more sophisticated methods based on stochastic rainfall generation and rainfall-runoff simulation (SCHADEX and SHYPRE-SHYREG).

This short course will be focused on two stochastic methods: one developed by EDF, the other by INRAE (formerly Irstea). The objective is to understand the basic principles of these methods and to realize a simple application, with real data.

The session is open to a maximum of 30 trainees, ideally with the following prerequisites:

  • Knowledge of statistical hydrology and frequency analysis of floods.
  • Basic mastery of software R.

Detailed programme:

  • Educational methodological presentation of the two methods with in particular:
    • Main statistical assumptions
    • Modelling paths
    • Application limits
    • Required data
    • Cases / areas of application worldwide
    • Comparison with other business methods
    • Perspectives and extensions
  • • Successive application of the two methods on a real rain-flow data set (e.g. Ardèche to Sauze-St Martin)
    • Assisted handling of tools, course of the modelling path as would a researcher do
    • The longest calculations (e.g. calibration of the hydrological model of SCHADEX) will be “pre-calculated” to save time.
    • Comments on results and sensitivity tests to important options
    • Comparisons with classical methods (GRADEX, statistical adjustment) and with historical data.

Computer support: Windows 10 laptop PC, with course materials, preinstalled software and data, will be made available for two participants.


Price: 408 € incl. VAT, including a bookbinder containing the course materials and computer support


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