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In accordance with the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the International Committee on Large Dams (ICOLD), Technical Committee A (TCA), Committee on Computational Aspects of Analysis and Design of Dams, “Benchmark Workshops are organised to compare numerical models between one another and/or with reference solutions, including the dissemination and publication of results”. These benchmarks are typically organised every two years by a member of the TCA in collaboration with his/her National Committee on Dams.
The first benchmark was held in Bergamo, Italy in 1991. The 13th Benchmark Workshop is held in Lausanne, Switzerland. Situated by the Lake of Geneva and surrounded by vineyards, countryside and forests, Lausanne benefits from an enchanting backdrop with spectacular views of the Alps which are the home place of many large dams and hydroelectric power schemes in Switzerland. More information on previous Benchmark Workshops can be found in ICOLD Bulletin 155 http://www.icold-cigb.org/GB/Publications/bulletin.asp.
The main campus of the École Polytechnique Fédérale of Lausanne, the hosting institution for the benchmark, brings together over 11,000 people, students, researchers and staff in the same magical place. With over 350 laboratories and research groups on campus, the EPFL is classed in the top three in Europe and top twenty worldwide in many scientific rankings.
With 1500 hydropower plants producing 59 percent of the domestic electricity supply, Switzerland is a hub for Dam Engineering and the Energy Sector. The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) requires that Owners verify their schemes including dams for seismic loading. SFOE has published Guidelines allowing such seismic verifications to be performed. By 2015, a vast majority of seismic verifications had already been performed thus representing a milestone in Swiss Dam Engineering. On the basis of this “milestone” achievement (over 15 years of work), the Swiss Committee on Dams was selected by ICOLD, TCA members to host the Benchmark event.
The Benchmark sets a framework for Engineers, Owners and Scientists alike, to perform and share their experiences for predefined and open themes.
The 13th Benchmark comprised of the following themes:
Theme A Seismic safety evaluation of a concrete dam based on guidelines
Formulators: Russell Michael Gunn & Anton Doytchinov Tzenkov
Theme B Probability of failure of an embankment dam due to slope instability and overtopping
Formulators: Adrián Morales-Torres & Ignacio Escuder-Bueno
Theme C Dam Safety