awarded in 2023

Richard Rodd

Richard Rodd has over many decades been one of the most active and influential members of ANCOLD, and is today being honoured for this commitment.

Many of our members would have met Richard in one of his many capacities in recent years, such as leading the ANCOLD conference paper review process, as an active contributor to various ANCOLD Guidelines and as a Committee Member and Convenor, or in one of his Peer and Expert Review Panel roles which now includes over 70 dam projects.

Richard’s career spans some 45 years, having completed his Diploma of Civil Engineering in 1973, a Bachelors of Civil Engineering in 1976 and a Masters of Science in 1979.

Richard started his professional career at the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works as a Hydrologist developing the first of the Flood Forecasting Models and the pre-cursor to RORB, followed by a move to the River Murray Commission, predecessor to the MDBA, between 1982 to 1987 where he was active in establishing and implementing a dam surveillance system for the RMC and the NSW Water Resources Commission.  These systems, along with work done by the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission of Victoria were used extensively by ANCOLD as a basis for the ‘Guidelines for Dam Instrumentation and Monitoring Systems’.  It was during this time that Richard developed a deep knowledge of various Victorian, NSW and South Australian structures.

Also during this time, he commenced his long association with the Hume Dam Remedial Works project, installing the first 55 strand ground anchors in a dam in Australia.  This piece of work was the start of Richard establishing himself as one of Australia’s few leading experts in large ground anchor applications for dams and appurtenant structures.

By 1989, Richard had established his consultancy business, Richard Rodd and Associates.  While many of you would be very familiar with Richard’s experience in the dams industry, you may be surprised to hear that Richard was involved in other sectors including news print manufacture and an innovative development of hanger design, with the IEAust National Engineering Excellence Award for the ‘The Avalon 747 Maintenance Hanger Project’.  (Also the large arch Aircraft Hangers visible at Tullamarine Airport.)  Some of the notable projects Richard worked on during the late 1990s and early 2000s include  Hume Dam Upgrade Works, Burrinjuck Dam upgrade, Warragamba Dam Spillway Augmentation, The Port Phillip Bay Channel Deepening Project (ACEA Gold Award of Merit-Specialist Services), and later the Wivenhoe Dam Alliance.

Richard’s other career highlights are extensive, and his achievements and other awards are too long to share today, but include Engineering Excellence awards for works on Catagunya Dam and another IEAust. award for the Lake Manchester Dam Flood Security Upgrade project and the IEAust. NSW Division Environment Award for the ANM -Local Wastewater Re-Use Scheme.

Richard’s contributions to ANCOLD have equally been extensive.  He has made an incredible impact to the development of the ANCOLD YP cohort through his sponsoring of the YP best paper award for many years, and he has also actively mentored and guided numerous young engineers and future leaders on their journey in dam engineering.

I mentioned Richard’s leadership in the paper review process of ANCOLD conferences, but he is also the State Representative of ANCOLD in NSW, he is the Convenor of the ANCOLD Retarding Basin Design and Construction Guideline Committee and was a Working Group Member of the Foundation Investigation for Dams Guideline Committee. He has been the author or co-author of a many peer reviewed technical papers on dam projects, particularly in the field of large ground anchor technology.  His is a Fellow of  the Institution of Engineers, a Member of the Australian Geomechanics Society, the Australian Tunnelling Society and the College of Civil Engineers (Australia); a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Registered Professional Engineer in Queensland and Victoria.

On an personal note, Richard has also been a great friend to so many in the industry, and honouring Richard cannot be done without acknowledging his close friendship with the late Brian Cooper.

In 2010 Richard’s wife of 32 years -Robyn, was killed in a cycling accident and in 2013, Richard married Pam, and as an industry, we also acknowledge and thank the inputs Robyn and Pam have made to sharing and supporting Richard in his incredible career.

We cannot do justice to Richard’s achievements and commitment to the industry in this forum, but would like to show our gratitude to all the work he has done through awarding him an Honorary Life Membership to ANCOLD.