BDS Conferences

A BDS conference has been held once every two years since 1982.  The conferences have formed some of the most successful events of BDS with more than 250 participants at recent conferences.

They are normally held at a University campus to keep costs low and have generally taken place over two and half days with one afternoon being used for visits to dams. 

Conference proceedings have been published by Thomas Telford (now ICE Publishing) since 1990 and are available from the ICE Bookshop

BDS Conference and Proceedings

The Next Conference

The 21st Biennial conference will be held in 2022

Previous Conferences

The proceedings for the conferences are available on the conference proceedings page

Conference delegates may access electronic copies of the conference proceedings, access to the proceedings for conferences from 2012 require login credentials, which are issued with the conference joining instructions.

A list of the previous BDS conferences is shown below.

2018 - 20th Biennial Conference, Swansea - Smart Dams and Reservoirs 

2016 - 19th Biennial Conference, Lancaster - Dams – Benefits and Disbenefits;
Assets or Liabilities?

2014 - 18th Biennial Conference, Belfast - Maintaining the safety of our Dams and Reservoirs

2012 - 17th Biennial Conference, Leeds - Dams: Engineering in a Social and Environmental Context

2010 - 16th Biennial Conference, Strathclyde - Managing Dams: Challenges in a Time of Change

2008 - 15th Biennial Conference, Warwick - Ensuring Reservoir Safety into the Future

2006 - 14th Biennial Conference, Durham - Improvements in Reservoir Construction, Operation and Maintenance

2004 - 13th Biennial Conference, Canterbury - Long Term Benefits and Performance of Dams

2002 - 12th Biennial Conference, Dublin – Reservoirs in a Changing World

2000 - 11th Biennial Conference, Bath – Dams 2000

1998 - 10th Biennial Conference, Bangor – The Prospect for Reservoirs in the 21st Century

1996 - 9th Biennial Conference, York – The Reservoir as an Asset

1994 - 8th Biennial Conference, Exeter – Reservoir Safety and the Environment

1992 - 7th Biennial Conference, Stirling – Water Resources and Reservoir Engineering

1990 - 6th Biennial Conference, Nottingham – The Embankment Dam

1988 - 5th Biennial Conference, Manchester – Reservoir Renovation

1986 - 4th Biennial Conference, Edinburgh – Reservoirs 1986

1984 - 3rd Biennial Conference, Cardiff – 1984 Conference

1982 - 2nd Biennial Conference, Keele – 1982 Conference

1975 - 1st Biennial Conference, Newcastle – Inspection, Operation and Improvement of Existing Dams


Bibliography of BDS Conference Papers

Bibliography of BDS Papers

The British Dam Society commissioned Paul Tedd to write short summaries of all papers published in the proceedings of the 18 BDS Conferences from 1975 to 2014, which can be accessed via the above button in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. Inevitably some errors will have occurred in the preparation of these summaries. Anyone finding errors should contact Paul Tedd at and suitable amendments will be made.

Geoffrey Binnie Lecture

This is the premier lecture of BDS and was formerly known as the BNCOLD lecture. It was renamed as the "Geoffrey Binnie Lecture" as it was endowed by Binnie and Partners. The lecture is presented at the BDS conference. The choice of lecturer is the responsibility of the Main Committee.

BNCOLD lecturers

1984 NJ Cochrane Insidious threats to dams and reservoirs
1986 FG Johnson Experience with the concrete dams of the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board
1988 DJ Coats The concerns of a dam engineer


Geoffrey Binnie lecturers

1990 PA Back The ultimate dam
1992 W Pircher 36000 large dams ? and still more needed
1994 MF Kennard Four decades of development of British embankment dams
1996 TPC van Robbroeck Reservoirs - Bane or boon
1998 JA Charles The lives of embankment dams - Construction to old age.
2000 TA Johnston Taken for granted
2002 GP Sims The challenge for british dam engineers
2004 RE Coxon Matters related to adverse incidents associated with dams and the role of Review-Boards
2006 CJA Binnie Dams, responding to society's needs
2008 W Carlyle The Binnie heritage in dam engineering
2010 J Cowie Hydropower and Panel Engineers – a lasting legacy
2012 JL Hinks The Modern Dam Engineer
2014 GA Cooper OBE The Heritage of Dams in Northern Ireland
2016 Dr PJ Mason Dam Engineering: the last 50 years and the next 50 years
2018 M Cambridge The Role of Inspection and Monitoring in Risk and Asset
Management: Prescription or Guidance?