Tech Briefs

Fotherby named federal engineer of the year

Lisa Fotherby, PhD, P.E., was named Federal Engineer of the Year by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). Fotherby is a hydraulic engineer in the Technical Service Center of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation.

Fotherby was selected for her achievements in the fields of river research and development, river engineering and restoration design, and collaborative planning in interdisciplinary teams for adaptive management. For the Animas-La Plata project in Colorado, she designed 3 miles of meandering stream for flow delivery. This edesign preserves pre-project sediment movement in the stream system, promotes expansion of riparian habitat and natural channel evolution, and protects a native fishery in the downstream Animas River, says Kip White, deputy chief of public affairs for Reclamation. Animas-La Plata is being built to fulfill the water rights settlement of the two Indian tribes in Colorado.

Before receiving this award, Fotherby was named Reclamation’s Engineer of the Year. Reclamation operates 58 hydro plants that annually provide more than 41,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity.

NSPE was established in 1934 to address the non-technical concerns of licensed professional engineers.

HydroVision International announces call for abstracts

PennWell Corporation, organizer of the HydroVision International conference and exhibition, is accepting abstracts for the Technical Papers track. The conference will be held July 19-22, 2011, in Sacramento, Calif.

Abstracts are requested on all topics of interest to technical professionals in the hydropower field. Preference will be given to abstracts that focus on innovative, practical, and proven technologies and methods.

Abstracts that describe the focus and content of proposed papers (maximum of 400 words) are due October 29, 2010. Submit abstracts through the Internet at:

All abstracts submitted will be reviewed by the conference Technical Committee. If accepted, authors will be invited to submit a paper by April 22, 2011, for inclusion in the official proceedings, which will be made available to all conference delegates through an Internet link accessible with a password.

In odd-numbered years, the event was called Waterpower; in even-numbered years, HydroVision. From 2011, the annual event will be called HydroVision International. For more, contact 918-831-9560 or

Four companies with hydro plants win Edison Award

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) named Portland General Electric (PGE) and Public Service Enterprise Group winners of its domestic Edison Award and British Columbia Transmission Corporation and Hydro-Quebec joint winners of its international Edison Award.

The Edison Award is presented annually by EEI and recognizes U.S. and international electric utilities for their innovation and role in advancing the industry. The announcement was made at EEI’s Annual Convention and Expo in Florida.

PGE received the award for completion of a fish intake and bypass project at its 465-MW Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project in 2009. The project involves a selective water withdrawal (SWW) structure, a 273-foot-tall intake facility that attracts fish traveling downstream and provides safe passage for the salmon to be sorted and transferred. The SWW satisfies water quality requirements and reintroduces historical water temperature patterns of the lower Deschutes River, all while maintaining the hydro facility’s generating capacity.

Public Service Enterprise Group was recognized for its bold and innovative growth strategy that is geared toward clean energy, energy efficiency, and jobs. Specifically, the company focused on combating climate change and creating jobs through energy efficiency efforts, the development of renewable resources, and developing clean central station energy. The company owns a 15-MW hydro project in Pennsylvania.

British Columbia Transmission Corporation, a division of BC Hydro, and Hydro-Quebec were selected for a joint submission. To improve reliability, inspections, and safety, Hydro-Quebec Research Institute (IREQ) developed LineScout Technology (LST), a robotic device able to inspect high-voltage transmission lines across long passages. BC Hydro operates 30 hydro and three natural gas-fueled plants. Hydro-Quebec generates, transmits, and distributes electricity using mainly renewable generating options, in particular hydropower.

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