Event archive

Event Organiser: ICE

Spillweirs Large and Small: Designing for Reservoir Floods, Belfast

  • Lecture
  • Belfast
  • 14 January 2019
  • 18:00 - 20:00
Spillweirs Large and Small: Designing for Reservoir Floods, Belfast

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Significant numbers of people across the world live downstream of reservoirs which store huge volumes of water. The safety of these people is paramount in the design and maintenance of these structures, with Spillweirs and Spillway Channels performing a critical role in providing the required level of safety. The Oroville Dam spillway emergency in 2017 has emphasised the importance of these structures.

The presentation will explain the function of the spillweir by showing various local projects and by also commenting on a specific project in Saudi Arabia for the design of 6 spillweirs.


David McKillen


David is the Engineering Technical Director in AECOM responsible for coordinating Civil Engineering Teams working on all aspects of engineering construction and their related environmental impacts. He has been a member of staff from his graduation in 1983 and has gained extensive technical and managerial experience in reservoir safety and construction, geotechnical engineering, foundation design, design of hydraulic structures, hydrology and in all aspects of water engineering. He is currently Supervising Engineer under Reservoir Legislation for a number of reservoirs in GB and Northern Ireland.

David Leemon


David is a Principal Engineer within the Dams and Reservoir team based in AECOM Belfast He has worked with the firm since graduating from Queen’s University of Belfast 11 years ago. He has extensive experience working on dams and reservoirs having been involved in maintenance and repair as well as design and upgrade work. His input has been in the role of both designer and project manager. Most recently, David has been Project Manager for the successful delivery of the design of six spillway upgrades in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The scheme sought to increase spillway capacity to ensure that in extreme flood events, the existing flood storage structures would not be overtopped, reducing the risk of dam failure.

David Bell


David is a Chartered Civil Engineer with 10 years’ experience, specialising in the inspection, design and maintenance of dams and reservoir within the UK, Ireland and Africa. David is also a member of the Supervising Panel of Engineers under the Reservoirs Act 1975.

His recent experience includes the refurbishment of 23 Northern Ireland Water owned reservoirs to ensure compliance with the recommendations from statutory safety inspections. This has included drawing down reservoirs to allow access for refurbishment of the draw off towers and scour facilities. He is currently working on a similar programme of work at 17 reservoirs across Ireland for Irish Water. David has also recently overseen the construction of a new spillway at Hillsborough Castle Estate.

Event venue

Ulster Museum
Botanic Avenue
Belfast BT9 5AB
United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Georgia Hamilton

e: [email protected]