Seepage Through Earthen Dams: Instructors

John France, P.E., D.GE, D.WRE
Vice President

Mr. John France is a registered professional engineer employed by AECOM as a Vice President and National Technology Leader for Dams. He received BS and MS degrees in civil engineering from Cornell University. Mr. France has 42 years of consulting engineering experience, during which time he has worked on hundreds of civil engineering projects. For the past 35 years his professional career has been focused on dam engineering and dam safety services. During his career, Mr. France has been involved in various capacities in evaluating and remediating seepage issues for earth dams. He has written numerous papers on the topic, and in 2012 he was an invited speaker at a FEMA workshop on filters and seepage remediation. He was also engaged by the Montana Dam Safety office to prepare a technical note on chimney filter design for posting on the State’s website. Together with Jennifer Williams he has presented workshops on internal erosion failure modes for ASDSO and the States of Colorado and Wyoming.


John Cyganiewicz, P.E.

Mr. John Cyganiewicz is a registered professional engineer with 40 years of engineering experience specializing in the dam safety practice. He received his BS degree at the University of Rhode Island and has completed graduate level studies at the University of Rhode Island, University of Colorado, and the University of California – Berkeley. Mr. Cyganiewicz retired in 2008 from a 32-year career at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and has continued to work as a consultant for several dam safety rehabilitation projects. Mr. Cyganiewicz was a leader in developing Reclamation’s risk analysis methodology with a specialization in seepage and piping issues embankment dams and in the development of a tool box compiled to provide guidance in seepage and piping risk analyses. As an invited speaker, Mr. Cyganiewicz has made numerous presentations at technical meetings of various professional societies including ASDSO, USSD, NZCOLD, ANCOLD, and ICOLD. The presentations focused on design and construction of embankment dams, seepage and piping related issues, and risk analysis with a specialty in seepage and piping.


Jim Talbot, P.E.

Mr. Jim Talbot is a registered professional engineer with over 57 years of nationally-recognized experience in design, construction, and rehabilitation of dams and hydraulic structures. Mr. Talbot worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS) [now Natural Resources Conservations Service (NRCS)] for over 35 years and served as their Chief Geotechnical Engineer in Washington, D.C. Mr. Talbot has managed major research projects on filters for earth dams, cracking of embankment dams, identification and treatment of dispersive clay soils, and prevention of soil erosion from rainfall. One of his research projects with the late Mr. James Sherard was the research that established the basis for modern soil filter design. He is considered one of the leading experts on seepage and piping control with particular emphasis on filter/ drainage design for embankment dams. He has also served as an instructor for training sessions and workshops as well as an invited lecturer for many technical seminars and professional meetings.


Jennifer Williams, P.E.
Project Manager

Jennifer Williams is a registered professional engineer with 20 years of experience specializing in geotechnical design and analyses of earth dams. Ms. Williams is currently one of the managers within the AECOM dams group in the Denver office. She received her BS degree in civil engineering from Colorado School of Mines and MS degree in civil/geotechnical engineering from University of Colorado. Ms. Williams has provided dam safety engineering services including inspection, analysis, design, and risk assessment to Reclamation, the USACE, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the NRCS, and several private dam owner and operators. Ms. Williams has presented several dam safety lectures at the Colorado School of Mines and has presented numerous technical presentations at ASDSO and USSD.

Special thanks to our sustaining members