Joel Galt, P.E., F.ASCE, recently retired after a 39-year career with Southern Company, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
At the time of his retirement he served as the hydro services supervisor for the Atlanta office of Southern Company Generation Hydro Services and as chief dam safety engineer for Georgia Power Company’s (GPC) hydroelectric plants. His career has encompassed civil design, geotechnical, hydro plant life extension and dam safety.
Galt has served ASCE as secretary for the Georgia Section and secretary-treasurer for District 14. He was on ASCE’s Georgia Geo-Institute committee for over 30 years. The Georgia Geo-Institute honored him with the second George F. Sowers Piedmont Award in 2016. This award is given to individuals who have supported the dissemination of geotechnical knowledge to the profession and whose impact has thus been felt beyond the limits of their own projects.
He has been active in hydropower and dam safety industry groups, serving as the National Hydropower Association (NHA) Hydraulic Power Committee Dam Safety Subcommittee chair and representing Southern Company on the CEATI Dam Safety Interest Group and the Department of Homeland Security Dams Sector Coordinating Council. He served on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Hydro Security Task Force, which helped FERC develop the “Security Program for Hydropower Projects” in response to the 9/11 attacks, and on the FERC DSSMP/DSSMR Task Committee, which helped develop the “Dam Safety and Surveillance Monitoring Plan” and “Dam Safety and Surveillance Monitoring Report.” These programs are used by all FERC hydro licensees.
Galt has delivered presentations on dam safety, emergency action plans and spillway gate replacement projects to the NHA Annual Conference, NHA Southeast Regional Conference, NHA Hydraulic Power Committee, United States Society on Dams, Association of State Dam Safety Officials, Georgia Section ASCE Geo-Institute, Waterpower, HydroVision and Joint Hydropower Conference. He has also served as a panelist, moderator, session chair and technical program and steering committee member for various conferences.
Over the last 20 years Galt and the Hydro Services team have developed the dam safety inspection procedures, training, scheduling, compliance tracking database, correspondence management and emergency action plan programs currently in use for GPC’s hydroelectric dams. The Hydro Services team managed the dam safety aspects of GPC’s response to the EPA ash pond inspection program from 2009 through 2015. In recent years the Hydro Services team has overseen the replacement of spillway gates at three GPC hydro plants.
Galt holds a bachelor of civil engineering (cooperative program) and a master of science in civil engineering (geotechnical) from Georgia Tech. He is a registered professional engineer in Georgia and Alabama, and an engineer of record with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division Safe Dams Program.