Let us introduce

Dan Forster

General Manager

Dan is Dam Safety Intelligence’s General Manager and a Principal Dam Safety Engineer. In 2023 Dan became one of the first Dam Safety Recognised Engineers and Practice Area Assessors for further Recognised Engineer applications. These roles enable him to play a key role in supporting the 2022 Dam Safety Regulations through certification and audit of Potential Impact Classifications (PIC) and Dam Safety Assurance Programmes (DSAP). Dan has over 22 years’ dam safety experience, both as owner and practitioner, in New Zealand, Australia, North America and Sweden. Dan has expertise in dam safety programmes and management systems, dam safety reviews, surveillance, emergency preparedness, training, advisory and has worked on several major dam rehabilitations. Dan facilitates dam safety programme maturity evaluations and benchmarking for international dam owners and is on a dam safety panel for a large Canadian dam owner that is leading the state of practice in many areas. Dan was a contributing author of the 2015 New Zealand Dam Safety Guidelines (and the 2023 update), is Immediate Past Chair of the NZ Society on Large Dams (NZSOLD) and was technical adviser to Government supporting the development of Aotearoa’s new dam safety regulations.

Effjay Javed

Principal Dam Safety Engineer

Effjay has over 25 years’ experience in the dam industry and has worked on all aspects of dam engineering and dam safety since 1990. His experience includes geotechnical and dam engineering, construction quality control as well as dam safety. Effjay has carried out detailed inspections of over 100 embankment and concrete dams in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Lesotho, Fiji and Pakistan. Effjay’s expertise includes use of failure modes and effects analysis to identify critical project uncertainties for geotechnical and dam safety risk assessment. Effjay has supported Dam Safety Intelligence since 2020 with his expertise in dam safety programmes, dam safety reviews, surveillance, emergency preparedness and training.

Katy Cottingham

Principal Dam Safety Engineer

Katy is a Chartered Professional Engineer with over 15 years’ consulting experience spanning across North America, South America, and New Zealand. Her experience with dams encompasses the entire life cycle – from the feasibility stage through design, monitoring, operation, and reclamation in a variety of regulatory operating environments. Katy joined Dam Safety Intelligence in 2022 and is primarily responsible for dam safety reviews, dam surveillance, risk-informed decision making and training.

Tim Logan

Principal Dam Safety Analyst

Tim has almost 40 years’ experience with site investigations, instrumentation and performance assessments for dams and other major engineering projects related to landslides, groundwater, bridges, highways wind farms and ports. Tim has been with Dam Safety Intelligence since its inception in 2016 and is primarily responsible for dam safety reviews, quality management of dam safety systems, failure modes assessments and dam safety training. His broad experience provides insights for assessing performance of dams and their associated monitoring programmes, which has been applied to projects in New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Samoa and the Philippines. Tim also has specialist expertise in vibration impact assessment and the evaluation of soil and backfill thermal resistivity for installation of underground HV power cables.

Grant O'Brien

Senior Dam Safety Analyst

Grant joined Dam Safety Intelligence in 2019. He is a geologist and geophysicist (MSc) with ten years’ experience in industry and research institutes, and a previous career in fabrication. Grant has experience in marine, airborne and land-based surveys with expertise in data analysis, software, GIS and modelling. During previous research he extensively investigated the landslide groundwater systems and seismic hazards surrounding Clyde Dam and Cromwell Gorge, advancing the understanding of the mechanisms enabling hydraulic change. Grant values building collaborative relationships with DSI’s partners and leads dam safety reviews, instrumentation assessments, surveillance and monitoring.

Jesa Wishart

Senior Dam Safety Engineer

Jesa is a Dam Safety Engineer with over 12 years’ experience in dam safety and generation operations in both North America and New Zealand. His experience with dams includes dam safety and reservoir monitoring, life-cycle asset management, flow control systems and deficiency investigation project management.

Sophie Wilkinson

Senior Dam Safety Analyst

Sophie trained as a geologist and joined Dam Safety Intelligence in 2018. Her role at DSI primarily involves leading dam surveillance monitoring for clients’ dams and carrying out dam safety reviews. Sophie also has experience in dam safety programme maturity evaluations and benchmarking for local and international dam owners. As a Dam Safety Analyst, Sophie enjoys problem solving and building strong client relationships.

Harry Atkinson

Dam Safety Analyst

Harry has worked with dams in New Zealand since joining Dam Safety Intelligence in 2019. Harry’s responsibilities at DSI are primarily intermediate dam safety reviews, dam surveillance, training, dam safety management system assessments and client manager for several of New Zealand’s largest dam owners. His role as a Dam Safety Analyst combines his passion for data analytics, problem solving, technical communication and investigative research. Prior to joining DSI, Harry worked in a GIS role in industry and completed a bachelor’s in applied physics at Victoria University.

Mike Tayler

Dam Safety Analyst

Mike is a geologist (MSc) with nine years’ industry experience across the oil & gas, geotechnical, and academic sectors in New Zealand and Australia. Mike has worked with Dam Safety Intelligence since 2021 and leads dam safety performance reviews, surveillance, and training. Mike values building strong client relationships and a collaborative approach to dam safety management and relishes contributing to the safe operation of dams as part of the DSI team.

Nicky Hardy

Dam Safety Analyst

Nicky’s career has seen her work with, and lead, large and small teams across the UK and Europe, Australia and Aotearoa. Prior to joining Dam Safety Intelligence in 2021, she worked for over 10 years as a geologist in the mining, construction and quarrying sectors. At DSI, Nicky leads dam safety surveillance, inspections and dam safety reviews as well as supporting analysts and engineers within the team as a Team Leader. Her skills and experience include risk management compliance, governance, safety management systems, ground investigations, construction monitoring and testing, data analysis, design and installation of instrumentation and project management with a passion for asking questions and solving problems.

Simon Barron

Dam Safety Engineer

Simon is a mechanical engineer and has been working with Dam Safety Intelligence since 2020. Simon leads dam surveillance, dam performance evaluation, training as well as intermediate and comprehensive dam safety reviews for a range of large dam owners. Simon also supports analysts and engineers within the team as a Team Leader. Simon has experience transitioning a new client to DSI’s dam safety monitoring and advisory services, partnering as an extension of the client’s team to improve their dam safety practices. His previous career experience includes 10 years’ working in the oil & gas industry as a senior project engineer specialising in subsea equipment installation and commissioning. His career experience has taken him around the world to Australia, UK, China, and Southeast Asia working on large Engineering, Procurement, Installation and Commissioning (EPIC) projects.

Nicola Godwin

Graduate Dam Safety Analyst

Nicola joined Dam Safety Intelligence in 2023 as a Graduate Dam Safety Analyst. Her primary responsibilities at DSI includes dam safety reviews and dam surveillance. Prior to joining DSI Nicola completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Geology and a Master of Science focusing on new methods of collecting and quantifying sulphur dioxide gas flux data from Mount Ruapehu. Nicola’s role at DSI combines the valuable skills she has acquired from her investigative studies that involved a focus on risk management with her passion for the outdoors and making meaningful connections.

Ruby Logan

Graduate Dam Safety Analyst

Ruby joined Dam Safety Intelligence as a Graduate Dam Safety Analyst in 2022, following two years working part time for the team. Her primary role at DSI involves dam safety reviews and dam surveillance. Ruby utilises her sporting career experience to support development of strong client relationships. Ruby has a passion for sustainability and how sustainable practices and management can be further applied to the dam industry. Before working at DSI, Ruby completed a BSc in Psychology and Biology at Victoria University.

Matthew Walker

Graduate Dam Safety Analyst

Matthew joined Dam Safety Intelligence in 2022 as a Graduate Dam Safety Analyst. Matthew brings valuable knowledge and experience in the earth sciences, particularly in hydrology. With a BSc (Tech) in Biological Sciences and a Postgraduate Diploma in Cell and Molecular Bioscience, he has extensive experience relevant to the dam safety analyst role including scientific graphing, statistical analysis, and data organisation. Matthew values communication, giving clients the best service, creating new relationships and maintaining tight bonds with current clients. Within DSI, he applies his technical skills to the dam industry, working on dam safety surveillance, inspections, and dam safety reviews.

Jacqui Smith

Business Systems Manager

Jacqui joined Dam Safety Intelligence as Business Systems Manager in 2023. Jacqui’s previous experience working with IT systems and processes, including business analysis and project management, provide her with a solid background to support the DSI team with their strategic business process and system improvements. Jacqui’s role within DSI involves contributing to the day-to-day business with a view to enhancing long term sustainability and growth.

Ella Knox

Business Administrator

Ella joined Dam Safety Intelligence as Business Administrator in 2021 with over five years' prior administration experience in the power industry. Ella combines her passion of sustainable energy and workplace efficiency in her role at DSI. Ella is responsible for creating and implementing effective administrative systems for our DSI whānau, particularly aimed towards increasing efficiency and making day-to-day processes easier for the team.

Holly Nicholas

Executive Assistant

Holly joins the DSI team, bringing with her a wealth of experience in executive support, administration, travel knowledge, and customer service. She is responsible for providing key support to the DSI General Manager and the wider leadership team. Passionate about efficiency, Holly is dedicated to creating and enhancing internal administrative systems and processes, ensuring a seamless operating environment for the leadership and the wider DSI team.