Joseph Kula, P.E.

Joe Kula is a Senior Principal Engineer based in Maryland with 40 years of experience in civil-geotechnical engineering services focused on dams and reservoirs, levees and flood mitigation projects, waste impoundments, and hydraulic structures.

Joe Kula is a Senior Principal Engineer based in Maryland with 40 years of experience in civil-geotechnical engineering services focused on dams and reservoirs, levees and flood mitigation projects, waste impoundments, and hydraulic structures.


Joe has provided engineering services for several hundred civil works, water resources, and infrastructure projects for federal agencies, many state and local governments, power, and other private sector clients. He specializes in dams and reservoirs, flood mitigation projects, and waste and industrial impoundments. His experience includes more than 250 dams and levees across 26 states and Puerto Rico, involving all types of dams and related structures. Services include all facets of dam engineering, such as dam safety and FERC Part 12 inspections, engineering assessments, geotechnical investigations, seepage analysis and control, stability analyses, foundation treatment, liquefaction analysis, hydrologic/hydraulic studies and evaluation of spillways and outlet works, overtopping design, dam breach and inundation mapping, potential failure modes analysis, risk assessments, alternatives analyses, design of new dams and the rehabilitation of existing dams, construction quality control, emergency action planning and response, instrumentation, dam decommissioning, and forensic investigations and expert testimony.

Joe was the Engineer of Record for design of the Rocky Pen Run Reservoir (Lake Mooney) and the Smith Lake Expansion and Dam Rehabilitation Projects in Virginia. The Smith Lake Project was presented with the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) Rehabilitation Project of the Year Award and selected by the US Society on Dams (USSD) for inclusion in the publication "Achievements and Advancements in US Dam Engineering".  Other representative projects include various dam safety services for New York City's 22 water supply reservoirs and control lakes, dam safety evaluations of three up-ground reservoirs for the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, stability analyses for five TVA hydropower dams, and alternatives  analysis for the seepage barrier around the outlet works conduit for the rehabilitation of the USACE Rough River Dam in Kentucky.

To advance the state of the practice, Joe serves on the ASDSO Advisory and Dams and Construction Committees and was a member of the Dam Repair Financing Solutions Committee which received a National Award of Merit from ASDSO.  He has written papers and  made numerous technical presentations on dam engineering topics, developed training programs, and served as a trainer for dam safety seminars and workshops on topics such as dam inspections, potential failure modes analysis, seepage and internal erosion evaluation and control, development of contract documents, and emergency management planning.

Career Summary of Joseph Kula, P.E.

  • Specialties: Dams, Reservoirs, and Hydraulic Structures, Levees and Flood Mitigation Projects, Civil-Geotechnical Infrastructure Engineering, CCR and Waste Impoundments, Geohazard Characterization and Mitigation, Hazard Assessment and Mitigation
  • Practice Areas: Water and Natural Resources, Civil Sites, Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
  • Disciplines: Civil Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Water Resources Sciences
  • Education: M.S.C.E., Geotechnical, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 1979; B.S., Civil Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 1977
  • Registration: Licensed Professional Engineer, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia; Part 12D Independent Consultant, FERC

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