Faulkner Receives Women with Hydro Vision Award

  • By Ayres
  • January 21, 2022

Ellen Faulkner, PE, a senior project manager in our Water Resources Group, received the Women with Hydro Vision award at a HydroVision Connect Virtual Summit event. Clarion Energy’s Hydro Group handed out the Women with Hydro Vision awards to its seventh annual class of influential women for their accomplishments and contributions to the hydropower industry.

Faulkner has worked primarily as a consultant for U.S. hydro project owners since beginning her career in 1986, focusing on dam hydrologic safety and performance. In addition to supporting design, compliance, evaluation, and licensing work for Ayres’ clients, she has served on several Boards of Consultants at Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) projects, where spillway capacity was a focus.

Faulkner co-chairs the Dam Safety Subcommittee of the National Hydropower Association (NHA). This year, a major focus of the subcommittee will be helping NHA members navigate and respond to new federal dam safety regulations. These regulations, which were the focus of an NHA webinar moderated by Faulkner last week, will substantially change the FERC-mandated independent consultant safety inspection program for hydropower projects. Ayres engineers Todd Rudolph and Pete Haug are FERC-approved inspectors and typically complete several inspections per year under this program.

When her children were young, Faulkner slowed her consulting pace and worked as a contributing and technical editor for Hydro Review and a HydroVision facilitator. Faulkner recalls a moment during this time in her career that will sound familiar to many parents who divide their time creatively between family and career commitment. Her young daughter asked Faulkner during this time: “Why do dads have real jobs but moms just talk on the phone all the time?”

Faulkner, who has 35 years of professional experience, has a bachelor’s degree in geology from Bryn Mawr College and master’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering and water resources management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds professional engineer licensure in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Missouri and is active in the Midwest Hydro Users Group and Women in Hydropower mentoring program. Faulkner has developed and presented training seminars in watershed and dam break modeling for the Association of State Dam Safety Officials.

The recipients of the Women with Hydro Vision awards are nominated by their peers and selected by a panel of past Women with Hydro Vision inductees.