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Bruce Tschantz

Senior Research Associate
Tennessee Water Resources Research Center

Professor Emeritus, Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Tennessee

Dr. Tschantz' primary activities center on providing technical assistance and engineering support services to the Tennessee WaterResources Research Center (TNWRRC). Much of his work at the Center over the last nine years has involved developing and teaching state-wide fundamentals and design training and certification workshops to over 15,000 state regulators, local officials, developers and contractors, design engineers, and field inspectors. Dr. Tschantz assisted in the Center's responsibility to develop the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's (TDEC) 2011 Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook. He is also helping the Center, together with its UT Ag Institute and TDEC partners, to develop and initiate the new Stormwater Management Assistance, Research and Training (SMART) facility.

Dr. Tschantz is Professor Emeritus at the University of Tennessee after retiring in June 2002 following 37 years as Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has been a Senior Research Associate at the Center since retiring from teaching. He has over four decades of experience in research, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, federal government policy-making, and engineering consulting practice. His background in water resources engineering provides an opportunityto work in related areas of urban hydrology, open channel flow hydraulics, extreme event floods, erosion and sediment control, dam safety engineering and low-head dam hazards. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 articles, papers, manuals, and reports on his work.

Dr. Tschantz maintains a consulting office in West Knoxville and serves as an engineering consultant and technical expert to several local, regional, and national engineering firms, industries,city/state/federal agencies, citizen groups, private individuals, and attorneys in the areas of urban stormwater management, erosion and sediment problems, drainage and flooding problems, dam failures andsafety problems, and public hazards at low-head dams.

He has served on several national dam safety and stormwater hydrology panels in ASCE, ASDSO, FEMA, National Academy of Sciences, and Executive Office of the President. During the period 1977-79, following failure of the Teton and Kelly Barnes dams, Dr. Tschantz was a consultant to the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) for coordinating the Carter Administration's effort to develop Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety. Taking leave of absence from the Universityof Tennessee in 1980, he coordinated dam safety programs and developed the Federal Office of Dam Safety in FEMA, where he served as the first Chief of Federal Dam Safety. In 2009, he was appointed by the Commissioner of TDEC to the TDEC Advisory Board on the TVA Kingston Failure. The Panel's mission was to make an independent assessment of the cause of the 2008 TVA Kingston Fossil Plant fly ash storage failure and spill, assess the conditions and safety of other similar TVA plants across the State, and recommend policy for TDEC regulation of fly ash storage.

Dr. Tschantz remains active in ASCE and ASDSO committees and is a registered professional engineer in Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, and Virginia.

Outside the office, Dr. Tschantz enjoys family activities with his wife and four grandchildren. His favorite activities are biking, camping, and fly-fishing across the country.


  • Sc.D. Civil Engineering-Water Resources, New Mexico State University
  • M.S.C.E., Civil Engineering-Water Resources, New Mexico State Uniiversity
  • B.S.C.E., Civil Engineering, Ohio Northern University

Selected Publications:

  • Tschantz, Bruce A., Temporary Sediment Basins for Tennessee Construction Sites, Tennessee Public Works Magazine, Vol.30, No. 6, Jan/Feb 2013, pp. 26-29.
  • Tschantz, Bruce A., Converting Temporary Sediment Basins to Permanent Stormwater Detention Ponds in Tennessee, 20 pp, Paper and presentation, ASCE-TSPE-ACEC Joint Annual Meeting, Sept. 13-14, 2012, Murfreesboro, TN, available on-line.
  • Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Div. of Water Resources, contributing author through the University of Tennessee, Tennessee Water Resources Research Center, Tennessee Erosion & Sediment Control Handbook, Fourth Edition, August 2012, 314 pp. + Appdc. A-E.
  • Tschantz, Bruce A. and Andrea Ludwig, Stormwater Management in Tennessee, A SMART Initiative, Tennessee Public Works Magazine, May/June 2011.
  • Tschantz, Bruce A. and Kenneth R. Wright, Hidden Dangers and Public Safety at Low-head Dams, Journal of Dam Safety, Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO), Vol. 9, Issue 1, 2011, pp. 8-17.
  • Wright, Kenneth R. and Bruce A. Tschantz, The Dam Safety Imperative, American Association of Water Resources (AWRA), Water Resources IMPACT Magazine journal, March 2011, Vol 13, No. 2, pp 6-8.
  • Tschantz, Bruce A., Hazards and Public Safety at Low-head Dams, Virginia Water Conference, Virginia Lakes and Watersheds Association, March 6-8, 2011, Richmond, Va., Presentation and Proceedings, p. 153.
  • McCubbin-Cain, S. and Bruce A. Tschantz, Promoting Careers in Dam Engineering and Safety, Hydro Review, pp. 52-59, March 2010.
  • Tschantz, Bruce A., What About (Public) Safety At Dams?, Proceedings (Paper 141), Water Power XVI, 2009 National Conference, July 27-30, 2009, Spokane, WA.
  • McCubbin-Cain, S. and Bruce A. Tschantz, Romancing the Profession: Promoting Careers in Dam Engineering and Dam Safety, Proceedings (Paper 140), Water Power XVI, 2009 National Conference, July 27-30, 2009, Spokane, WA.
  • Jacoby, S, S. Koeninger, B. Tschantz, Lessons Learned from the TDEC Advisory Board in regard to the TVA Kingston Dredge Cell Containment Facility Failure, Proceedings, ASDSO National Dam Safety Conference, Sept. 19-23, 2010, Seattle, WA.
  • McCubbin-Cain, S. and Bruce A. Tschantz, Wanted! More Dam Engineers, American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Proceedings, 2010 ASEE Annual Conference, Louisville, KY, June 20-23, 2010.
  • TDEC Advisory Board on TVA Kingston Failure (L. Bentley, S. Jacoby, G. Pugh, S. Qualls, K. Shell, and B. Tschantz), Lessons Learned from the TVA Kingston Dredge Cell Containment Facility Failure: TDEC Advisory Board Recommendations for Safe Performance, November 24, 2009, released by TDEC, December 2009, 17 pp.
  • Hedrick, K. P., Robinson, R. B., Tschantz, B. A., and Moore, S. E., Impact of Tunnel Reconstruction on Stream Water Quality in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, ASCE, Nov/Dec 2006, Vol. 11, No. 6, pp. 570-77.
  • Marks, B. D. and Tschantz, B. A., Technical Manual for Dam Owners, Impacts of Plants on Earthen Dams, FEMA 534, September 2005.
  • Tschantz, B. A., Low-Head Dam Hazards: (How) can we make them Safer?,Tennessee AWRA, Proceedings of The Fifteenth Tennessee Water Resources Symposium, April 13-15, 2005, pp. 2C11-17.
  • Tschantz, B. A., The Hazards of Low-Head Dams:(How) Can We Make Them Safer?, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, 45th Annual Conference, Conference Abstracts Proceedings, Chattanooga, Tenn., Sept. 11-15, 2004, p. 18.
  • B.A. Tschantz, T.R. Gangaware, and R.G. Morton, Guide to the Selection and Design of Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) - A Guide for Phase II MS4 Communities for Protecting Post-construction Stormwater Quality and Managing Stormwater Flow, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation,Tennessee Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Publ. 904-B-02-900, March 2003.
  • J.C. Price, R. Karesh, B.A. Tschantz, et al, Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook - A Guide for Protection of State Waters through the Use of Best Management Practices during Land-disturbing Activities, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Second Edition, March 2002.
  • B.A. Tschantz, "Public Hazards at Low-head Dams: Can We Make Them Safer?" National Dam Safety Conference Proceedings, 2003 Dam Safety Conference, Minneapolis, September 2003.
  • B.D. Marks and B.A. Tschantz , A Technical Manual on the Effects of Tree and Woody Vegetation Root Penetrations on the Safety of Earthen Dams, Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO), December 2002.
  • K. Hendrick, R.B. Robinson, and B.A. Tschantz, Water quality and BMP Monitoring Report for Tunnel Reconstruction in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, research report prepared for the U.S. National Park Service, University of Tennessee Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Knoxville, Tennessee, December 2002.
  • R.B. Robinson, J.S. Smoot, B.A. Tschantz, et al, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Water Quality Monitoring Network: Present and Future, paper presented to the Water Resources Division, National Park Service Meeting, Fort Collins, Colorado, Nov. 20, 2002.
  • B.A. Tschantz, Performance Evaluation of Constructed Urban Stormwater Detention Ponds in the Knoxville Area, proceedings and presentation to International Conference on Decision Making in Urban and Civil Engineering, Lyon, France, November 22, 2000.
  • B.A. Tschanz, Current Problems, Practices, and Policies on Tree and Woody Plant Penetration of Dams, proceedings and presentation to Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) Annual Conference, Providence, Rhode Island, September 28-30, 2000