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Lev Bulkovshteyn

Professional Structural Engineer with extensive experience in hydroelectric power plant design and construction.



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I'm a retired Professional Structural Engineer who enjoyed a career of designing & building hydro stations & bridges.

I had the privilege of extensively traveling for work and living in various countries, including Belarus, Canada, Indonesia, and now the US. Currently, I reside in Boston, Massachusetts, with my wonderful wife of 60 years, close to our family, children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren.


Throughout my career, I have been involved in the design and construction of 32 hydro projects worldwide, spanning Canada, the USA, Indonesia, Laos, and the Philippines. Sixteen of these projects are currently in service. As a bridge designer, I have worked on a range of bridges, from the small Redsucker River Bridge for Abitibi Price in Northern Ontario, Canada, to the seismic retrofit of the renowned Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, Canada.

Out of all the projects I've worked on, three hydro projects hold a special place in my heart due to their unique nature. These projects were designed by KST Hydroelectric Engineers, a joint venture comprising Klohn-Crippen Consultants Ltd, Stone and Webster, and Trow Consulting Engineers Ltd. KST served as the prime consultant for Ontario Hydro's small hydroelectric redevelopment program, known as SHARP.

Publications include:


Bulkovshteyn, L., Hall, W.W., "Engineering Features of Big Chute," presented at the Canadian Electrical Association Conference, Orillia, Ontario, September 1993.

Bulkovshteyn, L., Chidiac, M., Hall, W.W., "Hydroelectric Redevelopment Maintains Heritage Values," presented at an International Conference WATERPOWER '95, San Francisco, July 1995. This paper was selected as one of the twelve best papers out of over 300 submissions to the conference.

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Lev played a crucial role in the redevelopment of three hydroelectric generation stations: Big Chute, Sidney, and Seymour.

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Big Chute GS

Ontario, Canada

The Big Chute Generation Station, which was purchased by Ontario Hydro in 1914, was the utility's first power station. It originally consisted of four double-runner horizontal Francis turbines that generated 4.15 MW using a water flow of 37.6 cubic meters per second. However, due to deterioration of the existing turbine-generator units and structure, the station required redevelopment. The new hydroelectric generation station was constructed with a single 9.9 MW turbine, full Kaplan S-turbine, and reinforced concrete powerhouse. The redevelopment project also included a concrete power canal, concrete intake structure, and two steel penstocks with a surge tank. The hydraulic capacity of the station was increased to 70 cubic meters per second. The project planning and implementation were influenced by the environmental sensitivity of the area, which had been designated as an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) due to its outstanding diversity of flora. The site was also a popular tourist destination, with approximately 100,000 visitors annually. The project faced regulatory issues related to navigation and heritage preservation. To address these concerns, the team developed unique design features, including a sunken draft tube conduit with side openings to smooth out and distribute flow, and a hydro museum adjacent to the new powerhouse containing salvaged old equipment. The construction of the powerhouse involved carefully planned concrete lifts, with a total of 38 lifts for the first stage and two slow pours for the second stage. Despite these challenges, the project was completed on schedule and under budget, thanks to value engineering and careful scheduling. The design team consisted of Engineering Manager Whitney Hall, project engineer Magdi Chidiac, Senior Structural Engineer Lev Bulkovshteyn, Senior Geotechnical Engineer Tim Orpwood, Engineers K. Wong and Richard Carrinton, and draftsman’s Brian Rose and John Henri. Overall, the Big Chute Generation Station Redevelopment was a successful project that provided a unique demonstration of hydroelectric power while preserving the heritage values of the original structure.

Sidney GS

Ontario, Canada

Next station after the Big Chute was Sidney. Located on the Trent River, about five kilometers from Trenton, Sidney GS was named after the adjacent township of Sidney. The Trenton river is part of the historic Trent-Severn Waterway which was originally built to provide transportation of good across 386 km in Central Ontario linking the Bay of Quinte with Georgian Bay.

Seymour GS

Ontario, Canada

The third Hydro was Seymour. The site had five vertical double runner Francis units, they were replaced by five Horizontal Kaplan turbines, as the result the capacity was uprated from 3.15 MW to 5.7 MW. The site is situated on the Trent River approximately 170 km north east of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Curious to learn more?

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