Genrikh Osipovich Graftio

Graftio, Genrikh Osipovich


Born Dec. 14 (26), 1869, in Dvinsk (present-day Daugavpils); died Apr. 30, 1949, in Leningrad. Soviet power engineer and scientist; one of the pioneers of Soviet hydroelectric power construction. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1932).

Graftio graduated from the University of Novorossiia (Odessa) in 1892 and the St. Petersburg Institute of Transportation and Communications Engineers in 1896. From 1900 to 1917 he was involved in the design and building of railways and took part in the design and construction of the streetcar system in St. Petersburg. He also drew up the plans for electrifying the Crimean and Transcaucasian railways, in addition to the hydroelectric power plants on the Vuoksi (circa 1905) and Volkhov (1910–11) rivers.

In 1907 he began teaching at the St. Petersburg (Leningrad) Electrical Engineering Institute; he became a professor there in 1921. Graftio’s vast knowledge of engineering and enormous energy found wide use during the years of Soviet power. He was a member of the planning commission for GOELRO (the State Commission for the Electrification of Russia), and he was directly in charge of both its transportation section and the section for the electrification of the Caucasus region.

From 1918 to 1920 he was assistant chief engineer and, from 1921 to 1927, chief engineer for the construction of the Volkhov Hydroelectric Power Plant; later he directed the construction of the Lower Svir’ Hydroelectric Power Plant. From 1938 to 1945 he was chief inspector for the construction of hydroelectric power plants for the Ministry of Electric Power Plants of the USSR. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, Graftio was extensively involved in the development of hydroelectric power engineering in the recovered areas of the country. Graftio combined his engineering and organizational activities in the area of hydroelectric power plant construction with scientific research. He was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.

The Lower Svir’ Hydroelectric Power Plant has been named in his honor.


Elektrifikatsiia i transport. Rostov-on-Don, 1921. (Together with I. G. Aleksandrov.)
Volkhovstroi. Moscow, 1928.


“Genrikh Osipovich Graftio.” [Obituary.] Elektricheskie stantsii, 1949, no. 6.
Stroitel’ pervykh gidroelektrostantsii v SSSR akademik Genrikh Osipovich Graftio. (His articles and recollections of him.) Moscow, 1953.
Shevtsov, V. N., and I. S. Smirnov. Genrikh Osipovich Graftio. Moscow-Leningrad, 1955.