Electrical & Mechanical Engineering Division (8400)

Division Chief:  Bill McStraw (wmcstraw@usbr.gov; 303-445-2294)

The Electrical & Mechanical Engineering Division has approximately 100 staff that provide integrated technical expertise in:  1) Mechanical Equipment, 2) Hydraulic Equipment, 3) Electrical Design, 4) Power Systems Analysis & Controls, and 5) Hydropower Diagnostics & SCADA.

Mechanical Equipment (8410)

Group Manager: Contact Division Chief

This group provides engineering services for mechanical equipment and systems related to new and existing dams, powerplants, pumping plants, fish handling facilities, water conveyance structures, and other building facilities. They also provide factory inspection and equipment installation expertise; operation and maintenance support, finite element studies; and produce technical manuals. Systems and equipment that the Mechanical Equipment Group design and service include:

  • Compressed air, cooling water, service water, oil lubrication, fire suppression, gravity drainage, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and building plumbing systems
  • Cranes, hoists, and elevators
  • Engine generators
  • Trash rakes, conveyors, and traveling water screens
  • Fish and moss screens and fish handling equipment
  • Water temperature control devices and selective withdrawal systems
  • Water flow meters and temperature sensors
  • Stoplogs, draft tube gates, and bulkhead gates
  • Power O&M mechanical services
  • Shaft alignment and balancing of hydro-units
  • Penstock inspections
  • Pressure vessel inspections
  • Mechanical governors

Hydraulic Equipment (8420)

Group Manager:  Terry Hummel (thummel@usbr.gov; 303-445-3103)

This group provides mechanical engineering services for water delivery equipment. Engineering services include budget estimating, design, and specifications writing, and equipment installation and field assistance. The Hydraulic Equipment Group’s services include engineering analysis and design for:

  • Hydraulic transients in power system waterways including stress analysis
  • General stress analysis for large gates, valves, and other equipment
  • Onsite testing for pumps and turbines during new equipment startups
  • Performance testing for pumps and turbines to confirm warranted characteristics
  • Turbine uprate replacement and pump selection
  • Large steel pipe

Electrical Design (8430)

Group Manager:  Jay Boggess (jboggess@usbr.gov; 303-445-2933)

This group provides designs, drawings, technical specifications, and construction/installation support for electrical equipment and systems. The Electrical Design Group’s electrical engineering services include:

  • Generator rewind/uprates
  • Neutral grounding transformers
  • Power transformers & power circuit breakers
  • Substations, switchyards, switchgear, and station service equipment
  • Excitation (voltage regulator) and governor systems
  • Unit start/stop controls (PLC or hard-wired)
  • High and medium voltage cable and bus
  • Motor control centers, adjustable speed drives, and reduced voltage starters
  • Factory inspection of electrical equipment

Power Systems Analysis & Controls (8440)

Group Manager:  Jim Zeiger (jzeiger@usbr.gov; 303-445-2850)

This group provides specialized electrical technical services to Reclamation’s Power Facilities. The group also coordinates with Reclamation’s Power Resources Office and hydropower research efforts to focus on innovative solutions for power facilities. Services include:

  • Generator Voltage Regulators and Excitation Systems (Testing, troubleshooting, and research)
  • Electronic and Digital Speed Governors (Testing, troubleshooting, and research)
  • Power System Stabilizers
  • Powerplant Feedback Control Systems modeling and analysis
  • Commissioning, Periodic Review, Maintenance, and Realignments
  • Reclamation/WAPA/BPA Power System Stability Analysis
  • Protective Relay Review & Application
  • Electrical Equipment Recommendation Analysis
  • Power System Arc Flash Studies
  • Power System Studies

Hydropower Diagnostics & SCADA (8450)

Group Manager:  Nathan Myers (nmyers@usbr.gov; 303-445-2643)

This group performs a wide range of electrical hydropower technical services including onsite technical assistance, diagnostics, troubleshooting, failure investigation, and inspection. It also offers program consultation, training, unique in-house support services, and design and installation support for plant Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems including the following:

  • Protective relay system calibration, functional testing, and commissioning
  • SCADA system and Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) system design
  • SCADA system evaluation, analysis, software support, and security accreditation
  • Plant automation, embedded systems, and efficiency-based water/power control and modeling software
  • Technical support for Reclamation’s Western Electricity Coordinating Council power reliability requirements
  • Machine startup, acceptance, and diagnostic testing
  • System staged-fault testing
  • Equipment and personal protective safety grounding evaluation
  • Plant control battery system diagnostics
  • Generator & Transformer Insulation System Diagnostics
  • Machine Condition Monitoring Systems
  • Electrical O&M
Last Updated: 5/22/18