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Nikolai Belelyubsky was born on March 13, 1845 in Kharkiv. He spent his childhood and youth in Taganrog, and graduated with a gold medal from the Taganrog Boys Gymnasium in 1862. And so that year, Belelyubsky joined the Institute of Railroad Engineers in Saint Petersburg, from which he graduated in 1867. He was considered to be one of the best Institute's graduates ever. His name was engraved on a marble plate and he was offered a position as a teacher of structural mechanics, bridging and hydraulics. Since 1873, Prof. Belelyubsky has also lectured at the Mountain Institute (Горный институт), the Institute of Civil Engineers and Imperial Academy of Arts. He gained worldwide recognition due to his scientific studies and practice in the field of bridge engineering and building materials.
Belelyubsky personally designed and managed over 100 projects of long bridges. The total length of the bridges built upon his projects extends 17 kilometers. That includes the bridges over the rivers Don, Danube, Ob, Kama, Oka, Neva, Irtysh, Belaya, Ufa, Neman, Berezina, and many others. The railway bridge over the Volga near Syzran built in 1875-1880 has been the longest bridge in Europe over an extended period of time. This bridge or girder system had 13 spans (each 107 meters long) with a total length of 1483 meters. The bridge connected the railroad network in the central Russia with Volga region and Siberia. In 1888, when designing the bridge across the Volga river on Moscow – Saint Petersburg Railway, Belelyubsky pioneered the use of a hinge connection of transversal girders to bottom chords of trusses. At the Edinburg Expo in 1890, this design had won the Gold medal and later came to be known abroad as the «russian method».
Belelyubsky tried to help Russian science move forward, representing his country at many international railway exhibitions and forums. The studies of Belelyubsky were presented in books, drawings and bridge models at several world expositions (Edinburg, 1890; Chicago 1893; and five expos held in Paris). He was also a member of the International Association of Railroad Congresses, a honorary member of the Society of Civil Engineers of France, and a honorary member of the Institute of Concrete in England. At the World Expo 1900 in Paris Belelyubsky received the highest honor.
- «Энциклопедия Таганрога». — Ростов-на-Дону: Ростиздат, 2003. — 512 с. — ISBN 5-7509-0662-0