Steve Ahlfield, P.Eng.

Geotechnical Engineer, Principal |

Steve joined Klohn Leonoff’s Winnipeg office in 1976 following graduate studies, moved to Vancouver in 1980 and since then has advanced his technical and management career to become a trusted advisor to infrastructure and government clients. Steve was selected as one of the founding members of the Principals Group in 2007.

Steve has worked across Canada and internationally in the hydropower, mining, infrastructure and transportation sectors. His experience is in the design and construction of heavy industrial and marine structure foundations. He also has experience in the design, construction monitoring, performance monitoring and legislated dam safety reviews of earth, rockfill and concrete dams, mine tailings storage facilities and waste dumps.

Renowned for his work on foundation design, assessing the potential for soil liquefaction, seismic displacements and methods of ground improvement, Steve incorporates safety and environmental aspects into the design process, including the constructability and surveillance monitoring of each design.

Key Projects

  • Several major expansions for four wastewater treatment plants in Metro Vancouver.

  • Cleveland Dam and Seymour Falls Dam seismic upgrades and dam safety monitoring programs in North Vancouver.

  • Parallel runway, taxiways, apron and new international terminal building at Vancouver International Airport and various airport expansions including runway extensions, ILS foundations, deicing pads, taxiways, aprons, ancillary cargo handling facilities for Fedex and UPS, Airport Connector bridge and jet fuel pipeline in Richmond.

  • Container terminal expansions and berths for the Deltaport and Centerm marine terminals in Vancouver and marine facilities in Kitimat, Tiera del Fuego, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

  • Highway improvement, landslide stabilization and bridge projects in BC including Kennedy Lake Hill, Illicilliwaet Canyon, Vedder Bridge, Vedder Overpass, Quartz Creek, Kicking Horse Canyon, Taylor Bridge and many small bridges in British Columbia.

  • Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelter expansions in Kitimat and the Kemano Completion hydropower generation study.

  • Pulp and paper mill expansions and wastewater treatment facilities at over 40 sites in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, in Canada, and in Maine and Minnesota in the USA.

  • Tailings dams, waste dumps and water supply dam design and construction projects in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, Minnesota, Papua New Guinea, Peru and St. Lucia; and dam safety reviews across western Canada.


Steve has a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois (when geotechnical gurus Ralph Peck, Skip Hendren, Ed Cording, Reza Mesri, Tom Davisson and Herb Ireland were still teaching). He is a registered professional engineer in British Columbia and a member of the Canadian Geotechnical Society.

Fun Fact

Steve is a United States citizen and became a landed immigrant in Canada in 1976. If the arrangement were reversed, he would be classified as an alien (which some may suspect anyway).