1985 Economic Economic

A highly talented engineer, a capable administrator and a brilliant businessman, Bernard Lamarre emerges as a figure to emulate among the engineering community and among Montrealers in general.

The son of an engineer and descended from a long line of builders, Mr. Lamarre was born in Chicoutimi in 1931. At an early age, he came to Montréal. He studied at Collège Mont-Saint-Louis and then at École Polytechnique from which he received his bachelor's degree in 1952 in applied sciences (civil engineering). The recipient of an Athlone Fellowship, he obtained his master's in science-engineering in 1955 following post-graduate studies in structural and soil mechanics engineering at the Imperial College of Science and Technology of London (England). He completed his training in engineering at École Polytechnique in 1959.

Mr. Lamarre's professional experience is extremely wide and diverse and yet it can be summed up in one word: Lavalin. His career began when he joined Lalonde et Valois, a Montréal engineering consulting firm. From 1955 to 1962, he worked successively as a soil mechanics engineer, a structural engineer, a civil engineer and finally as chief engineer. Appointed General Manager of Lalonde, Valois, Lamarre et Associés Inc., he became President in 1972. He was then elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lavalin International Inc. and Chief Executive Officer of Lavalin Inc.

Mr. Lamarre is indeed the man behind the success of Lavalin: a huge Canadian company with 5,000 employees in Canada, 1,500 of whom are engineers working in Quebec, and over 50 divisions, including 18 offices throughout the world. Among the Lavalin projects are the Trans-Canada Highway, the Ville-Marie Expressway, the Louis-Hippolyte-Lafontaine Tunnel, Expo 67 and the Olympic complex, as well as the formidable undertaking which brought about the James Bay hydroelectric development. The list goes on to include the Alcan aluminum plant in Grande-Baie, the Petro-Canada CANMET project, the EOLE project in conjunction with Hydro-Québec, and more recently, the huge Pechiney aluminum project in Bécancour.

Along with his activities in Quebec, Mr. Lamarre has imparted his style and energy to Lavalin's rapid expansion programme in Canada. The company's acquisitions are many and they often involve strategic areas such as the petroleum and petrochemical industries. Lavalin's projects span the country, from the Nova Scotia port installations on one coast, to the Vancouver transit system in British Columbia on the other, and include drilling platforms in the Great North. And there are more projects abroad, which account for more than a third of the company's overall activities. Lavalin International's presence is being felt in over100 countries where more than 600 projects are underway in practically every area of the applied sciences.

In addition to being a frequent guest speaker, Mr. Lamarre has contributed to dozens of publications, and has been awarded a number of honorary degrees. He is also a member of several associations and boards of directors of private or public organizations. At present, he was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts and of the Engineering Centennial Board which is organizing events to mark the 100th anniversary of engineering in Canada (1987). An Officer of the Order of Canada, he is also a member of the Ordre National du Québec. His contribution to the development of the arts is especially noteworthy, Lavalin housing a prestigious collection composed of some 600 works of well-known Canadian artists.