1978 Economic Economic

Camille Dagenais is known internationally for his expertise in civil engineering, in particular for major construction works. An esteemed graduate of the École Polytechnique de Montréal, he was one of the main architects of the SNC Group.

Mr. Dagenais was born in Montréal in 1920. When he joined Surveyer, Nenniger and Chênevert in 1953, his colleagues quickly recognized his qualities as builder and leader. He became a partner in the firm in 1959. The world was changing rapidly at the time, and Mr. Dagenais knew that a new approach was needed. Little by little, he convinced the firm to restructure its practices and operations. In 1965, the partners unanimously named him president of SNC. Two years later, the new entity’s financial structure was created and shares were distributed to employees. In just a few years, Camille Dagenais managed to build one of the very first Québec businesses that was international in reach and competed fiercely to make it a global reference.

During the 1960s, Mr. Dagenais led a team of engineers and hydrologists in charge of analyzing the Manicouagan Outardes reservoirs and designing the Manic-5 hydroelectric project (the Daniel Johnson Dam). The same team designed the Première Chute and Rapide-des-Îles generating stations in Québec, as well as the Idukki generating station in India. Mr. Dagenais was a special advisor on other major SNC hydraulic projects: the development of the LG2A site in Québec, the enhancement of the Aoos and Achelos rivers in Greece, the construction of the Sidi Saad and El Haouarch flood control dam in Tunisia, the electrification of the province of Qaseem in Saudi Arabia, the completion of a feasibility study for the imposing Chinese Three Gorges dam, and more.

During the latter half of his career, this Companion of the Order of Canada put his innovative mind at the service of a number of Canadian businesses: Royal Bank of Canada, Cogeco, the Canam Manac Group, the Jean Coutu Group, Industrial Alliance and Spar Aerospace. A generous man who puts great faith in human potential, he introduced a culture of success and excellence to Québec. He has frequently enabled young professionals to achieve high levels of expertise.

Camille Dagenais was named a member of the academy of Great Montrealers in 1978.

Source: Ordre national du Québec