Earlier in his career, scientist Lionel Boulet was a professor in Laval University's Department of Electrical Engineering and subsequently its chairman. He was also a man of action. He convinced Hydro-Québec's management that the corporation should set up its own high-level research centre to support the technological developments connected with construction of the Manic-Outardes complex. Travels abroad to investigate research in other countries enabled him to choose a specific orientation for the future centre: the study of problems related to extra-high-voltage transmission. Next came recruitment of highly qualified personnel from Canada and abroad, with an emphasis on researchers already acknowledged as leading experts in their field. Thanks to Lionel Boulet, Hydro-Québec's research institute enjoyed international stature and renown from the outset.