Dessau (engineering)

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IndustryEngineering-Construction Services
HeadquartersMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Key people
Marc Verreault, President & CEO (Interim)
RevenueIncrease C$750 million (2012)
OwnerStantec Inc.
Number of employees
4,800 (as of March 8, 2012)

Dessau was an engineering consulting firm. It was the fifth-largest[1] engineering-construction firm in Canada and was ranked 57th in the world.[2] The company traced its origins to 1957, when Jean-Claude Desjardins and Paul-Aimé Sauriol founded an engineering consulting firm by the name of Desjardins & Sauriol. Active in both national and international markets, the firm employed 4,800 people and posted annual revenues of $750 million[year needed]. The company had offices in North Africa, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Dessau was one of "Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies."


Jean-Claude Desjardins and Paul-Aimé Sauriol, 1964-1966.
Paul-Aimé Sauriol, Founder

In September 1957, provincial highway engineer Jean-Claude Desjardins met with Paul-Aimé Sauriol, who ran a small engineering consultancy in Île Jésus, Quebec, after a mutual friend suggested they explore the possibility of working together. By the end of that year, the two men founded Desjardins & Sauriol, ingénieurs-conseils.

In Quebec, the following years marked the onset of the Quiet Revolution, a heady period of rapid change for both the province as well as Desjardins & Sauriol, whose business had grown to 30 employees by 1961. The province was brimming with engineering-construction megaprojects and the firm landed numerous transportation and municipal engineering contracts, expanding its business to include geotechnical, structural, electrical and mechanical departments.

The James Bay hydroelectric project, dubbed by then-premier Robert Bourassa as Quebec’s "Project of the Century[3]", would earn the company national recognition and set the stage for the Dessau’s international expansion. With a generating capacity of 16,000 MW and spanning an area the size of New York State, James Bay featured one of the largest hydroelectric systems in the world.[4] Headquartered in Matagami, Dessau’s team oversaw soil studies, layout verification, logistics and the building of a strategic road through forests and other unforgiving landscape elements. A multidisciplinary team of engineers, geologists, surveyors, loggers, bush pilots, laborers, truckers and technicians was mobilized and they managed to complete the project a full year ahead of schedule.

In 1975, Dessau was mandated to build a new national highway in Zaire and three years later Dessau International was born.

The 1980s saw Dessau’s international experience expand but also witnessed the company’s first tangible steps in the field of environmental sustainability and energy efficiency. Since the early 1980s, Dessau has espoused a "green dream", from restoring waterways in the greater Montreal area to more recent conservation plans that now play a key role in Quebec’s energy strategy.

The 1990s were marked by a series of strategic mergers and acquisitions.

While Dessau continues to take on an increasing number of major international projects, such as the East-West Highway in Algeria,[5] SIEPAC Central American electric grid interconnection project[6] or the Guajimia Canal in the Dominican Republic, the firm’s leadership maintains a high premium on retaining the company’s position as a key player in the Quebec engineering market.

Major Projects[edit]

East-West Highway, Algeria
Montreal Palais des Congrès Convention Centre

2012: Bridge design for a structure spanning the Magdalena River – Colombia

2011: Quality control during the construction of a 4.2 km runway at Calgary International Airport – Calgary, Canada

2010: Construction of the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal – Research Centre (CR-CHUM) – Montreal, Canada

2010: 1,200-km East-West Highway – Algeria

2010: Guajimia Canal sewage treatment[7] – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

2010: Montreal metro fixed equipment and systems upgrades – Montreal, Canada

2008: Trinidad rapid rail project[8] – Trinidad and Tobago

2008: SIEPAC Central American Electrical Interconnection System – San José, Costa Rica

2007: Great Mosque of Algiers – Algeria

2006: Redevelopment of the LeBreton Flats – Ottawa, Canada

2005: Construction and expansion of Campanario thermoelectric power plant – Chile

2004: Acadie Circle reconstruction – Montreal, Canada

2002: Palais des congrès de Montréal Convention Centre – Montreal, Canada

2000: Rural electrification project supervision – Peru

1990: Canadian Museum of Civilization – Gatineau, Canada

1975: James Bay hydroelectric project – Quebec, Canada


Dessau operates nearly 80 offices in Canada, Algeria, the Caribbean and Latin America (Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Dominican Republic, Trindad and Tobago).

Areas of Expertise[edit]

1.Engineering 1.Buildings
2.Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture 2.Water
3.Geotechnical, Materials and Environmental 3.Energy
4.Management and Construction 4.Environment and Sustainable Development
5.Operations 5.Health and Education
7.Telecommunications and Security


LVM Geotechnical, Materials and Environmental Engineering
Verreault Management and Construction
Plania Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture
Simo Facilities Management – Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants
Société Gestrans Public and Adapted Transportation
Sogep Recreational Facility Management


Projects from 1957 to 1969[edit]

1.Master plan for roads, sewers and water mains, Saint-Martin Parish, Île Jésus, Laval, Canada 1957
2.Road, sewer, water supply and drainage plans for the cities of Fabreville, Pont-Viau, Sainte-Dorothée and Chomedey, Canada 1957-1968
3.Section of the Trans-Canada Highway (A-20), Saint-Hyacinthe, Canada 1961
4.Chomedey water treatment plant, Île Jésus, Laval, Canada 1961
5.Extension of the Laurentian Highway (A-15), Saint-Jérôme, Canada 1961-1962
6.Materials testing for highways 10, 40 and 15, Montréal, Canada 1961-1964
7.Materials testing, geotechnical services, dams, dykes and water intake for the Outardes hydroelectric project, James Bay, Canada 1961-1970
8.Antoine-Labelle School, Sainte-Rose, Canada 1962
9.Various highway sections in Quebec (A-20, A-40, A-540, A-520 and A-10), Canada 1962-1966
10.Ville-Marie Expressway, Fullum-Saint-Léonard section, Montreal, Canada 1963
11.Reconstruction of Pie-IX Bridge, Île Jésus, Montreal, Canada 1963-1965
12.Turcot Interchange (A-20), Montreal, Canada 1963-1965
13.Sainte-Thérèse water treatment plant, Canada 1964-1965
14.Vaudreuil-Dorion Interchange, Montreal, Canada 1964-1966
15.Road network study, Île Jésus, Canada 1964-1967
16.Sûreté du Québec building, Montreal, Canada 1965-1968
17.Saint-Eustache arena, Canada 1965
18.Champlain Bridge resurfacing, Ottawa, Canada 1969-1970
19.James Bay access road study, Quebec, Canada 1969-1970
20.Soil analysis and materials testing for numerous Hydro-Québec hydroelectric projects (Manic-Outardes, La Grande, Caniapiscau reservoir, Romaine and Grande-Baleine rivers, etc.), Canada 1961-1980

Projects from 1970 to 1979[edit]

1.Elimination of level crossings, various railroads, Dorion, Canada 1969-1972
2.Science building, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada 1970-1971
3.Sections of highways 19, 13 and 440, Laval, Canada 1970-1977
4.James Bay access road, including 720 kilometres of highway and 11 major bridges, Quebec, Canada 1971-1976
5.Materials testing, Olympic complex and stadium, Montreal, Canada 1971-1980
6.Matagami Airport, James Bay, Quebec, Canada 1972-1974
7.Mechanical and electrical systems, Collège Montmorency, Laval, Canada 1973-1975
8.Mechanical and electrical systems, Cité de la Santé Hospital, Laval, Canada 1973-1977
9.Zaire National Highway, 750 kilometres of highway and 16 bridges, Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa 1973-1979
10.Twinning of Lachapelle Bridge connecting Laval and Montreal, Canada 1973-1976
11.Dykes and dams, Caniapiscau reservoir, Quebec, Canada 1974-1983
12.Materials testing, Manic 3 power station, Quebec, Canada 1975
13.Materials testing, LG2 power station, Quebec, Canada 1975
14.Head office, Dessau I building, Laval, Canada 1975-1977
15.Power transmission lines for the James Bay project, 7000 km, 6 lines, Quebec, Canada 1975-1980
16.Dorion bypass, Highway 20, Quebec, Canada 1977-1981
17.Highway117, 13 km, Grand-Remous, Canada 1977
18.Quality control, Marine Industries turbine upgrades 1977
19.Access road for the Grande-Baleine hydroelectric complex, 300 km of road and 11 bridges, Quebec, Canada 1979-1981
20.Design and construction of the Tennis 13 recreational centre, Laval, Canada 1979

Projects from 1980 to 1989[edit]

1.Resurfacing of Highway 40 West, Montreal, Canada 1980
2.Redesign of Saint-Martin Boulevard West, Laval, Canada 1981
3.Rural electrification of 400 villages, Côte d'Ivoire, Africa 1981-1986
4.Dessau II building, Laval, Canada 1981-1982
5.Fabreville water treatment plant, Laval, Canada 1982-1986
6.Upgrades to 78 Hydro-Québec sub-stations, Quebec, Canada 1982-1990
7.Geotechnical engineering and materials testing, LG2 power station and Caniapiscau dam, James Bay, Canada 1983-1987
8.Saint-Gabriel de Brandon arena, Canada 1983-1984
9.Marigot intercepting sewer, 15 kilometres underground, Laval, Canada 1984-1985
10.Utility upgrades, Place Montréal Trust, Centre Eaton and Promenades de la Cathédrale, Montreal, Canada 1984-1989
11.Electrical and telecom systems, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau, Canada 1984-1990
12.Design of Place Saint-Roch, Quebec City, Canada 1984-1985
13.Expansion and repair of Viau Bridge, Laval-Montreal, Canada 1985-1988
14.Radisson-Nicolet-Des-Cantons power transmission line (6th line), 450 kV, James Bay, Quebec, Canada 1985-1989
15.Five railway bridges – Douala Yaounde Line, Cameroon 1984-1985
16.Materials testing, Bell Canada buildings, Montreal, Canada 1986
17.Mechanical-electrical systems, Hydro-Québec administrative centre, Laval, Canada 1986-1989
18.Resurfacing of Beauharnois Suspension Bridge, Canada 1986-1989
19.Widening of a section of the Décarie Expressway, Montreal, Canada 1989-1990
20.Lake Robertson power station, Côte-Nord, Canada 1984-1995

Projects from 1990 to 1999[edit]

1.Reconstruction of the Beauharnois power station, Canada Depuis 1990
2.Reconstruction of the El-Azab power station, Egypt 1990
3.Road repair, Nord-Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo 1990-1996
4.Public transportation plan for the Société de transport de Laval, Canada 1990-1991
5.Integrated waste management, Cotonou, Benin 1991-2000
6.Expansion of the Chomedey water treatment plant, Laval, Canada 1991
7.Grain storage program, Bangladesh 1993
8.Structural assessment of 200 bridges, Malaysia 1993-1995
9.East Lake wastewater treatment, Hubei, China 1993-1995
10.Cosmodôme de Laval structure, Canada 1993-1994
11.500 kV power transmission, Ertan, China 1993-1999
12.Environmental survey of contaminated sites, Quebec, Canada 1994-1995
13.Redevelopment of Henri-Bourassa Boulevard (between Albert-Hudon and Marien streets), Montreal, Canada 1995-1998
14.Repairs to Highway 1, Vietnam 1995-1996
15.Construction of the Rabat-Fès Highway, Morocco 1995-1996
16.Power transmission line rehabilitation, Peru 1996
17.National energy-efficient buildings program, China 1996-2000
18.Water purification program, Dominica 1987-2004
19.Revitalization of the Sine and Ferlo fossil valleys, Senegal 1997
20.Reconstruction of Hydro-Québec’s energy transmission grid following the 1998 ice storm, Quebec, Canada 1998-2000
21.Expansion of Montreal’s Palais des congrès, Canada 1999-2002
22.Highway 2000 project, Jamaica 1999-2002

Projects from 2000 to 2009[edit]

1.Rolls-Royce Trent Atwater test cell, Montreal, Canada 2000-2002
2.Repair and replacement of station equipment in the Montreal metro, Canada 2000-2011
3.Bridge rehabilitation program, Grenada 2001
4.LeBreton Flats development plan, Ottawa, Canada 2001-2006
5.Hydro-electric mini-stations, Dominican Republic 2001-2007
6.National Circus School, Montreal, Canada 2002-2003
7.Inspection and CAD for 25 major bridges, Algeria 2002-2003
8.Acadie Circle redesign, Montreal, Canada 2002-2003
9.Water purification system rehabilitation, Venezuela 2002-2006
10.Preliminary and final designs, second Algiers beltway, Algeria 2003-2005
11.Underwater fibre-optic telecommunications cable, Gaspé Peninsula-Magdalen Islands, Canada 2003-2004
12.Asset management for the City of Longueuil, Canada 2003-2006
13.Honoré-Mercier Hospital renovation and expansion, Quebec, Canada 2003-2005
14.Decontamination and rehabilitation of Fort-Georges Island 2003-2006
15.Water quality improvement works in the Guajimia Canal, Dominican Republic 2003-2008
16.Quartier DIX-30 shopping centre, Brossard, Canada 2004-2006
17.Repair and widening of Highway 175, Quebec, Canada 2003-2008
18.Outremont Community Centre, including telecommunications systems, Montreal, Canada 2004-2006
19.Electro-mechanical systems at the Toulnustouc power station, Quebec, Canada 2001-2005
20.Preliminary design for the Princes Town-Mayaro Highway, Trinidad and Tobago 2005-2006
21.Project management assistance for the East-West Highway, Algeria 2006-2010
22.SIEPAC Electrical interconnection project, Central America 2006-2009
23.Project management assistance for the Great Mosque of Algiers, Algeria 2007-2013

Projects from 2010 to 2015[edit]

1.Design and construction studies for an electrified double railway track, Algeria 2010-
2.Construction of the Université de Montréal Hospital Centre Research Centre (CR-CHUM), Canada 2010-
3.Construction du McGill University Hospital Centre (MUHC), Montreal, Canada 2010-
4.Quality control during the construction of a 4.2 km runway at Calgary International Airport, Canada 2011-
5.Design of a new bridge spanning the Magdalena River, Colombia 2012-


On 24 September 2014, Stantec announced that they would acquire the engineering assets of Dessau.[9] The acquisition was completed in January 2015.[10]


  1. ^ "Page 8 | Rankings | FP500 | News | Financial Post". Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  2. ^ "The 2015 Top 225 International Design Firms 1-100". Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  3. ^ "Hydro-Quebec Project". Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  4. ^ Marsh, James H. "James Bay Project". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  5. ^ "Algeria Claims Largest Public Works Project | Story ID: 9328". Construction Equipment Guide. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
  6. ^ "SIEPAC, transmision regional, electricidad por Empresa Propietaria de la Red Costa Rica". Retrieved 2011-11-25.
  7. ^ "Government distributes second stage of Guajimia project". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  8. ^ UK, DVV Media. "Trinidad rapid rail consortium confirmed". Railway Gazette. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  9. ^ "Stantec to acquire engineering assets of Dessau - Stantec". Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  10. ^ "Stantec completes acquisition of Dessau's engineering assets - Stantec". Retrieved 2017-12-09.