Lionel Cahill

Lionel Cahill
Lionel Cahill
Quebec, Canada
Associated organizations
Fields of study
IEEE William M. Habirshaw Award


Born on June 24, 1922 in Quebec, Canada, Lionel Cahill received the B.A. degree and the B.A.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from Laval University in Quebec City.

After his graduation, he joined Hydro-Quebec in 1947 and until 1962 divided his time about equally between engineering and operation activities in various regions of the province of Quebec. From 1956 until 1962, while he was responsible for the operation of an extensive 315 KV transmission system, he carried many studies, tests and measurements on corona losses, radio interference and switching surge overvoltages on 315 KV and 161 KV lines.

In 1962, Mr. Cahill became Assistant to the Chief Engineer and in June of the same year, with Mr. Archambault, Assistant System Planning Engineer, he recommended to review the possibility of transmitting at 735 KV the 5700 MW from the Manicouagan-Outardes hydroelectric complex. The decision to go ahead at 735 KV was made in August 1962.

After graduating from the Program for Management Development at Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration at the end of 1962. Mr. Cahill supervised the design of the 735 KV substations and was a member of the committee responsible for approving the 735 KV system and equipment general characteristics.

From 1964 until 1969, Mr. Cahill was director of the Electrotechnical Projects and responsible for the engineering and construction of substations and telecommunication systems. In 1965 he supervised the commissioning of the first 735 KV transmission link which was in commercial operation three years and three months after the decision had been made.

Since 1969 Mr. Cahill was General Manager of the Engineering Department and responsible for the design of generating plants, transmission lines, substations and telecommunication systems. Amongst the many projects carried by his Department, one of special interest concerns the studies that are made in collaboration with the Research Institute of Hydro-Quebec about the transmission of 16,000 MW from the James Bay area to Montreal. These studies are comparing transmission systems at 735 KV and 1100 to 1200 KV AC and ±550 KV DC. A decision about the system voltage was made at the end of 1973.

Mr. Cahill, a Senior Member of IEEE, was an active member of many national and international societies. In 1966 he was a member of the group which received the Canadian Electrical Man of the Year Award.

Mr. Cahill was married to Hortense Kaine and they had two children: Louise and Paul. His hobbies included the collecting of paintings (oils and watercolors) reading about history and travelling. He also enjoyed tennis, skating and walking (quite a few hundreds of miles a year).