The initiators of the creation of the Institute are electrical engineers – members of SEP (Association of Polish Electrical Engineers) with the Prof. Kazimierz Drewnowski (Warsaw University of Technology) in the forefront.
The organizational outline and activity range of the Electrotechnical Institute at the Warsaw University of Technology was presented in 1934. The authors of that concept were Prof. K. Drewnowski and eng. J. Hoser. At that time the communication electrotechnics has already had an institution of such kind in the shape of the Radiotechnical Institute and of the excellently developing National Telecommunication Institute (PIT). The deficiency of a corresponding institution in the range of power engineering was to be remedied by creating the Electrotechnical Institute organized at the Warsaw University of Technology which assigned for it rooms in the newly erected Electrotechnical Building
The issue of creating the Electrotechnical Institute was taken up in the preparations to and in the program of the IX th General Meeting of SEP which took place on 23 – 27 May 1937.
One of the key problems discussed at that Meeting was the project of calling the “Polish Electrotechnical Institute” and its cooperation with industry. In the period preceding the Meeting the Industrial Section of SEP asked the specialists in various areas of electrotechnics to prepare material for discussing it at the Meeting. The initiative resulted in about 10 papers being prepared.
The papers presented at the Meeting, concerning creation of the Polish Electrotechnical Institute, the discussion before the meeting and during it inclined the Meeting of SEP to put forward the a resolution prepared by Group B of the Industrial Section as follows:
“ A need is stated to create the Polish Electrotechnical Institute as an institution aimed at conducting scientifically and scientific – technological research in the field of power engineering according to the patterns of great national institutes of other countries “.
After a short discussion the Meeting accepted the presented resolutions, transferring their realization to the General Management.
As a result of the efforts of Prof. Janusz Lech Jakubowski, the author of two papers from before meetings in 1937 there was created in Warsaw in 1945 the National High Voltage Institute whose activities were widened onto the whole domain of electrotechnics in September 1946 and which was named the National Electrotechnical Institute and then, starting 1951 – the Electrotechnical Institute .
Organizationally the Institute was subordinated to the Central Management of the Power Engineering and then to different ministries.
The beginnings of the Institute were very modest, two halls, in the completely burnt down, devoided of ceilings and roofs building of the Warsaw University of Technology – Electrotechnical Department. In the first year, apart of starting construction work, particularly the roofing work, the transformer assemble of the University was put into operation (300 kV, 100 kVA). As early as in 1946 the Institute started issuing expert opinion for the industry.
As the moment of its creation the Institute had six scientifical – research departments which were personally, topically and situationally very closely connected with the Warsaw University of Technology. Construction of own premises was started in Warsaw – Międzylesie in 1951. This location was not accidental as there were nearly the ZWAR works, at that time the only works in Poland producing high voltage switchgear. The neighbourhood of that works ensured the necessary infrastructure and the grounds being available created development possibilities. According to the concepts of that time it had to be a scientific – research center for the whole area of home electrotechnics.
The designs of laboratory halls were developed by teams lead by co-workers of the Institute. The whole planning of the combine is coordinated from the conceptual point of view by Prof. J. Lando, the chairman of NKOPI.
On the 3 January 1948, on the initiative of Prof. Jerzy Skowroński, was created the Department of Electrotechnical Material Science with it’s headquarter in Wrocław as a separate Part of the National Electrotechnical Institute.
The Department of Maritime Electrotechnics is created in Gdańsk in 1952, lead by assistant Prof. Henryk Hadrian.
An event, very important for the future of the Institute, was the creation of the Technical Design Office under Wilhelm Smoluchowski, M. Sc. changed later into the Electric Machine and Equipment Design Department and then into the Pilot Plant whose taste was to conduct pilot production for the needs of the Institute.
Further development of the Institute followed in the next years and at the same time a part of the IEL topics was transferred to other already existing institute or to the ones being newly created, basing on the IEL staff and equipment. In this way, IEL is the mother of almost the whole Polish electrical power engineering.
The Pilot Plant III of IEL in Międzylesie Kłodzkie was created in 1964. The first manager of the Pilot Plant III was Jerzy Błażejewski.
The Department of Fundamental Research came into being in 1978, headed by Prof. Tadeusz Śliwiński. The IEL Pilot Plant II in Jedlina Zdrój (1981 – 1995). The METROL Department in Zielona Góra (2008 - 2011). In 1993 the IEL obtained accreditation of its first testing laboratory – the Laboratory of IEL Branch in Gdańsk.
At present the IEL has got accreditation for three testing laboratories, calibrating laboratory and Electrotechical Products Certification Body.
In 1996 the IEL started to conduct doctoral studies mainly wiith industrial co-workers.
In 2000 the IEL obtained the Accreditation Certificate as a Unit Certifying Electrotechnical Products, bestowed by PCBC.
In 2002 two Centres of Excellence came into being at the IEL, financed from the funds of the framework programme of the European Union.
The quality management system ISO 9001:2000 was implemented in the IEL in 2003, certified by PCBC-IQNET.
In 2004 the IEL obtained notification for five EU directives: LVD, MD, EMC, TOYS and NNE.
In 2004 the Minister of Education and Informatization granted the IEL a Diploma for obtaining the status of the Advanced Technology Centre MCZT.
In 2005 the IEL opened a Scientific – Research Park “New Electrotechnics” in order to implement and support innovation.
In 2005, in the IEL was created the Mazovian Center of Ancillary Services for Individual Innovators (MCUPdII) financed from the European Social Fund and state budged.