Obituary - Dave W. Smith

A lifetime of experience in components

It is with great sadness that the IEC learnt of the passing away of former IECQ Chair Dave W. Smith on 20 June 2017.

Dave Smith, Edison Award 2012, Oslo
Dave Smith during his speech after he received the IEC Thomas A. Edison Award in Oslo, Norway in 2012

From industry…

Dave Smith graduated in electrical engineering from the University of London and spent all his professional career working for the electronics industry. He first joined a company called Standard Telephone and Cables Ltd. (STC), where he worked as an engineer in the Quartz Crystal Division. One of the projects he led, in association with the Battelle Institute in Basel, Switzerland, was to design the quartz crystal for the first ever Omega quartz watch. 

In the following years, he familiarized himself with a variety of electronic components, and occupied a series of managerial positions that gained him experience in various sectors of the electronic industry. His last position was with Nortel, formerly Northern Telecom, as Director of Component Engineering. In 2000, the telecommunications sector suffered serious setbacks. Smith decided to take early retirement in 2002 after being involved in the initial phases of corporate downsizing. 

…to standardization and certification

In the 1970s, Smith became involved in standardization and certification activities in the UK. He sat in a number of BSI committees and was appointed Chairman of the BSI Committee for electronic components that represented the UK in CECC, the CENELEC Electronic Components Committee and also in IECQ, the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components. 

Smith then became President of CECC. During his chairmanship, Smith took an active part in the dialogue that was established with IECQ, the international equivalent of the European CECC. The dialogue focused on a potential merger of the two bodies. When the merger was approved, Smith was elected as a second Vice-Chairman of the IECQ Management Committee. 

In 2003, IECQ and CECC merged and Smith was elected Chair of the new entity, IECQ-CECC, which then later reverted to IECQ. 

The role of the Chair

As Chairman of the IECQ Management Committee, Smith represented the System at a number of events, conferences, trade shows and so forth. He had regular contacts with IECQ members and was invited to attend some of their meetings. He also contributed to the establishment of the IECQ Chairman’s Advisory Group (CAG), the predecessor of the IECQ Executive Group. 

IEC Edison Award laureate

In 2012, Dave Smith was one of the laureates of the IEC Thomas A. Edison Award. The award recognizes exceptional achievements in the management of IEC standardization and conformity assessment activities by current TC/SC officers (chair, secretary or assistant secretary of a technical  committee or subcommittee) and officers of the IEC Conformity Assessment Systems and their subsidiary bodies. 

Smith ended his 10 years (three three-year terms + one extra year) as Chair of the IECQ Management Committee on 31 December 2013. 

The IEC community extends its deepest sympathies to his wife Maureen and his family.