2018 IEC Awards

Recognizing excellence and commitment to IEC

Every year IEC honours the commitment and work of a number of individuals in its community who, through their leadership and technical expertise, have contributed to making products and electrical systems safer, more energy efficient, more reliable and more compatible. 

IEC Thomas A. Edison Award

Lord Kelvin Award – the highest distinction of the IEC

Created and first bestowed in 1995, the IEC Lord Kelvin Award is named after IEC first President, William Thomson, Lord Kelvin. It is the highest tribute of the IEC and is awarded in recognition of the long-term technical contributions that outstanding individuals have made to the Commission. 

Nominations for the Lord Kelvin Award can be made by IEC national committees(NCs), technical committee and subcommittee (TC/SC) chairs, and members of the Council Board (CB), Standardization Management Board (SMB) and Conformity Assessment Board (CAB). They submit their proposals based on their recognition of contributions made over time, irrespective of the nationality or technical area of the nominee. 

To date, 35 laureates have received the Lord Kelvin Award. To qualify, candidates must still be active in the IEC and have contributed significantly to IEC work over more than five years. The award honours exceptional leadership and technical contributions to international electrotechnical standardization, conformity assessment (CA) or related activities. It recognizes the role of the awardee in promoting the image of IEC worldwide and contributions to global trade and industry. 

Wim de Kesel to receive the 2018 Lord Kelvin Award

The 2018 laureate is Wim de Kesel of Belgium. A ceremony will be organized during the IEC General Meeting (GM) in Busan, Republic of Korea, on 24 October 2018. He is to receive his gold medal, gold lapel pin and certificate from IEC President James M. Shannon. 

For more than 20 years, Wim de Kesel has played a major role in IEC standardization work. Since 2001, de Kesel has been Secretary of IEC TC 23: Electrical accessories, after serving for five years as the committee’s Assistant Secretary. 

De Kesel has made an outstanding technical contribution to the development of IEC systems and Standards, relentlessly promoting their global relevance. He was a key player in the setting up of the IEC strategy on low voltage direct current (LVDC), first in coordinating Strategic Group (SG) 4 in 2009, then in contributing to Systems Evaluation Group (SEG) 4 (SEGs have since then been renamed Standardization Evaluation Groups). He is now actively involved in systems committee SyC LVDC, closely liaising with TC 23 work in DC. 

He has been a fervent advocate of collaboration among TCs, building bridges between them and promoting the systems approach. 

As Vice-President Standardization in the Legrand group, he has contributed in a major way to the promotion of the IEC image and brand in the business world. Additionally, in his position as CENELEC  Vice-President Policy, he has been instrumental in improving the collaboration with European standardization. 

Thomas A. Edison Award

Created in 2010, the IEC Thomas A. Edison Award recognizes exceptional achievements of TC/SC officers and their IEC CA Systems counterparts. 

To be nominated, TC and SC officers need to be active in IEC work. They must also have made an outstanding contribution to IEC systems and international standardization activities, helping their committees to work more effectively on behalf of key stakeholders. The Award is given to up to nine recipients each year by the Standardization Management Board (SMB) and the Conformity Assessment Board (CAB). Seven of these are reserved for TC/SC officers, and a maximum of two for officers in the CA bodies. 

In 2018, the SMB chose five TC/SC officers:

  • George Kelly, Secretary TC 82: Solar photovoltaic energy systems
  • Gerard Kuyt, Chair SC 86A: Fibres and cables
  • Dejun Ma, Vice-Chair TC 61: Safety of household and similar electrical appliances, and Vice-Chair SyC Active assisted living (AAL)
  • Hiroyuki Ohsaki, Chair TC 77: Electromagnetic compatibility
  • Hiroaki Sugiura, Technical Area Manager TC 100/TA 2: Colour measurement and management 

All 2018 IEC Thomas A. Edison Award laureates will receive their honours from IEC Vice-President and SMB Chair Ralph Sporer during the SMB session at the 2018 IEC GM in Busan. 

The CAB chose two CA System or subsidiary committee officers:

  • Thorsten Arnhold, Chair IECEx
  • Shigeyuki Kondo, Vice-Chair IECEE 

Both will receive the award from IEC Vice-President and CAB Chairman Shawn Paulsen during the CAB session at the 2018 IEC GM. 

1906 Award

The IEC 1906 Award was established in commemoration of the Commission’s foundation in that year and honours technical experts around the world whose work is fundamental to the IEC. Each year a maximum of five awards may be granted per TC, including its various subcommittees. 

A total of 169 experts from 57 TCs (including ISO/IEC JTC 1) and 15 experts from the four CA Systems, representing 19 national committees, were nominated to receive this year’s 1906 Award. It recognizes exceptional recent achievements that contribute in a significant way to advancing the work of the Commission.