Meet the Young Professionals

IEC Young Professionals in Busan for YP workshop

This year, around 70 Young Professionals (YP) are in Busan to attend the three-day YP Workshop held alongside the IEC General Meeting. For the YPs, this Workshop serves as an opportunity to learn more about the IEC work in standardization and conformity assessment as well as to network with the 3 000 IEC experts attending the General Meeting.

Young Professional presenting at the General Meeting
Young Professionals are invited to speak at various events

As part of the Workshop, YPs attend the Standardization Management Board (SMB) or Conformity Assessment Board (CAB) meeting, observe a technical meeting and participate in several breakout sessions. They also have the opportunity to meet with IEC Officers as well as the representatives from their National Committees, notably during a breakfast meeting.

YP Leaders from previous years are available to share their experiences and lead some sessions. Jonathan Colby, a YP leader from 2011, will give tips on how YPs can become involved in the work of standardization and conformity assessment at the national and international levels. Jonathan is currently Chair of Technical Committee (TC) 114 on marine energy as well as Chair of the Operational Management Committee (OMC) on marine energy for the IECRE. Alan Sellers, IEC 2016 YP Leader, will lead a session on the work of Strategic Group (SG) 12 – Digital transformation. The 2017 YP Leaders will also give presentations and lead the voting process for the new YP Leaders.

This year, YPs can participate in a half-day industry visit to LG Electronics Changwon factory which has been organized by the Korean Host Committee. This factory is attracting worldwide attention for its ability to produce one washing machine every 8.5 seconds.  

Recent YP activities

This year, the YP Programme has put in place a number of activities to help ensure the continued involvement of YPs beyond the YP workshop.

Initiatives by 2017 YP Leaders

Each year, YP Leaders select activities to undertake on behalf of the YP programme. In 2018, YP Leaders have been giving presentations at local universities, preparing an FAQ and developing a standardization boot camp.

Jorge Richard Angulo from Mexico is working together with a small group of YPs to present an overview about the work of the IEC and their respective National Committees to local universities. This initiative has resulted in 10 presentations delivered at local universities.

Juan (Apple) Li from China has prepared a frequently asked questions (FAQ) to help future YPs navigate through the selection process and workshop. It provides detailed information from the perspective of a YP to help others better understand such topics as the relationship between YPs and IEC technical committees, the role of YP Leaders and how to prepare for the YP workshop. It is available on the YP section of the IEC website.

Annette Frederiksen from Germany has developed a one-day standardization boot camp which will take place in Frankfurt from 15-16 November. With the support of the IEC National Committee of Germany and Jan Tiedemann, IEC Community Manager, Annette has prepared the content for a workshop that simulates the full process of developing an IEC Standard. A test platform has been put in place on the new IEC Collaboration Tools so that participants can prepare their standard using IEC IT tools. The planning and tools developed for this one-day boot camp will be made available for use by other IEC National Committees.

Future Leaders Forum

In March, YPs participated in a Future Leaders Forum which explored the issue of cyber security in smart grids. Hosted by Siemens at its offices in Munich, the Forum brought together 10 YPs to discuss technology trends, standardization needs and conformity assessment for smart grids. The research institute VDI-VDE-IT which moderated the Forum discussions, produced a meeting report with an overview of the main issues addressed.

YPs expressed their satisfaction with the Forum with 85% indicating a willingness to participate in another Forum. Specifically, they enjoyed the networking opportunity and the lively discussions. Based on the feedback received from the participants, the IEC YP Programme is currently brainstorming ideas for possible editions in the future.

YP representatives in IEC groups

The IEC YP Programme serves as a gateway for further involvement in standardization and conformity assessment work at the IEC and national levels. YPs have served as experts on the IEC TCs, chaired TCs, and received the IEC 1906 award. Over 100 YPs have active roles in the IEC including at the national level.

Since 2017, YP representatives have participated in such SMB work as the Directives Maintenance Team (DMT), the Systems Resource Group (SRG) which reviews Systems activities. In 2018, YPs have joined Adhoc Group 79 which looks at the ethics of autonomous systems and SG 12 on the digital transformation. YPs have also been active in conformity assessment work with representatives participating in CAB working groups on systems issues and cyber security.

This bodes well for the future of standardization and conformity assessment as the next generation of experts is ready to continue the work accomplished by past and current IEC experts.