The next generation of IEC leaders and experts

Eighty Young Professionals (YP) representing 39 countries gathered in Busan to participate in the ninth annual IEC Young Professionals Workshop held in conjunction with the IEC General Meeting.

The workshop provided participants with the opportunity to learn more about the IEC and its standardization and conformity assessment work. It included numerous breakout sessions and networking opportunities.

Young Professional Leaders elected in 2017 and 2018
Young Professional leaders elected at the YP workshops in 2017 and 2018

According to Robert McLaren, coordinator of the YP Programme, "the participants were enthusiastic and their interest and motivation grew as the workshop unfolded. They discovered how the IEC approaches emerging trends and technologies and they also learnt about the importance of having full representation in the national committee (NC) structure".

Each YP had the choice of observing either the Standardization Management Board (SMB) or the Conformity Assessment Board (CAB) meetings. To experience the IEC in action, they observed part of a technical meeting followed by a hands-on simulation exercise.

Several members of the IEC Executive Board participated in the YP workshop. Frans Vreeswijk, IEC General Secretary & CEO, remarked that "the 2018 YPs were very engaged and they are excited to help the IEC community to further improve. They shared with us ideas on agile operations and showed us how to work more flexibly, in line with our Masterplan".

Election of YP Leaders

Each year, three YP Leaders are selected among participants attending the YP workshop to serve as the YP ambassadors within the IEC community.

Frank Bakker from the Netherlands

Frank Bakker is a Technical Development & Market Strategy Manager at SolarEdge Technologies a company in the smart energy sector. He has worked in the solar industry for the past 12 years, with experience in product development and market strategy. More recently, Frank has focused on the implementation of virtual power plants (VPPs) and grid services.

Frank currently serves as Chair for the national NEC TC 82 on solar PV energy systems. He is also a member of IEC TC 64 JWG 32 on the electrical safety of PV system installations.

Xun Gong from China

Xun Gong is the Environmental Technical Lead of Global Product Standard and Environmental Engineering at Lenovo. She focuses on green manufacturing, product eco-design, life-cycle analysis, product carbon footprint and recycling areas. She also established the Lenovo life cycle assessment (LCA) / Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) calculation system.

Xun serves as an expert in IEC TC 111 on environmental standardization for electrical and electronic products and systems as well as in the Chinese committees of SAC/TC 297 SC 2 on environmental design and SC 4 on recycling.

Carrie Schmaus from the United States

Carrie Schmaus is a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow at the Water Power Technologies Office at the United States Department of Energy where she works as a marine science analyst and interagency coordinator to mature the marine energy industry (wave, tidal, and current). Previously, she worked as a research fellow at the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships.

Carrie is involved with IEC TC 114 activities on marine energy and participates on the US National Committee as a member of the Young Professional Committee.

Ready to make a difference

The YP Leaders have begun preliminary discussions on the projects that they plan to lead within the IEC this year. Ideas include developing a more modern, app like approach, to parts of the ISO/IEC Directives, the organization of one-day standardization boot camps in different countries and possibly a hackathon. During the YP workshop break-out sessions, YPs came up with several great ideas such as a chat bot hotline and a QR code that provides information on which standards a product conforms.