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Wiring Matters

Wiring Matters 51 - Summer 2014

BEC Young Professionals event

Nicole Whitton reports on the BEC Young Professionals event.

On 1 April 2014, a group of talented young professionals, together with a fair number of more experienced professionals, descended upon Austin Court, the IET’s conference centre in Birmingham. The aim of the day was to immerse ourselves in the subject of standard setting by learning how standards are developed and by understanding the critical benefits of robust standard setting.

Young professionals in attendance stood a chance of winning one of two places at the next IEC’s Young Professionals programme in Tokyo. Against the backdrop of that giddy thought, the day opened with a series of lectures from a range of prominent guest speakers – all experts in the standards industry: Geoff Young, Chairman of the BEC, started the day with a warm welcome for attendees, thereafter, Jack Sheldon from the IEC introduced the importance of standard-setting; Julie Skirvin from Otter Controls gave a fascinating insight into her experience sitting on the various standard-setting committees for domestic appliances; Hilary Roberts provided an introduction to the BSI’s CE and Kitemark symbols; Kevin Harris from BEAMA gave an insightful and illustrative depiction of the counterfeit-goods market and Newell Hampson-Jones, from BSI, discussed what young professionals can do to get involved with standard setting.

After lunch, which neatly provided a good opportunity for attendees to meet one another and network, it was time to dedicate the afternoon to practically applying the content of the morning’s lectures. Attendees split into two groups; in the first session, each group worked through how a standard is generally created, and in the second session each group took a subject area (plugs and sockets or electric vehicles) and created their own standard-scoping document for their chosen topic.

Dr Scott Steadman, Director of Standards at BSI, closed the day with a final overview of standard-setting, which left Geoff Young with the pleasure of announcing the two winners: Neil Moran, already a member of the IET, and Marcin Wloch will be heading off for an all-expenses paid trip to Tokyo in November this year.

Neil and Marcin were thrilled with their win, with Neil saying it was “absolutely amazing” and admitting that he was “a bit overwhelmed” and Marcin looking forward to his trip to Tokyo as an excellent step in his career.

Congratulations to Neil and Marcin and we look forward to hearing about their trip in due course!   

About our winners

4 men smiling

Neil Moran, EngTech MIET

What is your job?

Electrical Operations Support Manager for British Gas

What does your job involve?

I provide support to various business units to ensure that they comply with electrical standards, legislation and regulations. A wide range of installation activities within British Gas require the organisation to be up to date with the latest regulatory requirements.

Why did you attend today?

I wanted to gain more insight into standards committees, how they operate and how best to influence the development of standards, as well as to gain a deeper understanding of the importance of standards. I also felt that this would be a good event to attend as part of my career development.

Marcin Wloch

What is your job title?

R&D Design Engineer for Eaton Electric

What does your job involve?

I oversee the design and partial testing of low voltage electrical distribution products.

Why did you attend today?

I wanted to gain more knowledge about how to interpret and apply standards, as well as how I can become more involved with the standard committee.

About the organisers

The IEC

The IEC – the International Electrotechnical Commission – is the world's leading organisation that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies – collectively known as ‘electrotechnology’. It brings together 163 countries and close to 10,000 experts.

For more information: http://www.iec.ch/.

The BEC

The BEC – the British Electrotechnical Committee – was established in 1906. The BEC was a founder member of the IEC.

The BEC is the national committee responsible for representing the interests of the UK electrotechnical sector in the IEC and in the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC).

More information: https://standardsdevelopment.bsigroup.com/Home/Committee/50002036.