Obituary - Walter von Pattay

Dr Walter von Pattay passed away 28 April 2015, aged 75 years

By Janice Blondeau

The IEC Family was deeply saddened by the recent passing of Dr Walter von Pattay, Secretary of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC 25: Interconnection of information technology equipment, a long-time champion of Smart Homes and Smart Buildings, and strong supporter of international standardization.

 Walter von Pattay
Thomas H. Wegmann (left) and Walter von Pattay at the 50th session of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 25/WG 3 (Photo: DKE)

In 1983 Dr von Pattay entered the international standardization arena via IEC TC 83: Information Technology*, initially as Assistant Secretary and subsequently (after a short interruption) in the role of Secretary. Dr von Pattay served as Secretary of JTC1/SC 25 for more than 25 years and as Convenor of SC25/WG 3: Customer Premises Cabling, from 1987 to 2011.

Since the mid '80s, Dr von Pattay pursued with his own special kind of enthusiasm the establishment of an international working group to elaborate a globally applicable standard for structured telecommunication cabling. He had a strong personal interest in and guided the development of ISO/IEC 11801, Information technology - Generic cabling for customer premises, which has become the recognized worldwide Standard for generic cabling.

Dr von Pattay was awarded the DIN Benefits of Standardization prize in 2002 for ISO/IEC 11801. An excerpt of the prize citation shows its importance: “The Standard ultimately contributed so significantly to the planning safety of all those involved in the establishment, management and use of buildings (manufacturer of components and application products, building owners, planners, installers, and users) that it is now unlikely for an office building being built around the world not to be wired in accordance with ISO/IEC 11801 or one of its derivatives.”

He was also a pioneer of international standardization in the areas of Smart Homes and intelligent buildings, in ISO/IEC SC 25/WG1. Von Pattay deployed Smart Home technologies in his own home for more than 20 years, as this June 2010 e-tech interview with him illustrates ("Smart homes just a phone call away").

A strong, dedicated leader who was highly respected by those he worked with, Dr von Pattay gave tirelessly in his role as Secretary of JTC1/SC 25 and its Working Groups. Dr von Pattay remained Secretary of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 25 right up until his death.

All who worked with him will miss his efficient, foresighted and strategically skilled manner of chairing a meeting, particularly his charming way of using cheerful witticisms to help overcome the hurdles in gridlocked negotiations.

Dr von Pattay’s friendship and work will be forever appreciated by ISO/IEC JTC1 and by the wider IEC Family. On behalf of countless standardization colleagues worldwide, we would like to express our sincere condolences to his family and relatives.

* When ISO/IEC JTC 1: Information Technology, was founded, IEC TC 83 became part of this new standardization group. Since 1990 it has been known as ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 25: Interconnection of information technology equipment.

 Walter von Pattay Dr Walter von Pattay
 Walter von Pattay Thomas H. Wegmann (left) and Walter von Pattay at the 50th session of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 25/WG 3 (Photo: DKE)
fam-5_cabling_lrg ISO/IEC 11801 had had a major influence on cabling and wiring worldwide