Recognizing excellence

IEC honours eight leaders with Edison Award

By Antoinette Price

Every year, the IEC pays tribute to people from its organization for their distinguished work and commitment to improving the safety, compatibility and energy efficiency of electrical products and systems, with its Thomas A. Edison Award.

Thomas A. Edison Award Ceremony during CAB meeting
The Thomas A. Edison Award ceremony during the CAB meeting in Minsk

Talent across the board

This year, IEC recognized the outstanding work of eight leaders was recognized, covering very diverse fields including: safety of household appliances, semiconductor devices, fibre optic systems, audio video and multimedia systems and equipment, product properties and classes and their identification, automatic electrical controls, measuring equipment for electrical and electromagnetic quantities and equipment for explosive atmospheres.

Ralph Wigg, Former Chair, IEC Subcommittee (SC) 31H, Australia

With a background in electrical power engineering, spanning over 50 years of which 30 plus in Hazardous Area equipment, Ralph Wigg has held the positions of past Chair for IEC SC 31H: Apparatus for use in the presence of ignitable dust (now disbanded, work taken over by IEC TC 31) and Standards Australia TC EL014: Electrical Equipment for Hazardous Area. Wigg is currently Chair of several Standards Australia Hazardous Areas Committees and head Australian delegate to IEC TC 31. His dedication to making Standards work for the electrical industry also includes his work for more than 20 maintenance teams and Working Groups (WG) of which he convenes four. Wigg has also been active in the IECEx System from its inception and was appointed Chair of the IECEx ExPCC for the Certification of Personnel Competence. 

Margie M. Burk, Assistant Secretary IEC TC 61, 72 and 108, US

Margie Burk has greatly supported the smooth management of IEC TC 61: Safety of household and similar electrical appliances (10 years); IEC TC 72: Automatic electrical controls (5 years); and IEC TC 108: Safety of electronic equipment within the field of audio/video, information technology and communication technology (10 years). During this time, Burk has facilitated all reporting and coordination with TC Members. 

Chen Bo, Secretary IEC TC 85, China

Chen Bo was appointed Secretary of IEC TC 85: Measuring equipment for electrical and electromagnetic quantities in 2003 and has made every effort to advance the work of TC 85 ever since. Following technical advancements, Bo has emphasized adapting the work scope of the Technical Committee, to align it with global market demands, such as performance, safety, power quality, and energy efficiency. His continuous communication and collaboration with relevant National Committees and liaison bodies, has led to efficient management of the standard development process and delivery of 23 publications. 

Cheolung Cha, Secretary IEC TC 47, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Cheolung Cha has been recognized for his contributions as Secretary of IEC TC 47: Semiconductor devices, from 2007 to date. To revitalize their standardization activities, he carried out a reorganization of the TC and its Subcommittees, IEC SC 47A, SC 47D, SC 47E and SC 47F.  He proposed and established Working Groups 6 and 7, to extend the scope of semiconductor devices to applications, such as energy harvesting, human body communications, automotive vehicles, and flexible and wearable semiconductor devices. Under his leadership Proposed New Work on these were presented at the 2014 Tokyo plenary meeting and will be submitted in IEC TC 47. Cha is also recognized for his contributions to establish the new IEC SC 47F: microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) to deal with emerging markets on mobile phones and automotive vehicles. He has coordinated and managed 35 publications of International Standards, Technical Reports and Publicly Available Specifications since 2007 in IEC TC 47 (total 90 publications since 1950). 

Pietro Di Vita, Chair IEC SC 86C, Italy

Pietro Di Vita has served as Chair, IEC SC 86C: Fibre optic systems and active devices, since July 1998. In this role, he has successfully developed the activity of this Subcommittee to include five very active WGs, and the largest number of experts among all the TC 86 Subcommittees. It has achieved remarkable efficiency, reducing the working of SC 86C documents from new proposal approval to publication date to an average of 18 months. Under his expert leadership, and thanks to his forward-looking vision, SC 86C recently reactivated WG 2 on fibre optic sensors, technology which is likely to have a significant influence on many different aspects of modern life. Di Vita has contributed to IEC TC 86 in the roles of: Convenor of IEC TC 86/WG 1 on Terminology and Symbology, Convenor of IEC SC 86C/WG 3 on Optical Amplifiers at its inception in 1996, and Convenor of the Coordinating Group on Categorization of Optical Components (now disbanded).

Tadashi Ezaki, Secretary IEC TC 100, Japan

Tadashi Ezaki was appointed as Assistant Secretary of IEC TC 100:  Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment in 2004 and then Secretary since 2011. Ezaki has worked tirelessly and efficiently in one of the fastest moving areas of technology, multimedia. He has explored new technology areas (TAs) and created TA 14: Interfaces and methods of measurement for personal computing equipment, TA 15: Wireless Power Transfer and TA 16: Active Assisted Living (AAL) accessibility and user interfaces. In addition, he continues to illustrate the importance of continued communication between ITU-T and IEC JTC 1, by organizing an ITU-T, JTC 1, TC 100 joint high level ad hoc meeting which was initiated in 2008.

Ezaki achieved the standardization of Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) specifications in a very short timeframe to meet industry demands. Ezaki received the 1906 Award in 2007 for the work he led on the Copy Generation Management System (CGMS) Standard, which solved content protection problems and enabled the launch of DVD players in the market. 

Jae-Young Lee, Technical Area Manager, IEC TC 100 TA 4, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 

Dr Lee started working for IEC TC 100 TA 4: Digital systems interface and protocols, as a technical secretary in January 2004. In 2009, he became technical area manager for TA 4 and as such, currently takes care of standardization for digital audio/video interfaces, for example, the IEC 60958, 61937 and 61883 series. Recently two more technologies have been added to enhance the realism of audio output to reflect current trends in multimedia industry – MPEG-H 3D Audio (PT 61937-13) and Non-linear PCM bit streams according to the AC-4 format (PT 61937-14). Lee has also pursued standardization in IEC TC 100, T-DMB Standards (IEC 62516 series), and has helped other project teams complete their standardization process (IEC 62295). He is now serving as a Korean representative to Home Network and Energy Efficiency Committee (ad hoc 07-1) in CJK-SITE, an organization for promoting cooperative standardization for China, Japan and Korea. 

Reinhard Nerke, Secretary IEC SC 3D, from Germany

In addition to his significant contribution on IEC TC 3 and IEC SC 3D projects, Reinhard Nerke became Secretary of IEC SC 3D: Product properties and classes and their identification, in 2007. Convinced of the crucial importance for various industries, Nerke aimed to further develop the structures of the IEC Common Data Dictionary (IEC CDD) product data dictionaries and ontologies. He also paved the way to enable industries to identify product properties and classes for their handling in computer sensible form. Nerke has successfully attracted more experts to contribute to the essential work in this field. He has managed to consistently increase the range of support of the industry and stakeholders through the more extensive applications in this area. 

Ralph Wigg receives Edison Award from Ulrich Spindler Ralph Wigg receives the Thomas A. Edison Award from Ulrich Spindler, IEC Vice-President and CAB Chair
Chen Bo's speech for Edison Award 2015 Chen Bo during his speech at the Thomas A. Edison Award ceremony
Cheolung Cha's speech for Edison Award Cheolung Cha's thank you speech after receiving the Thomas A. Edison Award
Takashi Ezaki and Jim Matthews present Edison Award Tadashi Ezaki and Jim Matthews, IEC Vice-President and SMB Chair with the former's Thomas A. Edison Award
Jae-Young Lee and Jim Matthews present Edison Award Jae-Young Lee and Jim Matthews with the former's Thomas A. Edison Award