Movin’ on up

Success stories from the IEC Young Professional programme

By Janice Blondeau

On the eve of the fifth IEC Young Professionals programme workshop, due to take place this November in Tokyo, e-tech catches up with some previous participants. They’ve gone from strength-to-strength in their IEC involvement.

Mark Boolish
Mark Boolish

Marc Boolish, IEC 2010 YP from the United States

When Marc Boolish started as a battery design engineer with Energizer 18 years ago, he could hardly have imagined the path his career would take. In one of his early projects, Boolish was requested to carry out some basic research, analyzing how Energizer and competing batteries performed against standardized tests. After presenting his work and attending several UL standards meetings, he was offered a position within Energizer which helped him grow into a standards-focused role.

From Young Professional to TC Chairman

Today, Boolish leads a team of other managers, engineers and standards experts. His early engineering background allows him to communicate the often technical details of Standards both inside and outside his company. In his new role as Chairman of TC 35: Portable primary cells and batteries, he will take on a large amount of “behind the scenes” work to ensure meetings run smoothly and world-class Standards are published in a timely manner.

IEC insights

The experience with the IEC YP programme was invaluable to Boolish’s professional development. It showed him the importance of networking with others. He has been able to use the networks he’s built to compare notes and to share challenges and strengths across committees – skills he expects to take full advantage of in his new role.

In relation to the YP workshop, Boolish also enjoyed seeing how IEC leadership and different committees operate.  This encouraged him to become more and more involved in the work of the IEC. Indeed, he has noticed that companies and individuals are becoming increasingly involved in the standards development process as a result of the IEC YP programme.

Keep on keepin’ on

What advice would Boolish give to other Young Professionals just starting their standardization careers? “Be technically bold, yet respectful, and never be afraid to volunteer for tasks or ad hoc groups in a committee. Before long, your knowledge and contributions will be sought-out and lead to opportunities.”

Esther Ondiviela, IEC 2011 Young Professional from Spain

Esther Ondiviela works in the BSH Induction Development Laboratory as Induction Cooktop Approvals Engineer for the EU, USA and Canadian markets. In 2011, she participated in the second IEC Young Professionals workshop in Melbourne, as a representative of Spain.

Household appliances expertise opens the door wider

Following the workshop, Ondiviela became more involved in the Spanish National Committee as a Home Appliances expert, especially in regards to cooking products. In early 2013, she became member of IEC TC (Technical Committee) 61 MT (Maintenance Team) 23: Functional safety related aspects of electronic circuits, remote control of household appliances and insulation co-ordination. Recently Ondiviela has become member of IEC TC 61: Safety of household and similar electrical appliances.

YP workshop participation a key

Ondiviela feels that participating in the IEC 2011 YP programme has aided her to be more involved with the IEC community, helping to develop future standards and improve existing ones. From her employer’s point of view, Ondiviela’s participation in the IEC 2011 YP programme gave her a global view of the standardization community. Her participation in this programme was taken into account, among other factors, when deciding to make her a representative of BSH Induction Cooktops within several IEC Committees.

Caihao Liang, IEC 2012 YP from China

Unlike many other Young Professional programme participants, who are active mainly in IEC standards development or conformity assessment activities, Caihao Liang is involved in IEC MSB (Market Strategy Board) work. Liang is a Senior Engineer and Deputy Director, in the Power Grid planning division, Power System Department of CEPRI (the China Electric Power Research Institute). It is affiliated with the SGCC (State Grid Corporation of China). He is also a Project Leader of R&D Nester, a research institute co-sponsored by CEPRI and REN (Redes Energéticas Nacionais), based in Lisbon, Portugal.

Active in large-capacity renewable energy

Liang participated in the MSB’s third White Paper project Grid Integration of large-capacity renewable energy and large-capacity electric energy storage published in October 2012, as a co-author. To improve the visibility of this White Paper in China, he led the translation into Chinese, with the Chinese version published in May 2014.

Based on the experiences he gained from this project, Liang supported the application to set up IEC SC (Subcommittee) 8A: Grid Integration of Large-capacity Renewable Energy Generation, which was established in July 2013. As well, he was involved in the preparation of the IEC MSB’s fourth White Paper Microgrids for disaster preparedness and recovery, published in March 2014.

Workshop benefits live on

In parallel to these MSB-related activities, in 2012 Liang participated in the IEC Young Professional programme workshop in Oslo. As he sees it, the workshop was very helpful as it comprehensively introduced the IEC – its history and future, architecture and culture. It was also beneficial to be amongst Young Professionals from all over the world, sharing their experiences and presenting suggestions to IEC. The knowledge and experiences he gained from this workshop continue to aid Liang as he participates in IEC activities today.

Mark Boolish Mark Boolish
Esther Ondiviela Esther Ondiviela
Caihao Liang Caihao Liang