Leading from the front

Introducing 2014 IEC Young Professional Leaders

By Janice Blondeau

During the IEC Young Professionals workshop in Tokyo in November 2014, three 2014 Young Professional Leaders were elected. Here are their stories…

Craig Carlson of South Africa

Craig Carlson, who holds a MSc Engineering (Electrical) from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, started his career with Eskom Holdings Limited. There he is the lead integration engineer for the 'Ankerlig transmission to Koeberg second supply project' and business process owner for the 'manage technical risk process'. Carlson is also convenor of the Eskom steering committee of technology workgroups for the technology type list and the technology metadata standard guidelines.

Smart Grids focus

His experience at Eskom includes the development and integration of engineering solutions, project planning, team management and leadership. His interests are within Smart Grids, and he is currently pursuing active involvement in the South African National Committee with aspirations to be nominated to IEC TC 8 as an expert.

“The benefit of the IEC Young Professionals programme for myself has definitely been a lot of personal growth, a lot of developing my professional network – and the benefits to my company are that I’ll be able to become more involved in International Standards, that are highly applicable to the company.” Craig Carlson, South Africa

Thahirah Jalal of New Zealand

Thahirah Jalal holds an Honours degree in Engineering Science from Oxford University, United Kingdom and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She has wide experience in research and development through an early career in the academic world, in multiple fields of engineering. Now, she is co-leading the asset intelligence team in Unison Networks Limited, New Zealand.

It’s about Big Data

Following Unison’s implementation of its Smart Grid initiative in 2009, Big Data is quickly becoming an important field for the company. The asset intelligence team develops algorithms that automatically convert Smart Grid data into meaningful information that is useful for network operation, management and development. Jalal’s current technical interest is in developing intelligence for transformers. She is actively involved in the development work as well as collaborating with various research partners such as universities, research agencies, innovation companies and New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

"What I found most valuable is the interaction between the different countries, coming up with similar goals and a similar aim. I actually think that's something beautiful – taking the maximum benefit out of diversity, all the different experiences from various countries – I'm glad to be part of it, it's definitely a unique opportunity." Thahirah Jalal, New Zealand

Leo Ohtsuka of Japan

Leo works for JQA (the Japan Quality Assurance Organization) as a factory inspector. He conducts factory inspections based on many certification schemes – CSA, CCC, PSE and so on. Before entering the organization, he graduated from Kansai University with a Bachelor in Electronics Engineering.

Varied experience in the region

At university he engaged in creating a music retrieval system of Artificial Intelligence using FFNN (Feedforward Neural Network). He started his career in JQA as a testing engineer of household appliances, based on IEC 60335 and PSE (Product Safety Electrical Appliance & Material) law since 2003. After five years’ experience as a testing engineer, he transferred to the factory inspection division. In his current role, Ohtsuka travels both inside Japan and to south-east Asian countries. He previously participated in ANF (Asia Network Forum) to create new certification schemes in the region.

“The IEC workshop provides a good opportunity to improve our skills – for example, our negotiation skills, speaking and communication skills. Not only that, it’s also a good way to improve our business.” Leo Ohtsuka of Japan

2014 Young Professionals Leaders Leo Ohtsuka of Japan, Thahirah Jalal of New Zealand, and Craig Carlson of South Africa...
Thahirah Jalal of New Zealand, Young Professional Leader 2014 ...are the 2014 IEC Young Professional Leaders
Youngs Professionals IEC e-tech will profile each Leader in future issues