Eight technology leaders recognized for outstanding contributions

2016 Thomas A. Edison Awards for exceptional achievement

By Janice Blondeau

Each year with the Thomas Edison Award, the IEC pays tribute to members of the IEC Family for their distinguished work and commitment to improving the safety, compatibility and energy efficiency of electrical products and systems. The Thomas Edison Award is in the spirit of Thomas Alva Edison, one of the greatest inventors in history. He developed a system of electric power generation and distribution which was a major development in the modern industrialized world. 

IEC Thomas Edison Award silver medal The Thomas A. Edison Award silver medal

Recognizing outstanding talent

Eight people were recognized with the 2016 Thomas A. Edison Award – six nominated by the IEC Standardization Board (SMB) and two by the IEC Conformity Assessment Board (CAB). 

  • Robert Arseneault, Secretary, IEC TC 4          
  • Giovanni Cassinelli, Secretary, IEC SC 23E
  • Marie-Elisabeth d'Ornano, Chair, IECQ                           
  • Geoffrey S. Ibbott, Past Chair, IEC SC 62C
  • Yoshiaki Ichikawa, Chair, IEC TC 111
  • Maurice Montavon, Secretary, IEC TC 5
  • Heribert Schorn, IEC Coordinator, ISO CASCO WGs
  • Bernd Sisolefsky, Past Chair, CISPR CIS/B

Seven experts received the IEC Thomas A. Edison Award Frankfurt, Germany, during the IEC 80th General Meeting. Robert Arseneault, who wasn't present in Frankfurt, will received his Award from the SMB in June 2017.

Robert Arseneault, Secretary, IEC TC 4, Canada

Robert Arseneault has been Secretary of IEC Technical Committee (TC) 4: Hydraulic turbines, since 1992, when Canada took over the responsibility of the Secretariat. He has been particularly instrumental in the publication of dual logo standards like IEC/IEEE, where the coordination of editing, comments and planning are essential. Arseneault excels in fostering the exchange of ideas between people from different cultures.  In the last five years, Arseneault worked closely with the Chair of TC 4 to launch two new groups, Maintenance Team (MT 31) on turbine residual life and Working Group (WG) 33 on pressure fluctuations.  Through presentations at international conferences (recently at HydroVision) and through his contributions to articles about the work of IEC TC 4, Arseneault is also constantly promoting the work of the IEC. 

Giovanni Cassinelli, Secretary, IEC SC 23E, Italy

Giovanni Cassinelli has served as Secretary of IEC Subcommittee (SC) 23E: Circuit-breakers and similar equipment for household use, since January 2003. He strongly supports the TC Chair in smoothly solving conflicts and maintaining a cooperative environment. Cassinelli has helped ensure highest quality results in the development, editing and translation of SC 23E documents. His contributions led to 23 new publications, including new IEC International Standards and amendments of existing ones, and over 400 official SC documents. He played a crucial role in the successful implementation of a new Blocks and Modules approach in the structure of SC 23E Standards, aiming at harmonizing a family of standards, thus avoiding mistakes, inconsistencies or discrepancies. 

Marie-Elisabeth d'Ornano, Chair, IECQ, France

Chair of the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components (IECQ) since 1 January 2014, Marie-Elisabeth d’Ornano has embraced her role, responsibilities and duties with enthusiasm and a dynamic hands-on approach. In this role, she has had the strong support of her employer, LCIE – a Bureau Veritas company. IECQ has been reinforced as an international “best practice” model for supplier assessment and as an extremely valuable Supply Chain Management tool for the many industries involved in the manufacture, supply and distribution of electrical/electronic components, parts and assemblies. 

During her initial term as Chair, IECQ has benefited from d'Ornano’s leadership as illustrated in a number of key initiatives and achievements:

  • IECQ support and collaboration on the new CA Harmonized Basic Rules
  • Closer cooperation between IECQ and specialized industries, e.g. avionics
  • Development and rollout of the new IECQ Scheme for LED lighting
  • Establishment of collaboration between IECQ and other CA Systems, notably IECEE
  • Introduction of the new IECQ developed and run Training Programme, launched in 2015
  • The first IECQ International Conference on Supply Chain Management, in Paris in April 2016
  • Fostering international cooperation with other organizations, e.g. STACK International 

Geoffrey S. Ibbott, Past Chair, IEC SC 62C, United States

During his term as Chair of IEC SC 62C: Equipment for radiotherapy, nuclear medicine and radiation dosimetry, Geoffrey S. Ibbott outstandingly promoted the development and recognition of IEC Standards for medical radiation therapy equipment, nuclear medicine and radiation measurement. Ibbott successfully encouraged various experts and stakeholders from industry, medical physics and regulatory bodies to join the Committee. About 20 IEC publications have been issued under his leadership, and these have been widely accepted in the regulatory environments of European Union, US, China, Japan and other jurisdictions. As a result, IEC is highly recognized as a home for standards in the field of medical equipment publications for radiation therapy, nuclear medicine and radiation measurement. 

Yoshiaki Ichikawa, Chair, IEC TC 11, Japan

Dr Yoshiaki (Yoshi) Ichikawa has led environmental standardization in IEC TC 111: Environmental standardization for electrical and electronic products and systems, for 11 years, since its establishment in 2004. He served as the Convenor of WG 2: Environmentally Conscious Design (ECD), and published IEC 62430:2009Environmentally conscious design for electrical and electronic products. For this contribution he received the IEC 1906 Award in 2007. In 2009, Ichikawa was appointed as the Chair of TC 111. TC 111 has published 18 deliverables to date, in the fields of chemical, eco-design, greenhouse gas and resource efficiency. Most of these have been integrated into legal frameworks specifying product environmental aspects around the world through which the electrotechnical industry has gained benefits. Ichikawa's activities also extend to other fields. He is an expert of IEC TC 62: Electrical equipment in medical practice, where he is supporting the Convenor of Project Team (PT) 62926, addressing the systems aspects of real-time radiation therapy. 

Maurice Montavon, Secretary, IEC TC 5, Switzerland

With his personal engagement during the last 44 years Maurice Montavon has devoted countless hours to IEC. In 1972, Montavon was designated as expert by the Swiss National Committee (NC) for the first time – to WG 1 of IEC TC 5: Steam turbines. From 1982 to 1984 he was involved in the publication IEC 60045-1:1991, Steam turbines - Part 1: Specifications. Montavon has been Chair of the Swiss Mirror Committee TC 5 for almost 30 years. In 2007 he was elected by the SMB as Secretary of TC 5, succeeding in the reactivation of TC 5 in 2008. Today TC 5 has four MTs and two WGs, with more than 70 experts. In the area of cogeneration he has recently also achieved a collaboration with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), following the advice given by SMB. During his career Montavon always promoted international standardization within IEC and used his network to bring new experts into TCs, not only from Switzerland but also from other countries where he worked. Montavon founded the Swiss Mirror Committee of IEC TC 117: Solar thermal electric plants, as Chair in 2011, and he acts as liaison officer between IEC TC 5, IEC TC 117 and IEC TC 120: Electrical Energy Storage (EES) Systems. 

Heribert Schorn, IEC Coordinator, ISO CASCO WGs, Germany

Heribert Schorn has been recognized for exceptional current and long-term achievement in representing the IEC CAB in ISO/CASCO Working Groups, for the development of conformity assessment standards, specifically the ISO/IEC 17000 series. This series of dual logo ISO/IEC Standards are the foundation on which the IEC Conformity Assessment (CA) Systems are based. Schorn has been active as an IEC representative and coordinator in CASCO Working Groups for the last ten years. He has been actively involved in the preparation of ISO/IEC 17043:2010, Conformity assessment – General requirements for proficiency testing; ISO/IEC 17065:2012, Conformity assessment -- Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services; and ISO/IEC TR 17026:2015, Conformity assessment – Example of a certification scheme for tangible products. Since 2014, he has been the IEC Coordinator for CASCO WG 42, preparing the revision of ISO/IEC 17011:2004, Conformity assessment - General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies. This standard is expected to be published in 2016. In 2015, a leadership structure with a Convener and two Co-conveners was agreed for the revision of ISO/IEC 17025:2005, Conformity assessment – General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. This is a very important Standard for IEC CA activities. CASCO WG 44 was created for this revision, with Schorn as Co-Convenor. 

Bernd Sisolefsky, Past Chair, CISPR CIS/B, Germany

Dr Bernd Sisolefsky, former Chair of CISPR, the International special committee on radio interference, is an experienced electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) expert who has been active in IEC work since the early 1990s. During the last 25 years, he has made countless contributions and held several offices in technical bodies under the CISPR roof. These include the role of Chair of CISPR/B from 2006 to September 2015. CISPR/B is responsible for standardization in the field of radio interference suppression of industrial, scientific and medical radio frequency equipment and also of high voltage lines and installations. During this period, the International Standard CISPR 11:2016 CVS, was advanced two times, which culminated in the addition of requirements for grid connected power converters (GCPC), which serve for the connection of photovoltaic systems to the electricity distribution network. The addition of further requirements for wireless power transfer (WPT) devices was also started when Sisolefsky was Chair. Finally he also worked constantly within other technical bodies of CISPR, in particular in CISPR/F, which is responsible for radio interference suppression of household and similar electrical appliances and of lighting equipment, and in CISPR/I especially in the field of radio interference suppression of powerline telecommunications equipment.

Robert Arseneault Robert Arseneault
Giovanni Cassinelli receives Edison Award from Jim Matthews IEC Vice-President and SMB Chair James E. Matthews III with Giovanni Cassinelli...
Geoffrey Ibbott receives Edison Award from Jim Matthews ...Geoffrey Ibbott...
Yoshiaki Ichikawa receives Edison Award from Jim Matthews ...Yoshiaki Ichikawa...
Maurice Montavon receives Edison Award from Jim Matthews ...Maurice Montavon...
Bernd Sisolefsky receives Edison Award from Jim Matthews ...and Bernd Sisolefsky
Marie-Elisabeth d'Ornano receives Edison Award from Ulrich Spindler IEC Vice-President and CAB Chair Ulrich Spindler with Marie-Elisabeth d'Ornano...
Heribert Schorn receives Edison Award from Ulrich Spindler ...and Heribert Schorn