Russia in the spotlight

IEC increases cooperation with lighting sector in Russia

By Claire Marchand

When asked what city is named the “City of Lights”, most of us would naturally and immediately say “Paris”. The French capital earned its nickname when it became one of the first to adopt street lighting – gas lamps – in the 1820s and 1830s. Today, many cities around the world could compete with Paris to be the City of Lights, Moscow featuring high on the list.

CIMG5597 new IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk during his presentation at MPEI

A long and well-established tradition

The Russian Federation has a long tradition of research and development, know-how and expertise in lighting technologies. More than a century ago, in 1908, a conference was organized by a group of lighting engineers to discuss specific issues in their field. In 1922, the “Committee of illumination engineering” was set up in Moscow.

In 1951, VNISI, the Russian Lighting Research Institute, was established. Named after S.I. Vavilov, a Soviet physicist known for his work in luminescence, founder of the Soviet school of physical optics and President of the USSR Academy of Sciences from 1945 until his death in 1951, the Institute is the leading Russian national research centre for lighting engineering.

A leader in its field

Since the early days, VNISI has been conducting basic and applied research, design and engineering work in various areas of lighting engineering. Among their major achievements, and in close collaboration with the lighting industry sector, VNISI specialists provided lighting engineering and maintenance for the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.

The research centre specializes in developing state-of the-art lighting solutions, from theory, methods, technology and standardization to the building of high-performance lighting fixtures, illumination devices and systems used in civil applications as well as in military lighting equipment and space technology.

VNISI offers postgraduate studies in lighting engineering.

Relying on IEC International Standards

VNISI carries out work in the field of standardization in cooperation with the Russian Technical Committee (TC) 332: Lighting equipment for lighting fittings, control gear, impulse starting devices, conversion devices, controllers, and so forth.

At the international level, TC 332 cooperates with IEC TC 34: Lamps and related equipment. TC 332 receives working documents from the IEC – new projects or amendments to existing IEC International Standards among others – and uses them to evolve and update its own standardization work, thus allowing the introduction of international requirements in national standards for lighting equipment, with special emphasis on LED-based light sources and solutions.

Closer ties

Within the last two years, cooperation between VNISI and the IEC has gone beyond pure standardization work. A visit to the research centre was organized by the Russian National Committee (NC) of the IEC in September 2013. IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk, accompanied by Antoinette Pitteloud, Executive Secretary, Office of the General Secretary, and Katharine Fraga Pearson, Head of Governance and Global Strategy, were given a tour of the VNISI facilities and had the opportunity to meet the General Director Anna Shakhparunyants and her team.

A year later, in early October 2014, Antoinette Pitteloud paid a second visit to the centre. The meeting with VNISI General Director and the heads of department focused on standardization activities and illumination quality surveillance.

State-of-the-art facility

Next on the agenda was a tour of the new Centre for Innovative Lighting Engineering, set up jointly by VNISI and the Lighting Engineering faculty of MPEI (National Research University), one of the largest technical universities in Russia.

Pitteloud had the privilege to see the new facility before its official inauguration in December 2014 (see article in this issue of e-tech) and was given an overview of the work done by the centre through demonstrations of different technologies, processes and prototypes as well as 3D modulations of light devices.

Academia matters

Following a visit to the Department of Design/Architectural Design of Moscow-based Light Project company, Pitteloud was invited by Georgy Boos, President of the Boos Lighting (BL) Group and Head of the Lighting Engineering faculty, to give a presentation at MPEI in the presence of the University Rector Nikolay Rogalev and several heads of faculties and professors. She explained in considerable details the role and activities of the IEC, highlighting its standardization and conformity assessment work.

Vreeswijk, together with Pitteloud, returned to Russia in December 2014. At the instigation of Rector Rogalev, the General Secretary also made a presentation at MPEI in front of a large audience of professors, researchers and students. Vreeswijk focused on the global scope of the IEC covering the whole energy chain and the many different applications in which electricity and electronics are used.

The IEC has long since recognized the importance of developing ties with the academic world. These presentations at MPEI represented a unique opportunity to lay the groundwork for closer cooperation with a highly regarded university.

MPEI provides higher education and scientific research in the field of energetic and electrical engineering, radio electronics and computer engineering.

CIMG5597 new IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk during his presentation at MPEI
Russia spotlight From left: Dr Aleksey Bartsev, Head of VNISI Test Center, Dr Leonid Prikupets, Head of Laboratory, Anatoly Chernyak, Head of Laboratory, Dr Anna Shakhparunyants, Antoinette Pitteloud, Dr Dmitry Yushkov, Head of the Centre for Innovative Lighting Engineering
a night in the city of Moscow Moscow nightscape