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In This Edition

This special edition of E-News showcases the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and its relevance to Australia. Formed in 1906, the IEC just held its 79th General Meeting in Minsk, Belarus, and Australia made significant contributions. We wanted to share some of the key updates from our week in Minsk, and report more broadly on current activities in the energy and electrotechnology sector.  

Message from CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans

Reporting back from the 79th Annual IEC General Meeting

The Emerging Field of Cyber Security

Dr Ian Oppermann Announced President of AU NC IEC

Recognising the Leadership of Dr Ralph Craven

Kim Craig Re-elected to the IEC Standardization Management Board

Ralph Wigg Awarded IEC Thomas Edison Award, Four More Australians Receive 1906 Award

Australia, Russia and Japan Host 2015 PASC Reception

Australian Young Professionals Paving the Way

Factory of the Future: Now Available

Message from CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans

With responses to global megatrends, such as the development of smart cities, the internet of things and alternative energy sources already here, it is clear that the Energy and Electrotechnology Sector is on the verge of major change. Australia’s contribution to the development and implementation of these technologies is becoming increasingly important for our economy as we seek to be innovative and remain competitive in an increasingly globalised world. This is why our participation at the 79th International Electrotechnical Commission’s General Meeting in Minsk, Belarus was so valuable.

I am pleased to say that more than 20 Australian technical experts travelled to Minsk to participate in IEC standards development activities in fields as diverse as energy efficiency, equipment for explosive atmospheres, electrical power installations and electrical appliances. It is this level of participation that allows Australia to contribute, shape and influence the future direction of standards development at the IEC to ensure we remain competitive into the future.

It is an exciting time to be involved in the IEC. New and disruptive technologies require us all to collectively develop approaches for managing the challenges that come with these technological changes. During the IEC General Meeting, I participated in a session on Cyber Security, leading one of the breakout groups. Technical experts and standards development bodies from across Europe, America and Asia all shared their views on how to better engage with industry and government in this fundamentally important area of standards development. With national infrastructure relying so heavily on interconnectedness and security, it is vital to get Cyber Security right. I’m pleased that through the discussions held at the IEC General Meeting, we were able to exchange best practice methods and learn from each other’s experiences.

In Minsk, I also had the chance to catch up with a few of our counterparts from around the world. My colleagues and I met with national delegations from Canada, Singapore, Japan, the US and many more of our friends to consider opportunities for cooperation. I also met with IEC General Secretary Mr Frans Vreeswijk who thanked Australia for its contributions to the IEC and jokingly mentioned that it was nice to see so many Australians giving up a few weeks of their sunshine to join us in the below zero temperatures of northern Europe!

With all of the activity taking place right now within Energy and Electrotechnology standardisation, I am looking forward to our continued engagement with the IEC and the next IEC General Meeting in Frankfurt in October 2016.

On a more sombre note I am sad to report that Ron Collis, member of the AU NC IEC, had a serious accident just before the IEC meeting started and was taken to hospital. Our thoughts are with Ron and his wife Marion.

—Dr Bronwyn Evans, CEO

Reporting back from the 79th Annual IEC General Meeting

The Australian delegation at the IEC Council Session: Dr Bronwyn Evans, Mr Varant Meguerditchian, Dr Ralph Craven and Dr Alex Baitch
The International Electrotechnical Commission’s 79th General Meeting was held in Minsk, Belarus during October 2015.

Delegates from 60 member nations and many more affiliate countries participated in this year’s event, which spanned more than three weeks. The Australian delegation, headed by President of the Australian National Committee, Dr Ralph Craven, consisted of 23 experts who participated in various technical committee meetings covering all disciplines related to the field of energy and electrotechnology.

Standards Australia’s representatives at the IEC General Meeting included Dr Bronwyn Evans, CEO, and Varant Meguerditchian, Senior Manager Stakeholder Engagement & Public Affairs. After serving during two IEC General Meetings as Secretary of the AU NC IEC, Mr Varant Meguerditchian has moved into his new role at Standards Australia, with Ms Jessica Curtis taking over as Secretary. Standards Australia Project Manager, Ms Erandi Chandrasekare, was also present during the week of the IEC GM as secretary of the IEC TC 99.

The 79th IEC General Meeting culminated in the IEC Council Session held on Friday 16 October 2015. The meeting included a report from IEC General Secretary Mr Frans Vreeswijk. The presentation delivered by Mr Vreeswijk can be found on the IEC website. Also addressing the IEC Council Session were IEC President Dr Junji Nomura and ISO President Dr Zhang Xiaogang.

During the IEC General Meeting, a number of other key meetings took place. They included the Standardization Management Board (SMB); the Conformity Assessment Board (CAB); and the Council Board (CB). There was also a special meeting of the Asia Pacific Steering Group (APSG).

Standardization Management Board (SMB)
The SMB meeting was held on Monday 12 October 2015. Leaders of the SMB working groups on Smart Cities and Assisted Living briefed the SMB.

Australia joined the new Adhoc Group for disruptive technologies which was formed through a resolution of the SMB. The Adhoc Group will investigate the impact of disruptive technologies in the medical field.

The IEC Secretariat reported to the SMB about discussions held between the ISO, IEC and the IEEE to separate areas of responsibility between the three organisations on standards development work in the field of Smart Cities.

Asia Pacific Steering Group (APSG)
The APSG meeting was held on Tuesday 13 October 2015. Designed to assist the IEC in developing a greater footprint in the Asia Pacific region, the APSG is held once a year during the IEC General Meeting.

PASC Secretary Mr Tak Leong delivered a particularly memorable presentation on the capacity building initiatives being undertaken by developed PASC member countries. These initiatives will assist developing countries in the region to attain full membership of the IEC.

Outside of the IEC General Meeting, Standards Australia held a number of bilateral meetings with counterpart organisations including Pacific Area Standards Council member organisations.

The Emerging Field of Cyber Security

A breakout session was held on the topic of cyber security standards as a formal management system intended to bring information security under explicit management control. Participants were invited to assess the challenges of engaging with government institutions and industry in the process of developing relevant cyber security standards.

One of the key issues identified by participants at the forum was that work on cyber security standards is currently being undertaken by a number of organisations and technical committees including the ISO, IEC and ISO/IEC JTC1. The participants highlighted that it was important for these groups to ensure that their respective work plans are aligned and contiguous. The IEC committed to working with its partners to achieve this objective.

Standards Australia understands the importance of this emerging field of standardisation and its significance to national security and infrastructure. In a progressively connected world, cyber security standards are increasingly used to assure organisations and governments are resilient and protected.

Bringing attention to this sector of work and ensuring that Australia is fully engaged in the development of IEC, ISO and ISO/IEC JTC1 standards for cyber security remains a key objective for Standards Australia and the Australian National Committee to the IEC.

Dr Ian Oppermann Announced President of AU NC IEC

The Australian National Committee to the International Electrotechnical Commission (AU NC IEC) will be led by Dr Ian Oppermann in 2016.

Dr Oppermann is currently an active member of the IEC Market Strategy Board (MSB) and has contributed to a number of MSB White Papers. He has taken a keen interest in the IEC’s operations and policies with a view to maintain and enhance IEC’s relevance, currency and its broad and effective stakeholder engagement.

Dr Oppermann has over 20 years’ experience in the Electrotechnology and ICT sectors. He has held senior management roles in Europe and Australia, including Director of Digital Productivity and Services Flagship, CSIRO. He has contributed to six books and co-authored more than 120 papers and is considered a thought leader on the impact of technology on society.

Comprised of key representatives from the technology, energy and lighting industries, the AU NC IEC has the potential to provide strategic direction to Australian stakeholders on main areas of interest in the energy and electrotechnology sector.

“For more than 100 years, the IEC has pioneered standards development and provided a framework for ensuring standards conformance in areas as fundamental as electricity and lighting,” explained Dr Oppermann. “Far from becoming issues of the past, the modern and increasingly digital world is witnessing the evolution of these technologies to become enablers of the Internet of Things, Smart Grids, Factories of the Future and Smart Cities.”

Dr Oppermann added that “as we go forward, the IEC will focus on a number of macro-technologies, driven by global trends. These macro-technologies will provide the context for focused efforts on the development of standards, ensuring interoperability of existing standards and capability building in an Australian context.”

Recognising the Leadership of Dr Ralph Craven

Dr Ralph Craven (centre, receiving the 2015 Engineers Australia National Professional Electrical Engineer of the Year Award), Prof Alex Baitch HonFIEAust CPEng (left), Tiina-Maija Ratamo FIEAust CPEng (right)
Standards Australia thanked Dr Ralph Craven for successfully leading the Australian National Committee to the IEC (AU NC IEC) as President for six years concluding in 2015.

Having joined the AU NC IEC as President in 2009, Dr Ralph Craven has overseen Australia’s participation on IEC governance committees including the IEC Council Board (CB), the IEC Standardization Management Board (SMB) and the IEC Conformity Assessment Board (CAB).

Dr Craven has effectively steered AU NC IEC meetings over the course of his leadership ensuring that energy and electrotechnology matters are thoroughly discussed, and that Australian stakeholder views are systematically established and effectively presented to the IEC for consideration.

Standards Australia Chief Executive Officer, Dr Bronwyn Evans, thanked Dr Craven for his service to the AU NC IEC.

“We are fortunate to have enjoyed the leadership provided by Dr Craven in Australia’s engagement with the IEC,” said Evans. “Dr Craven’s standing amongst his peers and colleagues has made him a very effective leader and we are thankful for his outstanding contributions to the IEC.”

Dr Craven has additionally been a central player in international standardisation through his membership of the IEC CB. He has served as a member of the IEC Council Board for two 3-year terms and led the Australian delegation at the last six IEC General Meetings.

“It’s been a great pleasure working with the AU NC IEC and Standards Australia over the past six years”, said outgoing AU NC IEC President, Dr Craven. “The work of standards development is critical to Australia’s future and I’m grateful to have had the support of Standards Australia in my leadership of our engagement with the IEC.”

Dr Craven has broad experience in energy, resources, infrastructure and agri-business, having worked in these sectors for over 35 years. His professional background encompasses electricity and gas businesses, mining, commodities trading, and the management of large scale system operations at the national level and the delivery of major infrastructure projects.

The wide recognition for Dr Ralph Craven’s contributions to industry was again acknowledged this year when Mr Craven became the recipient of the 2015 Engineers Australia National Professional Electrical Engineer of the Year Award.

Kim Craig Re-elected to the IEC Standardization Management Board

Mr Kim Craig and Mr Varant Meguerditchian, Australian delegates at the IEC SMB Meeting, November 2014 Tokyo
Mr Kim Craig has been elected for a second term to the International Electrotechnical Commission Standardization Management Board (SMB).

A member of the Australian National Committee to the IEC, Mr Kim Craig has more than 30 years continuous experience in the lighting and electrical manufacturing industries. In his engagement with industry associations, Mr Craig has developed a broad understanding of the ICT, electronics, electrical and related sectors and has an extensive knowledge of the impact and need for standards development relevant to these areas. In 2012 Mr Craig was elected to the IEC SMB.

The SMB is responsible for the establishment of technical committees, approval of their scopes, appointment of committee chairs and allocation of secretariats. The SMB is also responsible for reviewing the need for IEC work in new fields of technology. Mr Craig’s re-election will allow Australia to contribute to the important work undertaken by the SMB.

Ralph Wigg Awarded IEC Thomas Edison Award, Four More Australians Receive 1906 Award

Mr Ralph Wigg receiving the IEC Thomas Edison award during the 79th IEC General Meeting
Former Chair of IEC SC 31H, Apparatus for use in the presence of combustible dust, Mr Ralph Wigg from Australia has been awarded the IEC Thomas Edison Award in 2015. Mr Wigg has been active in the IECEx System from its inception and was appointed as Chair of the IECEx ExPCC for the Certification of Personnel Competence. It was this involvement in IECEx that earned him the esteemed Edison Award.

The second highest award of the International Electrotechnical Commission, the Edison Award is bestowed to recipients as a tribute to their commitment and contributions. The Edison Award recognises outstanding dedication and expertise in making products and electrical systems safer, more energy efficient and more compatible.

Ralph shared that “receiving the Thomas A Edison Award came as a complete surprise and I was both humbled and overwhelmed. The standards process is a joint effort, and I consider this award recognition of everyone involved. I am fortunate to have supportive employers who understand the value of standards for industry, as well as the dedicated standards committee members and technical experts I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside on the national and international levels.”

Mr Ralph Wigg has a background in electrical power engineering which spans over 50 years. His more than 30 years’ experience in hazardous area equipment gives him the ability to speak with authority on this subject. The past Chair of Standards Australia Technical Committee EL-014, Electrical Equipment for Hazardous Areas, Mr Wigg continues to serve on Standards Australia technical committees and working groups responsible for hazardous areas.

In 2015, four Australian technical experts also received the IEC 1906 Award for their contributions to IEC technical committees: Prof Jean Cross (IEC TC 56); Mr Adam Murdoch (IEC TC 61); Mr Keith Jones (IEC TC 100); and Mr Max Carsdet (IEC TC 121). The IEC 1906 Awards were presented to the Australian recipients at the meeting of the Australian National Committee to the IEC in Sydney on 24 September 2015. Standards Australia congratulates all five award recipients on their outstanding achievements.

Australia, Russia and Japan Host 2015 PASC Reception

Dr Ralph Craven, President of the Australian National Committee to the IEC, welcomes guests to the PASC Reception
The National Committees of Australia, Russia and Japan had the pleasure of hosting the traditional PASC reception at the President Hotel in 2015. The PASC Reception provided an opportunity for Pacific Area Standards Council members to network, garner support for their candidates and to discuss other matters important for the region.

To open the event, Dr Ralph Craven, President of the Australian National Committee to the IEC, welcomed all the PASC representatives to the reception. IEC General Secretary Frans Vreeswijk and IEC President Dr Junji Nomura were also present at the event. The high level of participation by members of the IEC Secretariat demonstrated the growing influence of the Asia Pacific region at the IEC.

Dr Craven also introduced the PASC member candidates for positions on the IEC Council Board (CB), IEC Standardization Management Board (SMB) and IEC Conformity Assessment Board (CAB). Standards Australia congratulates the PASC member candidates that were ultimately elected:

Mr Kim Craig (Australia – SMB)
Mr Tony Capel (Canada – SMB)
Mr Ed Tymofichuk (Canada – CB)
Mr Peter Leong (Singapore – CB)
Prof B.-K Lee (Korea – CAB)

Australian Young Professionals Paving the Way

Australian IEC Young Professionals meet with Standards Australia and the Australian National Committee to the IEC
The IEC Young Professionals 2015 workshop was held in Minsk, Belarus, on 12 to 14 October, in parallel with the IEC 2015 General Meeting.

The IEC Young Professionals Programme brings together the world's upcoming expert engineers, technicians and managers. It provides them with greater opportunities to shape the future of international standardisation and conformity assessment in the field of electrotechnology.

This year’s Australian participants of the IEC Young Professionals Programme were Mr Steven Humphries and Mr Justin Gavranich. By participating in the program, the two Australians were exposed to new views on how to shape the future of global standardisation and conformity assessment. The program also provided them with networking opportunities with young people from all over the world involved in international standardisation.

Australian Young Professional, Mr Beer Opatsuwan, who had attended the Young Professionals Programme in Tokyo during 2014, returned in 2015 to share his experiences and guide the new participants of the program through their workshops.

Factory of the Future: Now Available

The IEC Market Strategy Board (MSB) released the Factory of the Future White Paper at the 79th IEC General Meeting in Minsk.

The ultimate goal of the factory of the future is to interconnect every step of the manufacturing process. Factories are organising unprecedented technical system integration across domains, hierarchy, geographic boundaries, value chains and life cycle phases. This integration will only succeed if the technology is supported by global, consensus-based international standards.

This White Paper assesses the potential global needs, benefits, concepts and pre-conditions for the factory of the future. It identifies the business trends in related technologies and markets and their impact on data, people, technologies and standards.

The White Paper is available from the IEC website.