IEC Awards

2018 IEC Awards

Recognizing excellence and commitment to IEC

By Claire Marchand

Every year IEC honours the commitment and work of a number of individuals in its community who, through their leadership and technical expertise, have contributed to making products and electrical systems safer, more energy efficient, more reliable and more compatible.

Lord Kelvin Award – the highest distinction of the IEC

Created and first bestowed in 1995, the IEC Lord Kelvin Award is named after IEC first President, William Thomson, Lord Kelvin. It is the highest tribute of the IEC and is awarded in recognition of the long-term technical contributions that outstanding individuals have made to the Commission.Nominations for the Lord Kelvin Award can be made by IEC national committees(NCs), technical committee and subcommittee (TC/SC) chairs, and members of the Council Board (CB), Standardization Management Board (SMB) and Conformity Assessment Board (CAB). They submit their proposals based on their recognition of contributions made over time, irrespective of the nationality or technical area of the nominee.

To date, 35 laureates have received the Lord Kelvin Award. To qualify, candidates must still be active in the IEC and have contributed significantly to IEC work over more than five years. The award honours exceptional leadership and technical contributions to international electrotechnical standardization, conformity assessment (CA) or related activities. It recognizes the role of the awardee in promoting the image of IEC worldwide and contributions to global trade and industry.

Wim de Kesel to receive the 2018 Lord Kelvin Award

The 2018 laureate is Wim de Kesel of Belgium. A ceremony will be organized during the IEC General Meeting (GM) in Busan, Republic of Korea, on 24 October 2018. He is to receive his gold medal, gold lapel pin and certificate from IEC President James M. Shannon.

For more than 20 years, Wim de Kesel has played a major role in IEC standardization work. Since 2001, de Kesel has been Secretary of IEC TC 23: Electrical accessories, after serving for five years as the committee’s Assistant Secretary.

De Kesel has made an outstanding technical contribution to the development of IEC systems and Standards, relentlessly promoting their global relevance. He was a key player in the setting up of the IEC strategy on low voltage direct current (LVDC), first in coordinating Strategic Group (SG) 4 in 2009, then in contributing to Systems Evaluation Group (SEG) 4 (SEGs have since then been renamed Standardization Evaluation Groups). He is now actively involved in systems committee SyC LVDC, closely liaising with TC 23 work in DC.

He has been a fervent advocate of collaboration among TCs, building bridges between them and promoting the systems approach.

As Vice-President Standardization in the Legrand group, he has contributed in a major way to the promotion of the IEC image and brand in the business world. Additionally, in his position as CENELEC  Vice-President Policy, he has been instrumental in improving the collaboration with European standardization.

Thomas A. Edison Award

Created in 2010, the IEC Thomas A. Edison Award recognizes exceptional achievements of TC/SC officers and their IEC CA Systems counterparts.

To be nominated, TC and SC officers need to be active in IEC work. They must also have made an outstanding contribution to IEC systems and international standardization activities, helping their committees to work more effectively on behalf of key stakeholders. The Award is given to up to nine recipients each year by the Standardization Management Board (SMB) and the Conformity Assessment Board (CAB). Seven of these are reserved for TC/SC officers, and a maximum of two for officers in the CA bodies.

In 2018, the SMB chose five TC/SC officers:

  • George Kelly, Secretary TC 82: Solar photovoltaic energy systems
  • Gerard Kuyt, Chair SC 86A: Fibres and cables
  • Dejun Ma, Vice-Chair TC 61: Safety of household and similar electrical appliances, and Vice-Chair SyC Active assisted living (AAL)
  • Hiroyuki Ohsaki, Chair TC 77: Electromagnetic compatibility
  • Hiroaki Sugiura, Technical Area Manager TC 100/TA 2: Colour measurement and management

All 2018 IEC Thomas A. Edison Award laureates will receive their honours from IEC Vice-President and SMB Chair Ralph Sporer during the SMB session at the 2018 IEC GM in Busan.

The CAB chose two CA System or subsidiary committee officers:

  • Thorsten Arnhold, Chair IECEx
  • Shigeyuki Kondo, Vice-Chair IECEE

Both will receive the award from IEC Vice-President and CAB Chairman Shawn Paulsen during the CAB session at the 2018 IEC GM.

1906 Award

The IEC 1906 Award was established in commemoration of the Commission’s foundation in that year and honours technical experts around the world whose work is fundamental to the IEC. Each year a maximum of five awards may be granted per TC, including its various subcommittees.

A total of 169 experts from 57 TCs (including ISO/IEC JTC 1) and 15 experts from the four CA Systems, representing 19 national committees, were nominated to receive this year’s 1906 Award. It recognizes exceptional recent achievements that contribute in a significant way to advancing the work of the Commission.


2017 Thomas A. Edison Awards for exceptional achievement
Outstanding contributions of 7 technology leaders recognized

Geneva, Switzerland, 2017-10-04 – The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) will be paying tribute to the dedication and work of seven leaders of the IEC family who, through their outstanding commitment and expertise, have contributed to making products and electrical systems safer, more energy efficient and more compatible.


At the 81st IEC General Meeting in Vladivostok, the following persons will be presented with the 2017 Thomas A. Edison Award:

  • Joe Gryn, Chair of the IECEE PAC
  • Kyung-Tae Kang, Secretary TC 119
  • Joseph Musso, Secretary TC 72
  • Fumio Ueno, Chair TC 105
  • Uberto Vercellotti, Past Chair TC 89
  • Alexander Zalogin, Vice-Chair of the IECEx
  • Peter Zwanziger, Past Chair TC 22

The Thomas A. Edison Award was established in the spirit of Thomas Alva Edison, 1847-1931, one of the greatest inventors in history. Edison developed a system of electric power generation and distribution which was a major break-through in the modern industrialized world. His over 1’000 patents included improving the incandescent lamp, film projection and sound recording, which still have an impact on our daily lives. “Genius is 1 % inspiration and 99 % perspiration” is one of Edison’s most famous quotes.

Joe Gryn, Chair IECEE Peer Assessment Committee
Joe Gryn has been involved in IEC conformity assessment work in the CAB (Conformity Assessment Board) and in IECEE and IECEx for over 20 years, serving as Member, Chair, Vice-Chair or Convenor of a number of committees and working groups. Joe Gryn has been an active contributor both at the strategic and operational levels and has directly impacted the development and growth of the IEC Conformity Assessment (CA) Systems and in particular of IECEE. He is a frequent speaker at international seminars and workshops, where he promotes the role of the IEC and CA Systems in international trade.

Kyung-Tae Kang, Secretary TC 119
As Secretary of TC 119, Kyung-Tae Kang has been instrumental in the establishment of five important International Standards and one Technical Report to help advance the usability, safety and performance of printed electronics.  Although a relatively new technology, printed electronics has already proven a disruptive, yet creative process that allows the production of new low-cost electronic devices. It is transforming the electronics industry and many other domains. For many wearable devices, printed electronics provide much needed flexibility. The IoT (Internet of Things) is a good example of a cluster of technologies that is attracting widespread industrial interest and printed electronics represent a substantial enabling opportunity for a number of application areas.

Joseph Musso, Secretary TC 72
An increasing number of connected appliances are controlled from a distance using ever smaller electronic controls.  They open and shut blinds, windows and vents to control temperature. They also operate fans, dampers, valves and pumps so that water or air can flow in heating and cooling systems. Their operation is triggered by timers or sensors that react to light, temperature or humidity levels. A key requirement is that these controls operate when called for and do so securely without the danger of being hacked.

Joseph Musso has fundamentally transformed the way in which TC 72 operates and delivers its important work. With his calm and professional demeanour he has facilitated communication with other technical committees, ensuring cooperation and balancing country participation and influence in standardization work.

Fumio Ueno, Chair TC 105
As the Chair of TC 105, Fumio Ueno has led the standardization of fuel cells and related technologies and contributed significantly to the advancement of the technology. Fumio Ueno has successfully overseen the development of important Standards that facilitate fuel cell product commercialization and market penetration by closely interacting with the market as the technology evolved from the lab to the real world. One of his most remarkable achievements was the negotiation with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to allow methanol fuel inside passenger cabins. This resulted in a platform for micro fuel cells in commercial products. Fumio Ueno also served as the convenor of the first Systems Evaluation Group in the IEC dedicated to smart cities and is now the Chair of the recently founded Systems Committee on smart cities.

Uberto Vercellotti, Past Chair TC 89
Fire safety is a concern in every geographical region. TC 89 establishes global methods and guidance for assessing fire hazards in electrical and electronic products. The aim is to prevent ignition caused by electrically energized components and confine fires within the bounds of the enclosure. Uberto Vercelloti served as Chair of TC 89 for 12 years. With his cooperative and consensus oriented leadership style he helped create widespread awareness and recognition for the safety topic of “fire hazard testing”. By restructuring the set-up of the TC, Uberto Vercellotti increased its efficiency, quality and speed of work. He also encouraged the participation of young talents and actively supported participation of new countries and emerging economies.

Alexander Zalogin, Vice-Chair of IECEx
Vice-Chair and member of the IECEx Executive, Alexander Zalogin has gained the respect and support of the International Ex community worldwide for his supportive and active leadership role. He has extensively contributed to the significant growth of the IECEx System. and its recognition by the United Nations through UNECE as the world’s “best practice” model for testing and certification of all aspects of Ex equipment, components, assemblies, services and the competence of persons working in this area. His personal engagement also led to the introduction of a standardized approach to the certification of Ex assemblies, now subject of a new IEC TC 31 Standard. This award also recognizes Alexander Zalogin’s overall long-term commitment and dedication to the IEC.

Peter Zwanziger, Past Chair TC 22
TC 22 International Standards are essential for the safety and proper functioning of electronic power convertor systems and equipment used in energy generation from solar, wind, tidal, wave, fuel cell and similar energy sources. Market size for power electronic converters is estimated at around USD 100 billion. During his tenure, Peter Zwanziger modernized the management structure of the TC and significantly improved collaboration between its subcommittees using modern communication and meeting tools. He continuously adapted the scope of TC 22 to satisfy new technology and energy efficiency needs. Peter Zwanziger also improved the efficiency of collaboration with other TCs, encouraging open, fact-based discussions. He actively participated in the Advisory Committee on Energy Efficiency (ACEE), contributing to an important guide on energy efficiency.

About the Thomas Edison Award
Created in 2010, the Thomas A. Edison Award recognizes exceptional achievement (within the past five years), dedicated service and significant contributions to the IEC through the effective management of committees of  TC/SC Officers (Chair, Secretary or Assistant Secretary of a technical committee or subcommittee) and officers of the IEC Conformity Assessment Systems and their subsidiary bodies.

The IEC Thomas A. Edison Award is presented by the Chair of the SMB (Standardization Management Board) or CAB, at the meeting held in conjunction with the IEC General Meeting, or on another suitable occasion.

Programme of Awards

The IEC is privileged to welcome thousands of experts on its platform. With their work, they contribute to building the solid technical foundation that is needed by industry and governments to make products and systems work safer together, everywhere.

Every year the IEC honours exceptional contributions of individuals with one of three Awards:

Lord Kelvin Award

The highest IEC tribute, recognizing exceptional long-term achievements

Created in 1995, the Lord Kelvin Award is granted in recognition of exceptional and dedicated contributions by individuals who, for a period of five years at least, have helped the technical work evolve or who have helped develop and promote the conformity assessment systems.

Those honoured must still be active in the IEC and will have contributed significantly to international electrotechnical standardization and related activities through their leadership and technical expertise, to the extent that their involvement has had a considerable impact on industry or commerce.

A maximum of one Award can be granted per year by the Council Board (CB).

The Award is in honour of the IEC’s first President, The Rt. Hon. Lord Kelvin.

Find out more…

Past recipients….

Thomas A. Edison Award

Recognizes exceptional current achievements of TC/SC and Conformity Assessment officers

Created in 2010, the Thomas A. Edison Award recognizes exceptional achievement (within the past five years), dedicated service and significant contributions to the IEC through the effective management of their committees of currently active TC/SC officers (Chairman, Secretary or Assistant Secretary of a Technical Committee or Subcommittee) and officers of the IEC Conformity Assessment Systems and their subsidiary bodies.

A maximum of nine Awards per year may be granted by the management bodies –Standardization Management Board (SMB) and Conformity Assessment Board (CAB) – of which up to seven shall be reserved for TC/SC officers and up to two for officers in the conformity assessment bodies.

The award is in honour of the renowned US electrical engineer Thomas A. Edison

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Past recipients…

1906 Award

Recognizes exceptional current achievements of experts

Created in 2004 by the IEC Executive Committee (ExCo), the 1906 Award commemorates the IEC’s year of foundation and honours IEC experts around the world whose work is fundamental to the IEC.

The Award also recognizes exceptional and recent achievement – a project or other specific contribution – related to the activities of the IEC and which contributes in a significant way to advancing the work of the Commission.

Find out more…

Past recipients…