Standards Reach - Spring 2018
IEEE Standards Association Global Partners Newsletter

Spring 2018


As a valued partner of the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), we welcome you to the Spring edition of Standards Reach. We hope that you find this newsletter informative and relevant to your organization.

We invite you to share Standards Reach with members of your team and welcome your feedback for future editions. Please send your comments and suggestions to Mary Lynne Nielsen.

If you would like to suggest additional recipients from your organization to receive this newsletter, please send your request to Victoria Kuperman-Super.


Feature Article

Developing Countries Engage With IEEE-SA Through the Fellowship Program

For developing countries, the existing world of technology is like a busy market, rich with both opportunities—and uncertainties. Which technologies offer the best potential for growth? Which are affordable for your economy? How does a country with limited resources negotiate the world of technology effectively?

Standards help offer a logical, sustainable path to development. And helping developing countries understand how standards work is the goal of the IEEE-SA Fellowship Program, which invites people working in technology and government to discover and take part in IEEE standards activi-ties. Participation in the program provides insight into the open standards process of IEEE, edu-cates participants on the role of IEEE-SA in fostering standards development, and offers oppor-tunities for networking with individuals and organizations in technology from around the world.

“IEEE-SA Fellowship Program Participants attending IEEE standards meetings not only learn about how standards are developed and the technology under study, but also have an opportuni-ty to engage with participants developing the technology,” said Jodi Haasz, International Affairs Senior Manager at IEEE-SA. “Fellowship Program participants also provide IEEE with a better understanding of the challenges facing emerging economies.”

Bringing policy makers up to speed

The Fellowship Program has several tracks, tailored to different constituencies and how they can best use what IEEE-SA offers. One is aimed at policy makers and regulators: selected offi-cials from developing countries are invited to attend IEEE-SA standards development meetings to engage with technologists and experience standards development meetings first-hand.

Participants attend actual meetings of the standards working groups. The IEEE Nuclear Power Engineering Committee (NPEC) meeting in January provided an opportunity for Dr. Mohd Ashhar bin Hj Khalid, Director-General of the Malaysian Nuclear Agency, to attend such meetings. He came away impressed by the IEEE model of open dialogue and information sharing. “The pro-gram allowed me to learn how standards are drafted and approved for industry adoption and cer-tification,” said Dr. Ashhar bin Hj Khalid. “Although standards are drafted by members represent-ing diverse organizations, integrity and neutrality are strictly observed. I will bring this experience home to make industries and laboratories aware that product certification using reputable stand-ards has numerous advantages.” Read more about this session at the IEEE-SA blog.

Other efforts focus on specific constituencies, seeking to make them aware of IEEE and how its processes work. The Future Leaders program invites university students and young profes-sionals from developing countries to attend global technology policy events that have a stand-ards component where IEEE-SA has a presence. They work alongside IEEE-SA professionals as members of the IEEE-SA team and actively participate at the events. Another effort is the Standards Exchange Program, aimed at professionals within national standards bodies, which is described in the article below.

Exposure to IEEE standards processes not only gives technology leaders from developing countries a chance to network on specific topics, but to experience a model for fostering tech-nology that is democratic, meritocratic, and open to anyone who is interested in contributing. As Rudo Mudavanhu of Zimbabwe’s Africom said, “attending an IEEE-SA standards development meeting is like watching human beings perform work typically done by computer software. The process goes through refined procedures, the results of which improves the life of general hu-manity. It is just awesome.”

To find out more about the IEEE-SA Fellowship Program, contact Jodi Haasz at IEEE-SA.

Regional Focus

IEEE and Mexico Sign Agreement for Increased Sharing of Standards and Technology

A signing ceremony in Mexico on April 16, between IEEE and the Secretaría de Economía, the Mexican economic ministry, marked the first cooperation agreement of its kind between the IEEE Standards Association and a nation in the Mexican-Central American region. This agreement en-courages inclusiveness and cooperation between the two organizations and allows for knowledge sharing about each organization’s standards-development activities.

The agreement benefits both parties, says Daniel González Sesmas, Deputy General Director of Standards for the ministry: “It offers a way to better enrich the regulations and laws in Mexico by growing the knowledge of how IEEE standards can help, and it opens up an information ex-change in which Mexican engineers could make contributions and derive the benefits of sharing their innovations with other markets.”

The half-day signing ceremony at the Secretaría de Economía in Mexico City included presenta-tions on a number of technological areas of interest to both organizations, including blockchain, distributed energy resources for synchrophasors (IEEE 1547®), the National Electrical Safety Code and its Handbook, and ethics in autonomous systems and artificial intelligence.

As IEEE’s Mary Lynne Nielsen says, “It’s a great opportunity to grow and expand awareness of IEEE-SA in Mexico, and to examine what the needs are in Mexico and better understand how IEEE standards can address those needs in regulation and law. We hope this will benefit Mexi-can companies and all current users of IEEE standards seeking to meet Mexican regulations.”


Board of Governors Meet in South Africa To Promote Standards in Africa

South Africa is a major technology center for Africa as a whole, and the IEEE-SA Board of Gov-ernors (BoG) held its February 2018 meeting in Johannesburg, the first such meeting on the continent. IEEE-SA took the opportunity to partner with the IEEE South Africa Section and local organizations to engage with the local technology community through several events.

The IEEE Open Data Summit, held in Cape Town, highlighted the opportunities open data brings. In Pretoria, IEEE-SA partnered with the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) on a work-shop entitled The New Era of Connected and Intelligent Systems, which explored technology and ethical concerns as they relate to autonomous and intelligent systems and the role standards organizations will play.

IEEE-SA and the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) executed a Memorandum of Understanding, and in Johannesburg the BoG held a discussion of the value of standardization in promoting technology for human development with ARSO and other pan-African organizations. Two university programs, at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Johan-nesburg, stressed the value of standardization to students in their future careers in technology—and the next wave of development in Africa.

Other current IEEE-SA activities in Africa include the recent signing of a cooperation agreement with the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) and participation in the Transform Africa Summit in May.

Technology News

Blockchain Offers Patients and Pharmaceutical Companies New Ways to Engage

Blockchain is a game-changer for many industries, and one possibility that has excited a great deal of interest in the pharmaceutical industry is how it could reduce inefficiencies in time and cost throughout the clinical-trial process.

Maria Palombini, Director of Communities & Initiatives Development at IEEE-SA, says that one of the biggest problems confronting drug-makers in clinical trials and research is patient recruit-ment. “It is very difficult to get an adequate number of qualified patient subjects through the door. If drug-makers fail the enrollment deadlines, then it leads to increased cost, timeline delays, and can shut down a trial,” says Palombini. “There are many challenges with the current process, ranging from inability to identify and connect with more diverse patient pools, engagement and retention, and the lack of quality in the patient data. When you are dealing with required large samples of patients for Phase III and IV trials, then these problems only become amplified.”

What many industry consortia and working groups are currently evaluating and testing is the concept of a “patient-driven” health blockchain. Essentially, it would empower patients to take control of their health data – from DNA profiles to diagnostics to prescription history – to manage this on a public blockchain where patients have the authority to choose who they want to trans-act with, what data they want to share, etc. “If the patient manages his or her own record on the blockchain and consents to be queried while retaining anonymity, then clinical trials sponsors would have unprecedented access to subject pools. The benefits of this model are not limited to clinical trials sponsors; patients would also receive the data collected about them during the trial. This model would truly revolutionize the clinical trials recruitment process,” Palombini says.

But Palombini notes that this concept needs to be refined to become reality. “There are many factors – regulatory, protocols, processes, stakeholder positioning, patient education and more – that need to be redefined to make this work,” Palombini says. “We have the first key ‘block’ in place, the blockchain technology, and now the rest of the blocks all need to be strategically aligned to realize this promise.”

In February 2018, the IEEE-SA convened a diverse group of 102 professionals representing the critical parties throughout the clinical trials process at the Blockchain for Clinical Trials Forum in Orlando. The mission of this event was to provide a balanced perspective on the viability of the application and the next best steps to achieve outcomes, including where standards, industry and policy can expedite adoption. For more information on the blockchain for clinical trials work, visit

To stay on top of the rapidly evolving world of blockchain, visit the IEEE Blockchain page.


The IEEE GET Program Sponsors Standards Availability Worldwide

In many parts of the world, there’s a need for basic forms of development, from infrastructure to wireless technology. The cost of a published standard for such projects is usually a small part of its cost—but it can still be a barrier for small communities, or for startup projects looking for fund-ing. “People from developing countries may not be able to pay the full price for a standard,” says Anasthasie Sainvilus, Contracts and Licensing Manager at IEEE-SA. “But the technology could be useful for improving their lives.”

IEEE-SA’s GET Program, through its sponsors, makes selected standards available at no charge to the public. An interested group that wants to see the technology being put to use will sponsor a particular standard, supporting IEEE to make it available worldwide in PDF form via the GETTM Program. For example, IEEE 802® documents enter the program six months after publication. The sponsors for standards range from the working groups that created the stand-ard; to industry consortia such as Accellera, Inc. and Green Electronics Council; to government agencies.

Areas of technology that are represented in the GET Program include design automation, nucle-ar power, safety and security standards, and environmental standards—even a voting machine standard, which has seen interest from small communities across the United States. “The pro-gram has been very successful, based on how many downloads there have been, from coun-tries across the Americas, Europe, and Asia,” says Sainvilus. “It really shows that IEEE’s tagline about advancing technology for humanity is not just a tagline.”

To become a sponsor of the IEEE GET™ Program, please contact the Contracts and Licensing Manager at Please visit to access the IEEE GET™ Program.


Standards Updates

Standards Exchange Program Opens the Standards Process to Staff Worldwide

Your national standards body has signed an agreement to use IEEE standards. But if you’re a staff member of that standards body, what comes next? The Standards Exchange Program, one track of the Fellowship Program (see the feature article in this issue) provides staff members from national standards bodies the opportunity to observe and learn about the IEEE standards development process and technical areas. It’s also a chance to make connections with IEEE volunteers and staff and their peers in other countries.

“This is for people who are not the developers of the technical content, but the staff who help make these kinds of documents exist,” said Mary Lynne Nielsen, Global Operations and Out-reach Program Director at IEEE-SA. “We’re teaching the staff of national standards bodies about the variety of standards that IEEE has to offer, and what they have the potential to use in their nation through their agreements with us, especially via adoption agreements that allow those or-ganizations to directly adopt IEEE standards as national standards.”

IEEE-SA held its first Standards Exchange program with national standards bodies in December 2017, during the IEEE-SA Standards Board (SASB) meeting series. That year’s participants in-cluded employees of the national standards bodies of Ecuador, Rwanda, and Zambia, all of which have signed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with IEEE. “The fellowship program was a very enlightening experience,” said Chileshe Kapaya of the Zambia Bureau of Standards. “It provided an opportunity to make contacts and connections that would have not been possible otherwise.”

As with other Fellowship Program tracks, the Standards Exchange Program includes both partic-ipation in standards meetings and overviews on specific topics of interest. “We give them some training when they arrive—what is IEEE, what is the IEEE-SA, how does our standards develop-ment process work, so they’re prepared for meetings,” said Nielsen. “Then we give them over-views on topics of interest that they’ve indicated, such as 5G, blockchain, power and energy, or IEEE 802. They engage directly with the staff at IEEE, seeing how we do things internally. They observe our standards process and they get a very broad view of what we do—so they can get the most out of their MoU with IEEE.”

IEEE Student Grants Support Researchers Using Standards in Their Work

There are two things students working on research projects can always use—funding and their name on a published paper. IEEE Standards Education has a way to provide them with both: IEEE grants for student papers on engineering and on technology topics making use of stand-ards as part of their research. The IEEE offers grants to both students and faculty mentors in support of graduate, senior design, or development and research projects in which industry technical standards (students do not need to use an IEEE standard) are applied to complete the project.

The program, called IEEE Student Grants, offers US $500 to student researchers of selected papers and an additional US $300 honorarium is given to their faculty mentor. The final paper is published by IEEE as a student application paper. “Students are doing considerable amounts of research, and any kind of funding at that level is beneficial,” says Rob Craig, Manager of Stand-ards Education Programs at IEEE.

“Putting standards into practice is something they’re going to be doing their whole careers,” says Craig, “yet most students don’t get any real understanding of standards on the undergraduate and graduate level. This program gets students involved in the standards process, so they un-derstand the importance of standards, and how critical understanding of standards is to their ca-reers long-term.”

Papers accepted for the grant and publication cover a wide range of standards subjects. IEEE 802®has been the most popular topic, as word of the grants has traveled within that research community, but subjects have included everything from semiconductor power and surge issues to medical diagnosis and technology, satellite imaging and more. The universities where re-searchers have received the grants cover the world—from the United States and Canada to Ita-ly, Sweden, Ukraine, Egypt, India and China.

To find out more about IEEE Student Grants, go here.

Spotlight Activities

Key IEEE working group meetings and events for October-December 2017

IEEE 802 Plenary Meeting: 5-10 November, Orlando, FL, USA

PES Committee Meetings:

Switchgear: 8-13 October, Portland, Maine, USA

Transformers: 29 October-2 November, Louisville, KY, USA

Insulated Conductors: 29 October-2 November, Hollywood, FL, USA

PES Working Group Meetings in China:

P2771: Parameter Configuration of Arcing Horns of DC Earth Electrode Lines, mid-November, Chengdu, China

P2426: Field Measurement of Fast-Front and Very Fast-Front Overvoltages in Electric Power Systems, mid-November, Chengdu, China

P2775: SmartHydro, 7-9 November, Nanjing, China

Thank you for reading the Spring 2018 issue of Standards Reach. Please send your comments and suggestions for future editions to Mary Lynne Nielsen. If you would like to suggest additional recipients from your organization to receive this newsletter, please send your request to Victoria Kuperman-Super.