International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

News release – 2009 Number 17

The 2009 Lord Kelvin Award, highest distinction in electrotechnology, awarded in Tel Aviv

IEC honours outstanding individuals for their lifelong contributions to electrotechnology


Geneva/Tel Aviv, 2009-10-21 The Lord Kelvin Award, the highest award in the world of electrotechnical standardization was given to three individuals who have contributed in an exceptional way to the work of standardization in electrotechnology.


Lord Kelvin Award

Millions of products and systems depend on standards to function safely and efficiently. More than 10 000 experts from all over the world, mostly from industry, participate in the work of electrotechnical standardization. The resulting standards cover anything from the +/- signs on a battery, the efficiency measurements of a PV cell, the safety of medical and household equipment, to the many standards that ensure the efficient use of renewable energy and the Smart Grid.


This year, the Lord Kelvin Award, named after the first President of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), goes to Thomas A. Hanson of the United States of America, Uwe Klausmeyer of Germany and Koichi Mori of Japan. All three are leading experts who have made their mark in their respective areas of expertise: fibre optics, conformity assessment for equipment in explosive atmospheres and the environmental aspects of electrotechnical standardization.


The Awards were presented by IEC President Jacques Régis during the IEC's 73rd General Meeting in Tel Aviv, Israel, where hundreds of experts are meeting for a week of technical and management meetings addressing topics including electrical energy efficiency and environmental standardization.

Thomas A. Hanson of the USA – leading expert in fibre optics

Tom Hanson was nominated in recognition of the substantial contributions he has made over the last 25 years in optical communications for the telecommunications sector. His efforts, directly and indirectly, have contributed to a large part of the work of IEC TC (Technical Committee) 86: Fibre optics.


Hanson is recognized as one of the world’s experts in fibre optics for strength and fatigue (reliability) and PMD (Polarization Mode Dispersion), which limits the amount of information an optical fibre can carry. His maths and statistical skills led to the development of much needed models and algorithms incorporated into IEC International Standards to address issues faced by industry.


He has authored or been a key contributor to most of the optical communications-related IEC International Standards, test methods, Specifications and Technical Reports


Hanson has effectively served as an interface between the IEC community of manufacturers and the external groups of users. He has been exemplary in ensuring that the work of his committee truly represents the needs of all stakeholders.

Uwe Klausmeyer of Germany – leading authority on explosive atmospheres

Uwe Klausmeyer was nominated for his significant contributions in the field of Certification and Standards relating to equipment used in hazardous areas. These include oil and gas refineries, gas stations, sugar refineries, grain handling and storage, waste treatment and much more. Under his direction conformity assessment for equipment in explosive atmospheres (Ex) has become a successful compliance tool for the many specialized industries involved in this area.


As Chairman of IECEx – one of the three conformity assessment systems operated by the IEC – Klausmeyer has been able to unite numerous Ex experts from around the world. Together these form today the global network that is the foundation for the work of the IECEx. Under his direction more than 7 500 IECEx Certificates and Reports were issued for products and systems used in explosive atmospheres, dealing with safe and efficient overhaul and repair in hazardous environments.

Koichi Mori of Japan – world authority on environmental issues

Koichi Mori was nominated for the Lord Kelvin Award for his outstanding work in environmental standardization for electrical and electronic products. As Chairman of IEC TC 111: Environmental standardization for electrical and electronic products and systems, he has been instrumental in developing standards that have become the reference documents for the design and production of more environmentally friendly products.


Under Mori's leadership, TC 111 has produced two IEC International Standards:

  • IEC 62321 provides useful standardized testing tools for markets dealing with hazardous substances and having to comply with legislation restricting the use of such substances in products and components.
  • IEC 62430 deals with integrating environmental aspects into the design and development processes of electrical and electronic products.

Mori's interests are not restricted to those of his TC environmental work. He has been a fervent promoter of international standardization at a number of seminars in his native Japan and throughout Asia, where he never ceases to emphasize the importance of IEC International Standards for industry in relation to environmental and regulatory matters.