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

News release – 2018 Number 11

IEC awards highest honour in electrotechnology to Wim De Kesel

2018 Lord Kelvin Award recognizes Mr De Kesel’s leadership in standardization in the areas of energy efficiency, LVDC and electric vehicles


Geneva, Switzerland, 2018-10-25 The IEC has awarded the 2018 Lord Kelvin Award to Wim De Kesel for his outstanding technical contribution to the growth, development and promotion of the global relevance of IEC Standards. The Lord Kelvin Award is the highest honour in the global electrotechnology industry.


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IEC President, Jim Shannon, presented the gold medal to Mr. De Kessel, who is the 36th laureate and the first from Belgium. Mr. Shannon said, “This year’s Lord Kelvin Award honours excellence and outstanding commitment that has helped advance the IEC field of activity as a whole and the mission of the IEC in particular.”


Mr De Kesel is Vice President Standardization of the Legrand Group and has played an active and important role at the IEC for more than 20 years. He has brought his leadership skills to standardization work in such areas as energy efficiency, low voltage direct current, electric vehicles and home and building automation.


Mr De Kesel has made an outstanding technical contribution to the growth, development and promotion of the global relevance of IEC Standards and through his work at Legrand he has had a major influence on the image of the IEC in the business world. As CENELEC Vice-President Policy he has helped to improve collaboration with European standardization and he has always taken every opportunity to encourage the use of IEC Standards on regional and national level.


Mr De Kesel has helped IEC to implement a systems approach to standardization in such areas as Smart Homes and Office Building Systems. He has been instrumental in building bridges between technical committees and improving collaboration between technical experts in Europe and around the world. TC 23, Systems Committee (SyC) LVDC, System Evaluation Group (SEG) 4 and SEG 9 are just some of the IEC groups and committees that have benefitted from Mr De Kesel’s experience, expertise and energy.


About the Lord Kelvin Award
The prestigious IEC Lord Kelvin Award takes its name from the first IEC President, who was a distinguished scientist and prolific inventor. Lord Kelvin contributed significantly to the advancement of modern physics and the practical applications of electrotechnology.


Lord Kelvin, together with Charles Le Maistre, the first IEC General Secretary, can be considered the true fathers of standardization. They put in place the processes and methodologies that allow companies to spread new technologies broadly, and enable countries to build more sustainable infrastructure.


Today the Lord Kelvin Award honours their vision and drive to understand and improve the practical applications of the millions of electrical and electronic devices and systems that are part of our daily lives.

About IEC

The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is the world’s leading organization that prepares and publishes globally relevant International Standards for all electric and electronic devices and systems. It brings together 171 countries; 86 are Members (National Committees) and 85 are Affiliates, developing countries that benefit from IEC work without the burden of membership.

Together they represent more than 99% of the world population and world electricity generation. More than 20 000 experts cooperate on the global IEC platform and many more in each member country.

They ensure that products work everywhere safely and efficiently with each other. The IEC also supports all forms of conformity assessment and administers four Conformity Assessment Systems that certify that components, equipment and systems used in homes, offices, healthcare facilities, public spaces, transportation, manufacturing, explosive environments and during energy generation conform to them.

IEC work covers a vast range of technologies: power generation (including all renewable energy sources), transmission, distribution, smart grid & smart cities, batteries, home appliances, office and medical equipment, all public and private transportation, semiconductors, fibre optics, nanotechnology, multimedia, information technology, and more. It also addresses safety, EMC, performance and the environment.


Find out more

Media contact:

Gabriela Ehrlich
Tel: +41 22 919 02 78
Mob: +41 79 600 56 72
Email: Gabriela Ehrlich
Skype: gabriela.ehrlich


News release 2018-11

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