Today is World Standards Day, which has the theme ‘A shared vision for a better world’. How in your opinion can standards support the across-the-board uptake of sustainable technologies?
Stefan Eibl: Standardisation is the bridge between regulatory specifications and product development. When it comes to sustainable technologies in particular, we urgently need to upgrade to the current state of the art so that products can be developed and launched without delay.
Mareen Tiedemann: Regarding wind energy and renewable energies, we require a common, global denominator for development processes – after all, sustainability and climate protection are global issues. Standardisation constitutes a common ground of understanding for this – and without it, there can be no shared concept. Incidentally, it is also the case that standardisation promotes international collaboration because people are working on this all over the world – that, too, is a sustainability aspect.
Michael Dopichaj: Much has been said already. New technologies need standards, that’s for sure. And whatever the area, we need to become more sustainable across the board. This is something that we can – and must – promote through standardisation.
You’re active in Next Generation DKE. What is your network doing in relation to climate protection?
Mareen Tiedemann: We run a virtual regulars’ table where we talk about future issues and, together with invited experts, discuss how we can anchor these through standardisation. In doing so, we look at, for example, what else is needed on the road towards decarbonisation in terms of both technical aspects and standardisation. I believe that it is extremely important to look beyond our own horizons because climate protection needs open-mindedness and multiple perspectives.
Michael Dopichaj: For me, sustainability also means actively promoting young talent. The world of standardisation is occupied by many highly experienced people from whom young people can learn a lot; likewise, newcomers bring whole new perspectives that provide important inspiration. We depend on this dynamic and team diversity in order to make progress.
Stefan Eibl: I agree with both of you. I, too, consider it vital that the network comprises people from a wide range of different areas and who each contribute their own insights. This results in an excellent platform for generating ideas that can then be deployed in real-life projects.
What in your opinion needs to be improved so that standardisation can support sustainability even more effectively?
Michael Dopichaj: We urgently need greater visibility in the public realm. In the public review phase, everyone has the chance to contribute their own comments and insights. And sometimes you are invited to a committee session, or the experts incorporate the feedback in their work. It has to be a lot more widely known so that society can play a greater role.
Mareen Tiedemann: I share this view. We also need to continue eliminating the barriers between the young generation and experienced experts, something that Michael addressed earlier. Only through the intensive sharing of knowledge, ideas and so on can we tackle themes like the circular economy, data protection and renewable energies.
Stefan Eibl: I think that all parties need to work much more closely in alignment with each other. We need a stronger consensus among all nations and have to shape our standardisation work so that it supports sustainability. This is a huge task that can be solved only at a global level.
What objectives are you pursuing in your own professional endeavours with a view to achieving a sustainable future?
Stefan Eibl: I want to see a world in which standardisation promotes the development of sustainable products. I am therefore focusing on what we have to do in terms of standardisation so that companies can launch sustainable products and not have the impression that they are simply confronted with endless hurdles.
Michael Dopichaj: With sustainability in mind, I deliberately chose to work in the rail sector. Electrification has long been a fundamental element of rail transportation – and thanks to its better aerodynamics and lower rolling friction, even a diesel locomotive is way more efficient than a diesel truck.
Mareen Tiedemann: In my doctoral studies, I examined how wind energy can be made more cost-effective. This is a small piece in the jigsaw towards my vision of a globally connected energy industry based on renewable energies. This is why I’m so happy that Stefan, Michael and I are part of the IEC Young Professional programme. We want to advance renewable energies globally – and it is at this level that we can work.
Eibl completed his master's degree in mechanical engineering in 2016 and has since held various positions at Truma Gerätetechnik GmbH & Co.KG. Since 2022, he has held the position of Requirements & Compliance Engineer in the Competence Center Air Conditioning Systems.
Mareen Tiedemann is a consultant for renewable energies and power-to-X technologies and studied wind energy and mechanical engineering. She has been moderating the standardisation regulars' table at the Next Generation DKE since 2021.
Michael Dopichaj studied electrical engineering and is a hardware developer for train electronics at Siemens with a great passion for railway technology.
World Standards Day 2022: interviews on climate protection and standardization
On 14 October, the international standardisation organisations and their national members celebrate World Standards Day to highlight the importance of standards. World Standards Day 2022 has the theme ‘A shared vision for a better world’ and focuses on how standardisation can help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals – and in particular those relating to climate protection, which is our primary focus here. In a series of interviews with fascinating people from the worlds of business, academia and politics, the three regulators DIN, DKE and VDI are together seeking to use World Standards Day as an opportunity to highlight the challenges faced by industry and society in the fight against climate change. Together with our interviewees, we discuss not only the challenges they face in their specific fields of interest but also the opportunities afforded by the green transformation and examine potential solutions (e.g. standards).