Engaging and supporting young and emerging professionals (YEPs) in electrotechnology standardization is a key priority for the USNC/IEC.
Explore the set of programs helping to get YEPs actively and effectively involved in IEC standards and conformity activities and building our next generation of USNC/IEC electrotechnology standardization leaders:
The USNC has announced the three recipients selected to attend the 2023 IEC Young Professionals (YP) Workshop in Cairo, Egypt: Alexis Bartels-Popelar of VIAVI Solutions, Caitlyn Clark of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Mariah Dixon of UL Standards & Engagement.
Alexis Bartels-Popelar is a test engineering manager at VIAVI Solutions working on innovative fiber inspection and test products. With 5 years of experience in the fiber optic industry, her experience includes verifying and validating new fiber optic test products and maintaining product quality. She leads an engineering team dedicated to testing and compliance for products at VIAVI. Bartels-Popelar began IEC work in 2020 as a technical expert for Technical Committee (TC) 86, Fibre optics, Subcommittee (SC) 86B, Fibre optic interconnecting devices and passive components. She is an active member of Working Groups 4 and 6, contributing to the ad-hoc visual inspection task force and to IEC 61300-3-35, Visual inspection of fibre optic connectors and fibre-stub transceivers. Additionally, since 2021, Bartels-Popelar has been a member of the USNC’s Young and Emerging Professionals Committee (YEP), currently serving as interim leader of the YEP joint Outreach and Recruitment Task Force. She also participated as a mentee in the USNC’s 2021 mentoring program.
Caitlyn Clark is a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), where she leads research teams, develops programmatic strategy, and is a key technical contributor to hybrid energy system, offshore renewable energy, power-to-x, and industrial decarbonization topics. Her specialty is in reliable and resilient energy systems design. Clark’s work integrates technical, market, and policy factors to reveal what key advances need to be made to achieve a modern, equitable, sustainable future energy system. She serves on IEC TC 114, Marine energy – Wave, tidal and other water current converters, in Maintenance Team 101, Wave energy resource assessment and characterization, as well as on Advisory Group (AG) 2. She has served on the YEP Committee since 2020, and supported the YEP Mentoring Program.
Mariah Dixon is a standards project engineer at UL Standards & Engagement, where she currently evaluates UL standards for robust competence in addressing Mechanical Hazards. To enact this, she designed the mechanical ecosystem that addresses the potential mechanical hazards of product and the resultant harmful occurrences. She currently audits UL TC meetings and is tasked with various projects to assist the TC in key decisions in the development or improvement of a standard. Dixon has experience in conformance assessment as well, and was responsible for the evaluation of fire containment products to various UL, ISO, and NFPA standards. She also was a Lead Auditor for UL’s Data Assistance Program (DAP), where she evaluated various testing laboratories for conformance to ISO 17025, as well as requirements set forth by UL, to allow the laboratory acceptance into the program. Mariah holds a leadership position in a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) corporate sponsored group, which continues to encourage recruitment of top talent into the company.
Left to right: Alexis Bartels-Popelar, Caitlyn Clark, Mariah Dixon
Learn more: 2023 IEC Young Professionals Workshop
IEC 2018 YP Leader, United States
USNC Young and Emerging Professionals Committee Chair
IEC 2013 YP Leader, United States
IEC 2012 YP Leader, United States
IEC 2011 YP Leader, United States
In November 2019, the USNC YEP Committee began laying the foundation for a national program to expand the continued participation of young and emerging professionals beyond the former representatives of the IEC YP Programme. The goals, vision, and action plan are detailed in the U.S. National YEP Program Framework.
The USNC Young and Emerging Professionals (YEP) Program Launch & Meetup was held on May 17 as part of Spring 2022 World Standards Week. During this interactive hybrid session, attendees helped shape the future of the program by brainstorming ideas and sharing first-hand experiences. A networking reception followed the working session.
While virtual attendance has reduced some barriers to entry for interested YEPs and protégés, fostering development and advancement within the USNC can be stymied without opportunities to attend, learn, and network at events in-person.
This program enables new and existing YEPs and protégés to attend USNC management meetings in-person, allowing them grow professionally within the standards and conformity assessment community and expand their network. By supporting YEPs and protégés to attend these meetings, the USNC meets several of its strategic objectives, including succession and leadership planning; engaging young and emerging professionals; ensuring functionality and efficacy of the USNC TAGs; and developing and implementing targeted training programs for USNC members.
USNC YEP Committee members and Mentoring Program protégés are invited to apply to attend a set of USNC Management Meetings, dates listed below. Funding is available to each YEP and protégé which is limited to round-trip airfare and up to four nights of accommodation with a cap of $1,500 per YEP or protégé. Additional details around funding specifics can be found in the program application.
The USNC Young and Emerging Professionals (YEP) Committee officially launched the USNC’s National YEP Program in May 2022. One of the goals of the National YEP Program is to develop the next generation of leaders within both the standards and conformity assessment communities. A reoccurring topic that has been discussed since the establishment of the YEP Committee in 2010 is employer funding to support YEP attendance at national and international standards and conformity assessment meetings, workshops, and other activities. Providing support for new and existing USNC YEPs and protégés to attend such events is critical to improving their knowledge base, broadening their network, and increasing their exposure within the USNC community. It is also vital for the retention of experts and for succession planning within the USNC.
USNC YEPs and protégés are required to submit an application to the USNC staff to ensure that it has been completed properly. All applications are to be submitted eight weeks ahead of the meetings, and will be shared with a panel of USNC Council and YEP Committee members for their review and approval. Once a request has been approved, the USNC Council will be informed while the USNC staff will inform the applicant and manage the reimbursement process. The approved USNC YEPs and protégés are required to submit receipts for direct reimbursement to USNC staff within one month of attending the meetings.
For questions, please contact Mackenzie Connors, Program Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org; 212.642.8927).
The USNC Professional Mentoring Program provides emerging standards and conformity assessment professionals an opportunity to enter into a one-on-one relationship with a more experienced member of the USNC community for the purpose of retention, development, and overall success.
Whereas training is typically a significant volume of information passed from one to many, mentoring is a partnership in which two individuals set their own agenda, and the mentor provides guidance to the protégé in order to assist in achieving the latter’s goals. A mentoring program fosters the growth of emerging standards and conformity assessment professionals and enables them to be successful in their endeavors, whether their goals are to take on leadership roles in US or International programs or to be successful contributing experts or delegates. The mentoring program can be seen as a way to retain new standards and conformity assessment professionals and as a means of filling the pipeline for future leaders in the USNC.
To get started, please complete and submit the USNC Mentoring Program application to Megan Pahl (email@example.com).