AAMI News December 2019
One on One with Travis Lindahl
TRAVIS LINDAHL is a staff engineer for product safety at Stryker Instruments in Kalamazoo, MI. Lindahl was nominated by AAMI and chosen by the U.S. National Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to represent the U.S. as a young professional at the 83rd IEC General Meeting in Shanghai, China, Oct. 21–25.
Q Did you get an opportunity to meet and network with young professionals and national committee (NC) representatives from other countries?
Absolutely! This year, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) young professional workshop consisted of about 88 individuals from 41 countries, making it a truly unique and global networking experience. I also had the opportunity to attend bilateral U.S. NC meetings, including a breakfast with the Japanese NC and a dinner with the German NC.
Q Tell us about one of the Executive Committee meetings you attended.
As part of IEC’s young professionals program, I was given the opportunity to attend the Conformity Assessment Board (CAB) Executive Committee meeting. During this high-level meeting, I familiarized myself with the overall meeting format, talked with participants, saw the code of conduct in action, and witnessed CAB members reaching consensus.
Q Did you participate in any General Meeting discussions?
I actively participated in the smaller interactive breakout sessions and team activities. I also had the opportunity to attend a Standardization Evaluation Group 10 meeting on ethics in autonomous and artificial intelligence applications. During the discussion, I shared my thoughts on the subject matter with other attendees.
Q How was the young professionals workshop industry visit?
The industry visit was very cool! We toured the State Grid Shanghai Municipal Electric Power Company’s 500 kV Jing’an Underground Substation, which helps to power downtown Shanghai. The building’s architecture was stunning. The structure is completely underground and has an excavation depth of 34 meters.
Q Location aside, how was this meeting different from others you have attended in the U.S.?
The biggest difference was scale. The IEC General Meeting in Shanghai may have been the largest on record, with about 4,000 attendees from 173 countries. None of the meetings I’ve attended thus far have been that big. Regardless of where I was in Shanghai—in the hotel, exploring the streets, dining, or shopping—I always spotted someone wearing their IEC meeting badge.
Q What are your most memorable professional experiences from the IEC General Meeting?
Shaking hands and talking with IEC President James Shannon was very memorable! We crossed paths while sightseeing along the Huangpu river. I also think one of my most important takeaways from the meeting will be the connections I made with international colleagues.
Q What are your most memorable social experiences?
It was great exploring Shanghai at night with a smaller group of young professionals after workshop and General Meeting events were over for the day. We rode a ferry across the river, found a delicious restaurant for dinner, and hunted down the best areas for photo opportunities of the Shanghai cityscape.
Q How will your involvement in the IEC young professionals program continue after the General Meeting?
My participation with IEC will continue through the U.S. NC Young and Emerging Professionals Committee to advance young professional recruitment and retainment. I plan on supporting and nominating at least one applicant for next year’s young professionals workshop. I also plan to contribute to an article for the U.S. NC newsletter that will detail the IEC General Meeting experience.
Q Did the General Meeting change the way you see your job back home?
Yes, this meeting was very eye opening! I see now that my daily product safety work in the area of medical electrical equipment is one small piece of a much larger picture. I’m now starting to realize how enormous the IEC organization is, and how impactful its influence is within so many different industries.