Brain Drain

Brain Drain

We’re not talking about the 1989 Ramones album (though it might make an interesting soundtrack here) nor even the classic concept of an emigration of trained and talented individuals from one nation to another due to lack of opportunity, conflicts, or health hazards.  

In today’s world of standardizations, Brain Drain refers to the loss of knowledge due to resignations, retirements, reorganizations, and relocations of talented engineers who write electrical and other standards.


According to Don Snyder, manager of standards for United Laboratories and a speaker at the 2008 SPAB  conference,  UL processes about 20 resignations from standard developing committees per month due to retirements, mergers and acquisitions, and downsizing. In plain talk, he says, standards development is just not sexy enough for young engineers straight out of school.


The electroindustry in particular is facing the challenges of quickly evolving technologies, shorter product lifecycles, global economies, and new competition from emerging countries. At the same time, mergers may mean that committees end up with the same members representing the same—not  different—companies. The numbers are dwindling.


NEMA’s Codes and Standards Committee (C&S) is looking for new members who can share their expertise and commitment to serving a greater good in the areas of Diagnostic Imaging and Therapy Systems, Motor Generation, Power Electronics, Dry Battery, Transportation Management, Arc Welding, and other sections.


Plug the drain. Contact Vince Baclawski.

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