Spreading the Word About Industry Standards

IEEE held a workshop in China to raise awareness about industry standards

6 October 2010

As part of its commitment to promoting the integration of standards into engineering curricula worldwide, IEEE recently held a workshop in China to raise awareness of standards and their value to industry.

IEEE and the China National Institute of Standardization cosponsored the all-day event in May in Beijing. The IEEE-CNIS Standards Education Workshop was the first time IEEE partnered with another organization to hold a forum that discussed incorporating standards education into engineering, technology, and computing curricula. CNIS is a nonprofit research body.

The initiative was part of the Standards Education Program, a joint effort established in 2003 between the IEEE Educational Activities Board and IEEE Standards Association board of governors. Its aim is to integrate technical standards into academic programs within IEEE’s fields of interest.

“It’s important for engineers to understand standards and how they can be used,” says IEEE Senior Member Steve Mills, president-elect of the IEEE Standards Association and past chair of the IEEE Standards Education Committee. “Including standards in the engineering curriculum will better equip engineers for an effective transition into the workforce.”

“We’ve been working with various Chinese organizations, including CNIS, for a number of years,” Mills says. “We are always looking for ways to collaborate with them, and this workshop was a good opportunity.” The workshop was held in conjunction with the IEEE Standards Association board of governors meeting in Beijing.

More than 90 attendees heard 11 speakers from IEEE, CNIS, the Korea Standards Association, China’s Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, and Huawei Technologies Co., a leading telecom provider in China. IEEE discussed its standards education program and its IEEE Standards Education Web site, which includes basic terminology; tutorials and case studies; applications; and standards’ impact on product, process, and service design.

Wang Zhong-min, the general president of CNIS, presented an overview of standards education in China and stressed its importance. “As standards development extends to every field, the number of people who need to know and use standards in different ways increases,” he said, noting that 21 universities in China offer courses on standards, and several research institutes, trade associations, and private companies also have short courses and workshops on the topic.

Donggeun Choi from the Korea Standards Association spoke about how to implement standards education in a university curriculum. Wang Jiyun, an associate professor at Zhongnan University, in Wuhan, discussed how he had introduced standards education at the university’s school of business administration. Li Li, vice director of the industry standards department at Huawei, a networking and telecommunications equipment supplier in Shenzhen, explained how the company educates its employees about standards.

It was not the first time IEEE-SA had visited China. Various IEEE-SA groups hold meetings in the country every year to raise their visibility in the emerging market.

“We think it’s important to grow IEEE’s presence in China, both from an institute and standardization point of view,” Mills says. “As the focus of Chinese industries transitions to global markets, it will be important to help them understand the value of working with standards development organizations that have a global scope, like IEEE.”

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