NBN organized its Thank You Event yesterday. During this animated evening, 3 awards were presented in the Brussels Town Hall. Two experts received an award for their efforts in the development and promotion of standards. In cooperation with SciMingo, the first NBN Sustainability Award was also presented to a student for a thesis with sustainability as the central theme.
"Our experts shape standards. From quality to technical specifications, standards can be found everywhere - from screw heads to management systems. Those agreements contribute to value creation, both in our economy and society," said Johan Haelterman. "The people who work behind the scenes to create that huge knowledge base of agreements and conventions also deserve a moment in the spotlight."
None other than the Secretary General of the ISO, Sergio Mujica, was in attendance. He talked about the origins and evolution of organisation, but also dwelt on the challenges that have an (in)direct impact on its operation. Besides the economic and geopolitical situation, the lack of trust in institutions is also an influential factor. Of course, the triple planetary crisis (climate change, pollution and the disappearance of biodiversity) also plays a prominent role in this story. He then presented the prestigious awards to the professionals.
The highlight of the evening was the award ceremony. Two Belgian professionals and one student took the stage. They received, each in their category, a well-deserved award to take home.
Koen Staes is Specialist in international legislation and testing in business area compression engineering at AtlasCopco. He has been working on standards development since 2007. As Chairman of CEN TC 232 WG2, he collaborated on the EN1012-1 standard. In cooperation with ISO, he is working on the development of the international successor to that standard. The goal is to publish and harmonize that standard by January 2027.
André Plumier is an honorary professor in the field of ArGEnCo (architecture, geology, environment & construction) at the University of Liège. Since 1994, he has participated in standards development. His publication on earthquake-resistant design according to Eurocode 8 has been downloaded more than 430,000 times. He also lectures to construction companies in Belgium and France. He sits as an expert in CEN TC 250 SC 8, as well as in WG 1, 2, 3 and 5.
Gentiel Acar received the first NBN Sustainability Award for his research on reusing mineral wool insulation. The (now graduated) Engineering student received the award in collaboration with SciMingo vzw, which awards the Flemish Thesis Prize. His groundbreaking research on recovering insulation material won out over the three other nominees because of its social impact, closing the material loop and practical feasibility in the current economic climate.
I had hoped for it, but honestly did not expect it. I found the other candidates' research and pitches very strong and convincing. It may sound like a cliché, but to me all four of us are winners - Gentiel Acar
The other nominees, Adeline De Clercq (The War on PFOS), Casper Van Herzele (The passport to circular fashion) and Emma Gouwy (Can bacteria save kelp?) were formidable contenders. However, we would also like to thank them for their submissions and explanations - they were very passionate and substantiated in answering the jury's questions.
They were very strong candidates - that didn't make the choice easy. In the end, Gentiel Acar's practical approach was the deciding factor. - Marc Van Overmeire, chairman of the jury
Would you like to contribute to standards in your sector? Register for one of our standards committees and share your expertise. This way you will be the first to know about new developments, build a strong network and give a voice to your own organisation .
Finally, we would once again like to thank all the experts, clients, sector operators, members of the Board of Directors and, of course, the students and their supporters for the massive turnout - through and for you, we at NBN do our utmost to do just a little bit better every time. And what better way to show that than to let you experience it in the run-up to the next Thank You Event?