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ANSI Remembers Donald N. Heirman, Retired U.S. Navy Commander and Global Electrotechnical Standardization Leader


Donald N. Heirman, former U.S. Navy Commander, internationally known expert in the field of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and president of Don Heirman Consultants, passed away on October 30, 2020. He was 80 years old. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) extends its condolences to Mr. Heirman's family, friends, and former colleagues and remembers him for his significant contributions to EMC and the electrotechnical standardization community.

An esteemed leader in the electrotechnical sector worldwide for several decades, Mr. Heirman, in 2017 was awarded with ANSI's Elihu Thomson Electrotechnology Medal, which honors an individual who has contributed in an exceptional, dedicated way to the field of electrotechnology standardization, conformity assessment, and related activities at the national and international levels.

During his career, Mr. Heirman spent more than 30 years with Bell Laboratories, where he held many EMC roles. He was manager of Lucent Technologies (Bell Labs) Global Product Compliance Laboratory, which he founded, and where he was in charge of the Corporation’s major EMC and regulatory test facility and its participation in ANSI-accredited standards and international EMC standardization committees. In 1997, after his early retirement from Bell Laboratories, he founded Don Heirman Consultants, a training, standards, and educational electromagnetic compatibility consultation corporation.

He chaired, or was a principal technical contributor to, U.S. and international EMC standards organizations including ANSI ASC C63® immediate past chairman and chairman of the C63.4 (emission measurements) Working Group, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and immediate past chairman of the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) International Special Committee on Radio Interference (CISPR). He was the chairman of the IEC’s Advisory Committee on EMC, and was a life member of the Technical Management Committee of the U.S. National Committee of the IEC. He was also the past president of the IEEE Standards Association (SA), past member of the SA Board of Governors, and past member of the IEEE’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He taught the practical application of EMC compliance measurement standards at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

In 2008, he was honored with the prestigious IEC Lord Kelvin awardthe highest award in the IECat the IEC General Meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for his many contributions to global electrotechnical standardization in the field of EMC.

Most recently, in 2018, he received the IEEE Richard M. Emberson award for leadership and service to industry and the IEEE and for distinguished service to the development, viability, advancement, and pursuit of the technical objectives of the IEEE. He was a life Fellow of the IEEE and an honored life member of the IEEE EMC Society and past member of its Board of Directors, chair of its technical committees on EMC measurements and Smart Grid, past vice president for standards, past IEEE EMC Society president, and past chair of its standards development committee.

Mr. Heirman was also a consultant on Smart Grid matters for the Conformity Assessment Section of the American Council of Independent Laboratories. He was a voting member of the U.S. Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) and vice chairman of its Testing and Certification Committee. He also chaired the SEPA Electromagnetic Interoperability Issues Working Group, which provides EMC recommendations for Smart Grid equipment and systems. Mr. Heirman retired from the military in 1985. A video highlighting his career and advice, "A Professional Life," is posted on his website.

ANSI mourns the passing of Donald Heirman (August 16, 1940-October 30, 2020) for his many contributions and achievements.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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