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USNC Announces Recipients of its 2023 IEC Young Professionals Competition


The U.S. National Committee (USNC) to the IEC is pleased to announce the three recipients selected to attend the 2023 IEC Young Professionals (YP) Workshop in Cairo, Egypt: Alexis Bartels-Popelar of VIAVI Solutions, Caitlyn Clark of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Mariah Dixon of UL Standards & Engagement.

The three recipients, chosen by the USNC YP selection panel, will be sponsored to participate in the October 22-26 workshop held in conjunction with the 87th IEC General Meeting. They will represent the U.S. at a dedicated workshop alongside recipients from other nations, where they will learn more about the IEC, standardization strategies, and conformity assessment. They will also have the opportunity to attend technical meetings where standards are developed; observe a meeting of the IEC Standardization Management Board and the Conformity Assessment Board; benefit from the guidance of a mentor; visit local industry; and more. The recipients will receive financial support for their travel and up to six nights of accommodation.

Alexis Bartels-Popelar is a test engineering manager at VIAVI Solutions working on innovative fiber inspection and test products. With 5 years of experience in the fiber optic industry, her experience includes verifying and validating new fiber optic test products and maintaining product quality. She leads an engineering team dedicated to testing and compliance for products at VIAVI. Bartels-Popelar began IEC work in 2020 as a technical expert for Technical Committee (TC) 86, Fibre optics, Subcommittee (SC) 86B, Fibre optic interconnecting devices and passive components. She is an active member of Working Groups 4 and 6, contributing to the ad-hoc visual inspection task force and to IEC 61300-3-35, Visual inspection of fibre optic connectors and fibre-stub transceivers. Additionally, since 2021, Bartels-Popelar has been a member of the USNC’s Young and Emerging Professionals Committee (YEP), currently serving as interim leader of the YEP joint Outreach and Recruitment Task Force. She also participated as a mentee in the USNC’s 2021 mentoring program

Caitlyn Clark is a researcher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), where she leads research teams, develops programmatic strategy, and is a key technical contributor to hybrid energy system, offshore renewable energy, power-to-x, and industrial decarbonization topics. Her specialty is in reliable and resilient energy systems design. Clark’s work integrates technical, market, and policy factors to reveal what key advances need to be made to achieve a modern, equitable, sustainable future energy system. She serves on IEC TC 114, Marine energy – Wave, tidal and other water current converters, in Maintenance Team 101, Wave energy resource assessment and characterization, as well as on Advisory Group (AG) 2. She has served on the YEP Committee since 2020, and supported the YEP Mentoring Program. 

Mariah Dixon is a standards project engineer at UL Standards & Engagement, where she currently evaluates UL standards for robust competence in addressing Mechanical Hazards. To enact this, she designed the mechanical ecosystem that addresses the potential mechanical hazards of product and the resultant harmful occurrences. She currently audits UL TC meetings and is tasked with various projects to assist the TC in key decisions in the development or improvement of a standard. Dixon has experience in conformance assessment as well, and was responsible for the evaluation of fire containment products to various UL, ISO, and NFPA standards. She also was a Lead Auditor for UL’s Data Assistance Program (DAP), where she evaluated various testing laboratories for conformance to ISO 17025, as well as requirements set forth by UL, to allow the laboratory acceptance into the program. Mariah holds a leadership position in a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) corporate sponsored group, which continues to encourage recruitment of top talent into the company.

Learn more: 2023 IEC Young Professionals Workshop

Left to right: Alexis Bartels-Popelar, Caitlyn Clark, Mariah DixonUSNC IEC Young and Emerging Professionals 2023


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