Simon Sutton Confirmed as the Next CIGRE D1 Study Committee Chairman
CIGRE, the collaborative global community for power systems professionals, recently announced that Dr Simon Sutton, Doble’s Technical Director EMEA, has been appointed as the next Study Committee Chairman for Materials and Emerging Test Techniques (D1) starting August 2022. This appointment culminates his 25-year relationship with this prestigious organization.
“I was genuinely humbled to be considered for this role in the first place and feel honored to have been selected,” he says.
“It’s a time of tremendous change in our industry and the need for new solutions to meet the challenges ahead has never been greater: materials underpin many of these future innovations. I’m looking forward to working with all the representatives from around the world who make up the Study Committee and the wider CIGRE community,” Simon added.
Established in 1921 in Paris, France, CIGRE is an apolitical, not for profit global community committed to the collaborative development and sharing of power system expertise.
Its scope is organized in 16 domains of work, each led by a dedicated Study Committee. Domains are broadly grouped by four key global power system areas—equipment, technologies, systems and cross-cutting groups (new materials and IT).
The 16 study committees have approximately 250 working groups active at any one time. These working groups in turn produce comprehensive technical publications, referred to as ‘Technical Brochures’ which cover the full spectrum of the power system and often serve as feeders for new standards and as best practice user guides for utilities.
Every two years CIGRE members congregate in Paris for their signature five-day global conference—The Paris Session—where hundreds of technical papers are collaboratively debated.
The D1 Study Committee
Materials and Emerging Test Techniques, also known as the D1 Study Committee, covers new and existing materials for electrotechnology, diagnostic techniques and related knowledge rules, as well as emerging test techniques which are expected to impact power systems.
As an overarching committee, D1 collaborates closely with and supports other committees across the CIGRE domains, including cables, circuit breakers and transformers. The voluminous output of its over 20 working groups supports the ongoing development of international standards. Key areas of focus in recent years have been new dielectric liquids (natural and synthetic esters), insulation ageing under HVDC conditions and the emergence of alternative gases to SF6. Other topics have included corrosion, partial discharge measurements, DGA monitoring systems and superconductivity.
Twenty-Five Years of Dedicated Service
Simon has been active in CIGRE for the past 25 years and in 2020 he received the Distinguished Member Award acknowledging his long-standing collaboration and service.
For the past seven years he’s been very engaged with the D1 study committee, most recently serving as a Convenor of the D1 Advisory Group on Solids (D1-03), which determines the terms of reference for new working groups.
He’s also served as a Special Rapporteur for the Paris Session—the main CIGRE conference held every two years. Special rapporteurs play a key role ensuring a successful conference by reviewing the submitted papers ahead of the conference, preparing a report and posing the questions to be debated during the session meeting.
The Benefits of Participation
It goes without saying that Simon is a big advocate for CIGRE. He recommends that other power system professionals become active with the organization.
“If you get involved in a working group,” he says, “it’s great for your professional development because you’ll be working with upward of 30 of your peers who obviously have an interest in the same topic. It’s an opportunity to develop a huge professional network and you’ll be driving international standards to where they need to be.”
Simon adds, “CIGRE is a truly global organization—it’s a melting pot for bringing everyone together. You meet people from everywhere and you get that global perspective of what’s going on.”
“I believe people should get involved in CIGRE. If you’re passionate about the industry—and people talk about ‘giving back’—it’s a good way of doing that,” he says.
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