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Issue #5 | April 2013 | DNV KEMA Global Employee Magazine

transponder Switching from Holland to Shanghai

Sandy – Planning for the Unpredictable

Building good relationships

New opportunities, driven by fi ­ rst-hand experience…

Digital Inspections A close team of software pioneers

Knowledge Sharing 2.0

Contents Transponder #5 02 Switching from Holland to Shanghai

Transponder, the DNV KEMA Employee Magazine, is published by DNV KEMA Global Marketing & Communications

06 Connected Bente Pretlove

Please send your comments to via Twitter: #dnvkematransponder

07 Connected Waisum Cheng

via InTouch: InTouch > Support Services > Marketing & Communications > Printed Materials

With thanks to

08 Digital Inspections – Taking the Office to the Field

Ellen Konstad

13 Close Up Me and my pet

Concept and design

Chris Vleeming

Vormgeversassociatie BV Wouter Botman

14 Contributors

Editorial DNV KEMA Global Marketing & Communications

16 Sandy – Planning for the Unpredictable

Elizabeth Fryman, Jessica Hartenberger, Caroline Kamerbeek, Kayla Plante Marlies Hummelen / Teksten

21 Recharging your Batteries Jan Haramul

Vormgeversassociatie BV

Text Marlies Hummelen / Teksten

22 24 Hours A Day in the Life of… Minghui Zhang

Hanne Christiansen

Photography Front cover, pages 28, 29 Herman van Ommen Photography

24 Brand New Christian Engelhardt, Anastasios Koumparos, Zuzana Souckova

Pages 2, 3, 5 Mick Ryan Photography Pages 8, 11 Blue Castle Photography

26 The New Learning

Page 16 Spencer Platt / Getty Images

32 Recharging your Batteries Sanjay C. Kuttan

Page 19 Michael Bocchieri / Getty Images The remaining photos were taken by

33 Origins What’s in a logo?

DNV KEMA employees or as indicated under each photo


37 DNV KEMA in Brief

GVO drukkers & vormgevers

38 A Fresh Perspective

We have made every effort to comply with the legal requirements relating to the rights to the illustrations. Any person who is nevertheless of the opinion that they are entitled to certain rights can contact Vormgeversassociatie (

From the Editor


or this spring issue of Transponder, we have – once again – plenty of subjects. For example, we take a peek into the daily work of Digital Inspections, people who are experts in connecting digital technology with everyday field and office issues. We also learn how Hurricane Sandy blew open a whole field of urgent challenges in the US – for individuals, for organisations and for the DNV KEMA people who teamed up with utilities that were damaged by the storm. Consulting and helping each other solve difficult issues is natural for most DNV KEMA employees. A recent survey of the culture at DNV KEMA shows that one thing our employees have in common is a great passion for sharing knowledge. This also happens to be one of the central themes for the Global Learning Team, which is portrayed in this issue. As we all know, 2013 is the year of an important merger with Germanischer Lloyd. This will bring in even more expertise and knowledge and create new opportunities for our company. It will also call for even more connection, communication and cooperation as we grow together to form one company. That’s all very well, but things start with getting to know each other. This is where Transponder comes in: showing the faces of people you may have heard of or have been mailing with, telling their stories, and giving you an impression of their background. However, we’d like to go a little further than that. A magazine like this should not be a one-way affair. We’d very much like to hear your opinion; in fact, we welcome ideas and contributions from all corners of the company. This issue of Transponder is available in a digital version, with some additional options. In the near future we intend to introduce more options in order to create more interactivity and further depth. In the meantime, one possibility that’s already working well is the photo feature on the back cover: “A Fresh Perspective”. This is a great opportunity to get your pictures published and share them with your colleagues!

Caroline Kamerbeek Global Director, Marketing & Communications

From now on: Transponder on your tablet!

Switching from Holland to Shanghai Focus on: RenĂŠ Blokhuis, business developer and senior inspector for High Voltage Components in Asia Pacific Background: Electrical engineer; MBA-C at Jiaotong University in Shanghai Relocation: Recruited in Arnhem in 2002, based in Shanghai since 2009 Current job: Establishing a local inspection department in Shanghai for witnessing type tests and other tests of T&D HV components at facilities in Asia Pacific, with a focus on China, plus related business development


Switching from Holland to Shanghai

DNV KEMA is becoming a truly global company. We now have people on virtually every continent and quite a number have moved across borders to meet new challenges. We wondered how they feel about working in a totally different environment. This time we asked a Dutch national – René Blokhuis – for his impressions of working in Shanghai, China.


Switching from Holland to Shanghai


hen René Blokhuis and his wife made the move from the Netherlands to Shanghai in 2009, it was pretty much a leap in the dark. At that time René had been working for seven years as an inspector of high voltage appliances such as switchgear and cable systems. He was wondering how he could advance his career. “Then this opportunity came up,” he explains. “At that time KEMA was winning more and more contracts for projects in China and I got the chance to set up a local inspection office here.”

A historical quarter in a metropolis It was a good career move and a deliberate decision to move to a completely different environment and culture, though “for our private life, it was a real challenge to move here”. René already knew China to some extent from earlier visits, but for his wife it was unknown territory. Before the move, she had only

"The first priority is a good relationship."

been there once. The couple now live in an apartment in the French Quarter – a beautiful old part of Shanghai, which up to 1946 was predominantly French and under French administration. These days, it’s a mixed neighbourhood with both Chinese residents and a lot of expats. René’s wife found work as a remedial educationalist at an international school and they had a son in 2011. Shanghai – on China’s east coast – has become an industrial powerhouse. When René arrived in 2009, there was a small KEMA office established there, with one Chinese employee who looked after sales. Now there are six staff members, including two other inspectors, all Chinese apart from René. René carries out inspections himself and has commercial responsibilities, as well as recruiting and training new staff.


Finding your own space He’s now happy living in Shanghai, but it took some time to feel at home. In his daily life there were plenty of ups and downs in adapting to the new ­environment and a very different culture. “The culture is just so different from what I knew before – and that’s the great thing about it,” he explains. “It attracts me and I really want to learn to understand it. But it’s taken some getting used to.” He discovered that the Chinese have a very different approach to many things. For example, he had to get used to the roundabout way in which a negative answer is given, and to the ­hierarchical attitude. “Orders and rules are strictly followed, and people find it really difficult to express criticism. But, in our work, that’s exactly what you have to do: we monitor quality very critically and must be prepared to take action if something threatens to go wrong. That’s how I try to train new colleagues here.” As a no-nonsense, businesslike Dutchman, he had to learn to be patient and to allow more time to get things done. There are also a lot of things that energise him. His Chinese colleagues work very hard and absorb new knowledge quickly. What he particularly notices is how driven the whole society is. “Everything goes full speed ahead here,” he says, “the infrastructure, the buildings, everything is built and expanded at high speed. I also notice it with our customers: they all have ambitious plans for new and better products – they just go ahead and make a start. It doesn’t always work out right away, but it does go quickly, and they learn a lot for the next attempt. The Dutch tend to spend a long time thinking about things.” He also appreciates the Chinese way of establishing a social and a business relationship (it’s called guanxi). Whether with colleagues or customers, the first priority is a good relationship. Only then do you get down to business. And he always sees cheerful faces here, something his fellow countrymen could learn from…

Switching from Holland to Shanghai

Having lunch Chinese style It’s sometimes the little things that make you feel at home – for example having lunch in the tower of the shopping mall opposite the office, instead of just bringing a sandwich from home (“they pay much more attention to food here”). And everyone uses public transport as the subway and taxis are so quick and effective. It’s all very familiar now. He talks about how he’s immersed himself in China by reading a lot about it: “That was a great help in understanding the country.” In his private life, René mainly has contact with expats. But with his water polo team (all fellow expats) he does play regular matches against a Chinese team. The language is still a problem and he only speaks “survival level” Chinese. On that subject he has one very clear piece of advice for anyone contemplating a similar move: “Learn the language before you come here. I regret not having done that because now I don’t have enough time. But it does make life a lot easier. It uses up a lot of energy if you can’t express yourself properly.”

The acquisition by DNV was a positive turn of events for him. “At that time I was one of the first KEMA expats. As a result, I sometimes felt a lack of ­comprehension in the company: others couldn’t really put themselves into my situation. At DNV the expat experience is much more normal and you notice that.”

Strolling through Shanghai In their spare time, René and his wife now mainly enjoy spending time with their son. They don’t feel the need for all sorts of outings, as the city itself is fascinating enough. “What we like most is just to wander round here. There’s so much to see and do!” says René. “The French Quarter is very attractive and Shanghai is a truly international city. You can find restaurants here from all corners of the world. We regularly go out to eat with friends.” They do travel for their holidays, to places further inland, such as Siyuan province, to Hainan island or to Moganshan, a mountainous area near Shanghai that makes a good escape for the weekend. Thailand is easy to get to from here and Vietnam is a neighbour. “We now have a completely different perspective on the world.” •

“Everything goes full speed ahead here.”




In each issue we i­ntroduce DNV KEMA colleagues ­working in different countries. They then suggest other people to interview. Not so much a relay race as a handover to an interesting colleague.

Graeme Sharp Onno Florisson Kristie DeIuliis Jenna Canseco

Connected: Bente Pretlove

Bente Pretlove


Who Bente Pretlove. Married, 3 children Where Høvik, Norway Job Senior Principal Adviser

Bart Adams

Education and career I have a Masters degree in Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering and a PhD in Environmental System Analysis. Before joining DNV, I worked at the Centre for Environmental Strategy in the UK. My PhD, which involved collaboration with industry, gave me a taste for working at DNV, where I could combine my research interests and academic background with commercial interests. What do you do exactly? I work for Climate Change Advisory Services in SUS. The unit I’m responsible for focuses on new carbon financing regimes and measures required to ensure sustainable development, efficient technology transfer and capacity building in developing countries. What do (and don’t) you like? For me it’s about variety, people, interdisciplinary and ­international work. There’s a good balance between these in my current role. I’ve been with DNV for 15 years and during this time I’ve seen a number of changes. The important thing for me is that we keep a focus on our vision and core values.

Jenna Canseco would like to know more about your career. Could you tell us something about that? I’ve held a number of positions at DNV – now DNV KEMA.


I’ve always followed my heart and pursued new challenges. I started as an Environmental con­ sultant and then became the DNV Fellow for the Environment. For almost ten years, I was the DNV Liaison Delegate to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. At the same time, I was responsible for developing DNV’s first Corporate Responsibility (CR) strategy and I worked for ­several years on its implementation. What’s “special” at work? In 2009, I was able to join the second DNV Top Tech program at the University of California, Berkeley. It was a privilege to be able to dedicate so much time to learning new topics and covering major technological trends. How do you spend your free time? I spend most of my free time with my family and on outdoor activities such as skiing and mountain hiking. I’d love to travel more, learn another language and maybe explore some of the famous footpaths and cultural routes in the world. For example, I’ve never been to Northern Spain and would love to walk part of the route to Santiago de Compostela.” Connected I’d like to hear from Bart Adams in Antwerp. I have great respect for him and his ability to take good ideas and turn them into business.



In each issue we i­ntroduce DNV KEMA colleagues ­working in different countries. They then suggest other people to interview. Not so much a relay race as a handover to an interesting colleague.

Petra de Jonge

Connected: Waisum Cheng

Zwanetta van Zijl Narottam Aul Jian Zhang Waisum Cheng

Who Waisum Steinborn-Cheng. Married, baby on the way Where Bonn, Germany Job Senior Consultant in the Markets and Regulation Service Line of Management &


Operations Consulting (MOC)

Agapi Papadamou

Education and career I studied Business Administration and then got an MBA at ­ eriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. At 23, I went to Germany. Starting as a Project H Assistant at KEMA in 2002, I got the opportunity to work on more content related projects, gain more experience, acquire more responsibility, and to gradually climb up the career ladder. What do you do exactly? My project work is mostly in the area of legal and regulatory frameworks, incentive regulation, tariff design, benchmarking and financial modelling. My main clients are energy regulatory authorities and utilities. What do (and don’t) you like? I like the international aspect of working for DNV KEMA, with clients and colleagues from so many different backgrounds. It makes the workplace not only interesting but also a lot of fun! I don’t really like last-minute requests or changes to a short d ­ eadline – but I guess that’s all part of the job!

Can you tell us something about the project you worked on with Jian Zhang? During 2012 we provided ad-hoc support to our Chinese colleagues, sending project references and information on various regulatory topics. This effort has paid off, as we now have a project with Jiangsu State Grid on benchmarking and key performance indicators for quality regulation. How do you spend your free time? I love eating and also love to cook for family and friends. I recently took part in a Bengali cookery course and a Sushi course. I have experimented with some Bengali dishes already and they were well received by all! I also do a lot of jogging. I have done a couple of 10 km runs and a half marathon, although now I’m pretty much a “fair weather jogger”… I would love to run the London Marathon some day. What’s “special” at work? We have a great team! One tradition we have: when colleagues travel to another country, they always bring back something like sweets, chocolates or local ­specialties. Funniest: seeing my colleagues and especially my bosses celebrate the annual carnival in the Rheinland, all dressed up in very “creative” costumes and having a great time together! Connected I’d like to know more about Ms. Agapi Papadamou: she was also in the Markets and Regulation Team, based in London, and has recently transferred to the Oakland office (SUS Service Line). I would be interested to know how she’s getting on and the types of projects she’s involved in.


Digital Inspections – Taking the Office to the Field


Ron Emmert, Pete Varga, Andy Skinner, Michael Frank, Michael Goeke, Mike Fawcett, Dennis Washburn, David Devin, Pete Ziminski, Larry Ridgley, Jim Weik, Jim Wafer, Dave Twenge, Jeff Grigsby, Ken Decker, Aaron Reicher, Damon Reicher, Jesse Dill, Rob McIntosh, Tom Latta, Dan Helland, Jacob Schuetze, Lynn Jillions, Adam Burlock, Bonnie Thorn, Aubri Emmert, Alex Kloewer, Keith Nye / Not pictured: Saeed Alajmi, Carol Brands, John Brauer, John Lane, John Stead, Kerry Ellsworth, Maynard Coulson, Scott Chandler, Walter Bitz

Digital Inspections – Taking the Office to the Field

In today’s interconnected world, it’s hard to imagine a time when direct communication was not so easily available. But long before mobile ­technology became ubiquitous, the DNV KEMA company Digital Inspections was developing software that connected the office to the field. Three of their most experienced employees explain not only how they did it, but also how they have continued to make themselves ­indispensible.

Keeping things in good shape From his office window in Corvallis, Oregon, Ron Emmert looks out over an electrical substation. “They have been replacing a transformer there recently,” he says. “This has been an interesting daily reminder of exactly the kind of equipment our software helps keep in good shape.” Ron is an experienced veteran of the software development team at Digital Inspections, a DNV KEMA company that has been creating field and office-based logistics systems for over twenty years. He has been there from the very beginning – ever since he first started spending his school summer holidays at Oregon State University, working on a log scaling application. Today, he’s the staff member with the longest tenure and he’s seen the company grow significantly. “We used to be a lot smaller,” he says. “We started out with about five people writing software for Digital Equipment Corporation. Software wasn’t so ubiquitous back then, so I wore many hats – I did everything from programming to customer support. Gradually, we got into field data collection and, in the early 1990s, we started moving into the area of energy.”

Bringing order to chaos From there it’s been a steady curve upwards. At the beginning of the 1990s, the company was bought by Xenergy, which was in turn acquired by KEMA

several years later. Digital Inspections remained a largely autonomous operation for the next 20 years, continuing to focus mainly on product and software development. Today, the company provides around one hundred electrical utilities across North America with the tools they need to help manage and m ­ onitor their equipment and maintenance plans. “Our software manages all of the diagnostics and health indicators that you can’t keep track of manually or in your head,” Ron says. Bringing order to chaos is a key motivation: “I really love seeing a problem solved and delivering ­quality by fixing something that’s broken or that can be improved to meet a customer’s needs a lot better.”

Pioneers A key component of the software that has helped to make utilities’ daily operations easier is field data collection, a technology that Digital Inspections was among the first to develop. “Communication between field computers and office software was not easy in the early 1990s, without the kind of cellular access we have now,” Ron says. “So synchronisation of data between field and office was a big deal.” He helped write some of the core communication pieces and, although he talks modestly about it, there’s no doubt that he and the rest of the team were trendsetters at the time.


Digital inspections – Taking the Office to the Field

From office to field “Absolutely,” says Dennis Washburn, general manager of Digital Inspections. “From a technology perspective, we were pioneering in offering an on-site crew the ability to synchronise with their office – or, as we say, to take the office to the field.” Among the very first applications to enable this was Cascade, a piece of simple field data collection software that remains one of Digital Inspection’s core products today. Presented as a more or less blank database when the user first receives it, Cascade is designed to let users customise it according to what their utility looks like. “As the company has grown and

“Conferences help us nail down the most important features users would like to see added or improved.” developed, we’ve realised that, essentially, all utilities do the same things, but very differently,” Dennis says. “We recognise the value of having flexible office and field systems that they can configure according to their individual operations and changing needs.” He thinks the strength of the software has always been that it gives customers easy access to complex information in an application that is intuitive and easy to use. “We like to say it speaks their language,” he says.

Lifelong support It’s important to recognise exactly what it is utilities need and to understand their day-to-day activities. This is something the Digital Inspections team is committed to. In the early morning, Lynn Jillions, manager of the Support and Implementation team, arrives at the office and logs into the call system. Along with six other staff members – all seated in the open “team room” to allow for quick and easy communication – they help both new and longstanding customers solve everything, from small technical queries to serious system defects. “The Support group follows the customer from point of sale to years down the line,” she says. “When we have new users, we work closely with them to collect 10

all the electronic data they can provide, and help map what their application is going to look like. We have a team who then take all that data and import it into our system, which we train those customers to use.” Lynn explains that the applications enable utilities to build maintenance practices, create inspection forms and even schedule future maintenance events – all in one system. This, she says, has become an important tool for American utilities in recent years, especially with the introduction of new compliance regulations as a result of major outages caused by inadequate maintenance.

Annual family reunions Like Ron, Lynn was one of the first six employees at Digital Inspections. She says that while working on the support side requires an understanding of oftencomplex technical details, there is an equally strong social aspect to being part of her team. “We have some customers who we’ve partnered with for over 15 years, during changes in their business and ours,” she says. “When you go through that whole process, you develop close relationships, even friendships.” One tradition at Digital Inspections has particularly contributed to maintaining these relationships, while at the same time helping to develop products: “Ever since we started writing the second version of Cascade in the early 1990s, we’ve held an annual user conference, with the idea of sharing experiences and ideas,” Lynn says. “We are a software company, so it can be difficult for us to guess exactly what utilities need, but the conferences really help us nail down the most important features users would like to see added or improved.” “The user conference resembles an annual family reunion,” Dennis says. “It allows us to build on 15 to 20-year-old relationships and welcome into the family both new customers and staff.” He says one of the company’s underlying principles has always been to listen to customers, and points out that this is precisely how systems like Cascade have evolved over the past two decades: “Through conversations with our customers, we ensure that the system addresses the specific needs of their field and office operations.”

Digital Inspections – Taking the Office to the Field

Teaming up Ron feels that this practice of teaming up with customers stems from a strong tradition of teamwork at Digital Inspections. “We’ve always had a good team of colleagues, who work through our differences together, and I think we’ve carried that spirit over to our external relationships as well,” he says. “Rather than being just a vendor-customer relationship, we see it as a partnership where we help each other solve problems and improve.” He wouldn’t have it any different: “I’m one of those people who thrive on teamwork, and you can see that our customers do, too: at our user conferences, they are the ones selling each other our products!”

Future focus Dennis agrees: “There’s a lot of camaraderie, but I can’t attribute it all to our staff – I think it’s inherent in the industry.” He believes there are exciting opportunities for Digital Inspections to continue developing new ­technology and products, but also using this knowledge to advise on customer-specific best practices. “With our

connection to DNV KEMA and their world-leading framework for operational asset and risk management standards, there’s an exciting opportunity for us to bring the two sides together in a complete solution,” he says. “An interesting new focus for us will be to see how this solution can help utilities develop a s­ ustainable culture of reliability and compliance within their organisations,” he says. “In America we face an ageing infrastructure, ageing utilities and an ageing workforce. We see that there is a certain affinity for ­technology, and a growing realisation that you can use data to address technical and business challenges. We know from experience that you can’t just pull years of ­experience out of people’s minds and put it into a computer. But, by using the right data, you can support technical and strategic decisions, and that’s something we know a lot about.” •

From left to right: Software Developer Ron Emmert, Manager Support and Implementation Lynn Jillions, General Manager Dennis Washburn.


Me and my pet Looking for a pet? Get inspired by these 足cheerful, endearing, beautiful, impressive, exotic examples submitted by our colleagues.

This time, we received more photos than we could print! The other contributors were: Beth Anne McHugh, administrative 足assistant (Chalfont (PA), USA) and her two dogs, Rottweiler Roxanne and Italian Greyhound Tessie / David VanLuvanee, senior consulting engineer in Wind Energy,(Seattle (WA), USA) and his dog Milly / Pam Gaertner, accounting supervisor (Seattle (WA), USA) and her bunny Princess Lucia / Tiffany Lindsay, outreach professional (Chalfont (PA), USA) and her cat Pebbles / Jackson Moore and Tim Townsend, principal engineers (San Ramon (CA), USA) and their dogs Derby and Leo / Erika Brosz, solar engineer (Seattle (WA), USA) and her horses.

Owner: Emma Stewart, senior engineer. Dog: Jack (sometimes called Jackpot or Jackeroo). Location: San Ramon (CA), USA


Owner: Chris Krehmeyer, principal c­ ommunications consultant. Dog: Barney. Location: Oakland (CA), USA

Owner: Michael Delaney, instrumentation specialist. Chickens. Location: Seattle (WA), USA

Owner: Clover Lee, analyst. Cat: D2. Location: Oakland (CA), USA

Owner: Jackie Handberg, resource measurements program manager. Coatimundi: Bentley. Location: Seattle (WA), USA

Owner: Radek Heller, testing engineer (ZKU). Spider: Berenika. It’s a Brachypelma smithi (also known as a Mexican Red-kneed tarantula). Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Owner: Philip Dubois, senior network ­administrator. Dog: Mugzy. She occasionally visits the office in Chalfont. Location: Chalfont (PA), USA

Owner: Sandra Bolder, global talent manager. Dogs: Old English Sheepdogs TaoTao and Bo. Location: Arnhem, the Netherlands

Owner: Nancy Spring, marketing writer. Horse: Goldie. Location: Tulsa (OK), USA

Owner: Nicola Barbirato, SEMEA senior ­consultant ACS. Dog: Spritz. Location: Mestre, Italy

Owner: Rosalind Primmer, proposal adminis­ trator. Dogs: Trinity, a Portuguese Podengo, aged three, rescued from Puerto Rico. She also has a ­Siberian Husky named Foxy, aged seven. ­Location: Burlington (MA), USA

Owner: Drew Dito, project coordinator. Cat: Samuel, Price of Kittens. Location: Oakland (CA), USA

Owner: Lauren Quackenbush, marketing specialist. Dog: Denver, a Yellow Labrador. Location: Burlington (MA), USA

Lynn Jillions Corvallis (OR), USA


Michael Delaney Seattle (WA), USA

Sandra Bolder Arnhem, the Netherlands



Ron Emmert Corvallis (OR), USA


Jackie Handberg Seattle (WA), USA

Jacobien Falk Arnhem, the Netherlands



Dennis 足Washburn Corvallis (OR), USA

Walter Levesque Minneapolis (MN), USA

08 16



Rosalind 足Primmer Burlington (MA), USA Lauren 足Quackenbush Burlington (MA), USA Patty Mathieu Burlington (MA), USA

28 Philip Dubois Chalfont (PA), USA

13 Ron Chebra Chalfont (PA), USA

16 Larry Dickerman Raleigh (NC), USA

Emma Stewart San Ramon (CA), USA



Nancy Spring Tulsa (OK), USA Chris Krehmeyer Oakland (CA), USA

13 Clover Lee Oakland (CA), USA

13 Drew Dito Oakland (CA), USA





Anastasios Koumparos London, UK

Bente Pretlove Høvik, Norway



Radek Heller Prague, Czech Republic



Zuzana ­Souckova Prague, Czech Republic

Jan Haramul Prague, Czech Republic


Waisum Cheng Bonn, Germany

Sunny Zhang Beijing, China


30 Christian ­Engelhardt Bonn, Germany


René Blokhuis Shanghai, China


Nicola Barbirato Mestre, Italy


Minghui Zhang Singapore

22 Sanjay C. Kuttan Singapore



Sandy – Planning for the Unpredictable Only a few months after Hurricane Sandy ravaged parts of the Northeastern United States, a heavy snowstorm has again left the area struggling to cope with major power outages. Like Sandy, the snowstorm is likely to raise questions about the state of the US’ electrical infrastructure. Three of our American employees share their experiences and views.

A destroyed vehicle sits near burnt homes and businesses on October 30, 2012 in the Rockaway section of the Queens borough of New York City. 16

Sandy – Planning for the Unpredictable

Sandy hits… When Hurricane Sandy made landfall near Atlantic City in the evening of October 29, it was 1100 miles long with sustained winds of up to 80 miles per hour. Although it had by then been downgraded to a Category 1 storm, it had combined with another storm system and came ashore with high tide under a full moon, creating a record seawater surge that ­inundated lower Manhattan and wreaked havoc on the New Jersey shore. For many residents along the East Coast, the following days proved fateful. When the storm finally abated, it had passed through 24 states, causing damage estimated at over $65 billion in the US alone. Large swathes of the affected area were left without power for several days, leaving millions to assess the damage in the dark.

A second home Among those affected was Ron Chebra, vice president of Management Operations and Consulting in DNV KEMA’s Americas division. For the past 10 years, his family has shared a holiday home with a close friend in Tuckerton, New Jersey. An idyllic property located right on the salt marshes with unique views of Long Beach Island and the Atlantic City skyline, the ­families have put a lot of time and effort into making it a perfect place for respite. “Many a summer night we would sit on the deck, marvel at the quiet and enjoy the view,” he recalls. The house was right in the middle of Sandy’s devastating path. “The water levels inside the house reached nearly five feet,” Ron says. “We were able to take a look mid-day on Tuesday, only to find gas appliances ripped from walls and the place filled with a strong odour of gas. Luckily, I was able to dig through the rubble to access the gas meter and shut off the valve to prevent what could have been an even greater disaster.” 17

Sandy – Planning for the Unpredictable

He describes the days following Sandy as frustrating. “The magnitude of the damage naturally caused a lot of delays in terms of support. The restoration process was difficult, with fire and floods in many neighbourhoods and a multitude of entities involved,” he says.

A complex patchwork As Ron explains, the North American electrical infrastructure is an intricate patchwork of regional and local power plants, power lines and transformers of various ages and conditions. Coordinating activity, especially in times of crisis, is quite a challenge. “Here in the US, you have over 3000 electric utilities,” he says. “Depending on the jurisdiction, they can be municipal utilities owned and run by state or local government agencies, cooperative ones owned by the members, or stockholder-owned utilities.” Speaking to Ron the day before the snowstorm, he tells us he has received email alerts and text messages from his service providers, signalling a more proactive approach. Contrary to the norm in many European

countries, he explains that in the US it is usually agreed that responsibility for maintenance and the restoration of power lies mainly with the service provider – not with the federal government. “There is, of course, an expectation that the government should take responsibility, but to a large extent, because consumers deal directly with the entities that deliver these services – they hold them accountable for resilience and reliability,” he says.

The flooding effect Larry Dickerman, vice president of T&D Asset Management at DNV KEMA in the Americas, who works in the Raleigh office in North Carolina, was in the less-affected western part of that state when Sandy struck the East Coast. He is, however, no ­stranger to natural disasters and the consequences it can have for electrical utilities: prior to joining DNV KEMA, he spent 35 years at the largest electric utility in the US at the time. Responding to natural disasters was a key part of his responsibilities.

Ron Chebra Vice President of Manage­ ment Operations and Consulting in DNV KEMA

Larry Dickerman Vice President of T&D Asset Management at DNV KEMA

Walter Levesque Microgrid Director at DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability


An ambulance sits abandoned in the middle of a flooded street on October 30, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Sandy – Planning for the Unpredictable

“From experience, my concern with Sandy was not so much the wind as the flooding that occurs with this type of storm,” Larry says. “A large, slow-moving storm like Sandy will quite often drop a lot of water and in the process push huge loads of water from the ocean up onto the shore.” His concerns were not unfounded; flooding of substations was among the major reasons for blackouts. But, as Larry emphatically points out, flooding is a consequence of extreme weather, which utilities can, and did, prepare for: “A lot can be done in advance, but you need to have a well-thought out plan as to how you are going to move things out,” he says. He explains that many of the components that are most susceptible to being damaged in floods, such as relays, controls and breakers, can be removed prior to expected storms. “My experience has been that with the right approach, both the time it takes and the costs of restoration can be reduced by up to 70%.”

Prepared hospitals Walter Levesque, microgrid director at DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability, can attest to this. He was scheduled to attend the Advanced Energy Conference in Manhattan on the very day that Hurricane Sandy hit. For risk management specialists like DNV KEMA, putting an employee in the path of a hurricane was not an option, so Walter stayed in Minneapolis. In the following weeks he would nonetheless hear the accounts first-hand, as DNV KEMA initiated talks with several stakeholders, such as utilities and local hospit­ als, to map out what had gone wrong and perhaps more importantly, what had been done right. “We were impressed with the amount of planning and preparation that had been done,” he says of the hospitals that DNV KEMA talked to. “They all began emergency planning well in advance of the storm and executed their plans very well. The problem in many cases turned out to be the unforeseen duration of the outages, but the initial planning was nevertheless impressive.”


Sandy – Planning for the Unpredictable

Positive lessons

Technological innovation

Pointing out that these institutions have been through other major storms such as Hurricane Irene in the nottoo-distant past, Walter says it is typical for people to point fingers in the wake of a large natural disaster. “I think people are more and more capable of looking at a situation and extracting lessons learned from it in a positive way,” he says. “We went into the session with the hospitals concerned that we were only going to hear a lot of blaming and shaming, but what we left with was a very cooperative, productive exercise focused on finding out what we can do better next time – not blaming others for what went wrong.”

Ron’s previous experience with smart metering has made him think about how small-scale technological innovation in homes could also help to prevent loss of life and property.

These positive lessons importantly show that there are solutions available that are not as unattainable as public debate often suggests. “The first thing a hospital, for instance, needs to have is an emergency restoration plan,” Larry says. “This can be ­dramatically improved in just 2-3 months, and is not all that capital or labour-intensive.” He says more traditional alternatives, like raising equipment above likely flood levels, putting in stronger poles and moving overhead lines underground will have to be looked at in the medium and long term. “DNV KEMA has the ability to be the utilities’ right hand, not only in times of crisis but also in finding the long-term solutions that are in ­everybody’s best interest – both in terms of safety and business.”

“If we had intelligent meters for gas, electricity and water, it would be much easier to mitigate consequential damage in situations like this,” he says. “Wireless technology could alert the homeowner of any unusual activity in the home and shut itself off, for instance preventing gas explosions.” Like Larry, he thinks there are many opportunities for DNV KEMA to make a difference. “Our business is sustainability and part of that is resilience,” Ron says. “I think the focus we are taking now – working with a couple of utilities to really use our knowledge of infrastructure and mitigation planning – can do a lot to reduce the risks associated with things that we can’t control, like extreme weather.”

A new agenda At the end of April, Walter will be attending the next Advanced Energy Conference in Manhattan. “Added to the agenda this time will be the question of how to harden the electrical infrastructure,” he says. The conference will reconvene in the same location where it was scheduled to be held the day Sandy hit; a room which has in the meantime been renovated, after it was flooded with water. It will be an appropriate stage on which DNV KEMA staff can share both their professional and their personal experience. •

The home of a close friend of Ron Chebra in Mystic Island was totally devastated. Read more on Ron’s blog at 20

recharging your batteries

What do you

do in your

free time?


Blue sky! Of all the possible sports he could have tried, young Jan Haramul and a friend decided to try skydiving: “It seems nice, so let’s try it!” That was about 14 years ago. They’re still both enthusiastic skydivers: Jan as an amateur, his friend as a professional in the army.

What was your first jump like? We woke up very early and had to drive for two hours to get to the site. After we’d received our instructions and strapped on the equipment, the weather turned bad and we had to wait all day. By the time we could finally make our first jump, I was so excited I completely forgot to be scared!

How does it work? You’re in a plane with a group of three to twenty people. Skydiving usually starts at 4000 metres. From that height, it takes about six minutes to reach the earth: you fall straight down for about one minute and then you open your parachute. As a beginner, you make 1-3 jumps per day but, when you’re more experienced, you can do it as often as you wish. Six jumps is an average number.

What do you like so much about it? When I’m preparing for a jump, going higher and higher in the sky, my head slowly clears completely. It’s wonderful to see the world from up there, looking 360 degrees around you. It’s also great to jump with friends. Skydiving is all about cooper­ ation. When you’re falling down at a speed of 180-260 km/h, there’s no time for mistakes and you have to trust others.

Do you need any special skills? No, nothing in particular. But there are rules you have to follow. If you don’t, it’s a dangerous sport! For example, if someone jumps from the plane, the next skydiver has to wait for about 5 seconds to avoid hitting his predecessor’s parachute. The first parachute should be open at 1000-900 metres. At an altitude of 600 metres you have to decide whether to use your reserve parachute.

Were you ever in danger? Only once, as far as I remember. There was some miscommunication between the pilot and ground control. The pilot told us we could jump, but after falling for 200 metres we plunged into a thundercloud. You can’t open your parachute in a cloud, so all we could do was keep on falling until we’d reached the end of it. That was pretty scary, but fortunately we all landed safely.

Do you have any advice or tips for colleagues who’d like to try skydiving? Just listen carefully to all the instructions and follow the rules. Basically, it’s about wanting to skydive. You either love it or you don’t! And, if you go for it, there’s a common ­greeting among skydivers: Blue sky! Jan Haramul works as a testing engineer in the High Power Laboratory in the Czech Republic. He joined KEMA ZKU in 2010. 21



A Day in the Life of‌ Minghui Zhang

08.00 a.m.

. 09.10 a.m 09.00 a.m.

13.00 p.m.

10.00 a.m.

12.00 p.m.

19.30 p.m.

15.00 p.m.

. 18.00 p.m


Do you want to share a day in your life? If so, please send an email to

Minghui Zhang Consultant, been with DNV since July 2011 Location: Singapore

07.30 a.m. I wake up My routine starts early. First I have a wash and then I check my email (on my iPhone). This has become an early morning routine, as I am often working with my colleagues in the US office, who reply to my email ­queries sent the night before. 8.00 a.m. Commute via bus & train Most Singaporeans commute to work daily using public transport (bus and subway train), which is a fast and efficient way of travelling in Singapore. It takes me about an hour to get to the office, although longer during the rainy season. 9.00 a.m. And arrive at the office I then savour a cup of coffee while the laptop boots up. 9.10 a.m. Starting my day’s work As a consultant, my daily work varies, depending on the project that I am involved in. Currently I am working on a project in Thailand, where we are providing a monthly monitoring service for a client of their meteorological mast which we commissioned in December 2012. I monitor this on alternate days to check on the data received via email from the logger we installed and to ensure that the sensors are functioning well. 9.30 a.m. Checking emails Then there’s the “madness” of clearing the “sea-of-red” i.e., my inbox full of unread emails. 10.00 a.m. Project status update ­meeting with the client At 10 a.m., there is an update meeting between the project team members and the client for another project that I am currently involved in. We are conducting a feasibility study on the use of renewable energy on an island off the coast of Singapore. I am tasked with looking at the availability of wind resources for the proposed sites, as this relates to my experience in the wind industry.

12.00 p.m. Time for lunch There are few options for lunch around the office. Sometimes my colleagues and I go to a nearby food court located about 5 minutes away from the office. On our way to the food court, we pass the construction site of the new DNV Singapore office, where we hope we will be moving before Christmas. 13.00 p.m. Back to work After lunch I continue working on the island project, analyzing data and organising the report with commentary and photos.

21.00 p.m. Back home I reach home and relax by watching TV, catching up on the news as well as surfing the internet. I also normally do a quick check on my email during this time to see if there are any that require a quick response. 23.30 p.m. Sweet dreams I normally go to bed around this time on weekdays, so it's time to sleep and prepare for another exciting day at the office. Hope you guys have enjoyed reading about my day as much as I did writing it down.

15.00 p.m. Tea break Time for a short break. I rest my eyes and take some of the fruit that’s available in the office over a cup of tea. 15.15 p.m. Business development After the break, I get back to doing some of the preparation for the upcoming proposals and tenders that we are currently working on for Vietnam. 16.30 p.m. Helping colleagues I pause to assist one of my many colleagues with questions on PivotTables in Excel as well as some social activities that we are organising, after which I return to complete my tasks. 18.00 p.m. Time to leave I pack my bags and prepare to head out to the nearby gym for a workout session with my colleagues. The gym is about a 5-10 minute walk from the office. We spend about an hour at the gym doing exercises on various machines. 19.30 p.m. Time to eat After finishing at the gym, I leave the office area and head to a nearby eatery near to my place for dinner with my girlfriend. A local dish called Bak Kut Teh (pork rib soup) is one of my favourites.


In this column three of our newest colleagues introduce themselves.


Zuzana Souckova

Anastasios Koumparos

Christian Engelhardt

Assistant to the General Manager and

Consultant in the MOC business line.

Consultant in the Markets and

Safety, Health and Environment (SHE)

Member of the Markets and Regulations

Regulations team in Bonn, Germany

coordinator in Prague, Czech Republic,

team in London, UK. Intern since May

since October 2012.

since June 2012.

2012, employee since January 2013.

Partner, children? Partner, no children. Where do you live? In Prague. What are your main tasks? Managing daily tasks for the whole team (administration and coordination), coordination of occupational Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) issues. What kind of work did you do prior to DNV KEMA? I was executive assistant to the commercial director at Zentiva Group, a.s., a pharma­ ceutical company. What were your first impressions? That it’s going to be an amazing new experience in a different sector – something I’ve never experienced before. What were your expectations of DNV KEMA? I expected more of an international attitude and atmosphere than I was used to. So far I am happy that my expectations have been fulfilled. What do you find particularly ­interesting about your work? Close cooperation with management on a daily basis. On the one hand I work together with the team, while on the other I work on my own on regulations and g ­ uidelines. Is there anything you had to get used to? The High Power Laboratory is a special ­facility with customers, behaviours, opening hours etc. that are quite different from those in sales & marketing of drugs. I had to get used to all of that. Is there anything you hope to develop in your new job? I’m looking forward to dealing with the ­connection between the worldwide DNV KEMA management system and the older but functional ZKU system – to fit together the local and the international.

Partner, children? No partner, no children. Where do you live? In London. What are your main tasks? So far I’ve been involved in providing consulting services related to regulatory and policy analysis as well as conducting cost-benefit analyses in the field of smart energy systems. What kind of work did you do prior to DNV KEMA? I gained experience as an electrical engineer through internships in Turkey, Belgium and Brazil. I have also worked as a product ­manager in Greece for one year. What were your first impressions? People at DNV KEMA were very friendly and willing to help me learn new things. What were your expectations of DNV KEMA? I was expecting to join a well-established international energy company, to work on interesting and influential projects and to collaborate with bright people. All of these things happened. What do you find particularly ­interesting about your work? Switching between qualitative and quantitative analyses, which requires continuous vigilance. Is there anything you had to get used to? To work in such a popular tourist area (at London Bridge)! Is there anything you hope to develop in your new job? I am aiming to adopt a more strategic way of problem solving and to further develop my modelling skills.

Partner, children? I have a girlfriend who lives in Aachen. Where do you live? In Bonn and Aachen. What are your main tasks? Developing energy market models and ­market analyses in many European countries. This also includes performing ­quantitative analyses and presenting the results in reports. What kind of work did you do prior to DNV KEMA? I studied business administration and ­electrical power engineering at RWTH Aachen University. Then I worked on a ­project for EPEX SPOT in Paris. What were your first impressions? I was warmly welcomed and quickly ­integrated in the team. The atmosphere at work really corresponds to what I heard ­during the interviews. What were your expectations of DNV KEMA? As DNV KEMA is a dynamic company with offices all around the world, I expected a perspective on the different topics affecting the electricity business, which is internationally oriented. After a few months here, I can say that this is indeed the case and I really like the global focus. What do you find particularly ­interesting about your work? Especially the fact that the projects require a combination of technical and economical analysis is both challenging and interesting. In addition, I’m looking forward to my first project abroad. Is there anything you had to get used to? It soon became really obvious to me that lunch breaks in Germany are much shorter than in France… Is there anything you hope to develop in your new job? I hope to build up a more extensive ­knowledge of the various aspects of the energy business.



“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” (African saying)

The New Learning

What’s the best way for us to learn? By doing, it seems – and by sharing ­knowledge with others. This won’t come as a surprise to many DNV KEMA ­employees, as they already do this to some extent. However, this ‘informal learning’ is now getting strong formal support.


The New Learning


e’ve all been there: fretting over a thorny question, you head for the coffee machine, where you’re lucky enough to meet a colleague who’s had more experience of such problems. You swap ideas and, armed with a fresh cup of coffee, you go back to work with renewed strength. Maybe you don’t know it yet but you’ve just been engaging in “informal learning”, the most effective way for adults to learn. Within DNV KEMA a structure is now being put in place for the effective application of informal learning throughout the organisation. Transponder talked to the enthusiastic Global Learning Team that has taken on this task.

Company-wide development Consultants Jacobien Falk and Patty Mathieu have been involved in Learning & Development (L&D), Jacobien in the Netherlands and Patty in the US, organising training sessions for DNV KEMA staff. Sandra Bolder arrived to strengthen the team as Global Talent Manager in 2012. Last year, their work and their collaboration gained enormous momentum. And now joining forces with DNV has accelerated this process significantly.

Partnering with the business Sandra explains how things have developed. “In KEMA, traditionally, the regions were quite autonomous and L&D was no different. Today’s DNV KEMA needs a global approach, so that we can apply L&D much more strategically. What are our company’s needs with respect to knowledge and competencies, both now and in the future? How can we ensure that our staff develop in that direction? As a result, we’re looking at things much more from the point of view of the company as a whole.” Patty adds: “Our main function is to partner with the business to understand their needs, so that we can support and help build core competencies. That’s what excites us! Seeing the results, not only the financial results, but especially in terms of professional growth and development.”

70-20-10 The renewed focus gives a key role to the 70-20-10 model. Put simply, this model is based on the fact that an adult learns best and most effectively by doing, i.e. through experience and working with others. This experience-based learning makes up roughly 70 per cent of the total impact. Another 20 per cent involves people learning from one another through coaching, feedback, advice, consultation and similar activities.

“DNV KEMA employees are passionate about knowledge sharing.”

< On the right: Patty Mathieu, consultant Learning & Development. > Left photo, on the left: Sandra Bolder, global talent manager. Right photo: Jacobien Falk, consultant Learning & Development.

The New Learning

The last 10 per cent takes place in traditional classroom situations and activities like e-learning. At DNV KEMA, applying this model means in practice that classroom training will be much more closely connected to acquiring new skills within your own work situation. This will involve coaching and feedback from colleagues, based on previously established learning goals. It represents a big change in thinking, from “what training courses can I take this year?” to “how can I best develop a broad range of skills within my work?” The emphasis could be on business development and communication skills, or project management, consulting or leadership. Technical training will remain the responsibility of the Business Lines.

Learning on the job What exactly does this mean in practice? Patty Mathieu gives an example: “Imagine you’re a consultant and you realise clients are asking for certified project ­managers, so you want to develop further in this area. You can do that by working on aspects of your job that are particularly relevant to that end. For example, you can take on specific project management tasks – in consultation with your manager – or you can draw up a project plan. If you think one of your colleagues is an outstanding project manager, you can ask him or

her to coach you. Conversely, if you’re very good at it, maybe you can coach someone else.” It’s actually a continuation of the coffee machine situation but more targeted and more efficient. DNV KEMA employees are passionate about knowledge sharing, it’s part of our company culture, and that experience has been confirmed by recent research. But, says Jacobien, it’s still very informal and locally focused, within an individual’s team, office, business line or region. In the future, they will look for more structure so that knowledge and experience can also be shared across borders. She stresses that managers have a crucial role to play, as they’re closest to their staff and know what their needs are. In the new model it will be increasingly important for them to be able to conduct an open dialogue so that development becomes an on-going focus.

Learning and doing combined A good example of the intended approach is the Consultant Development Program that was set up in the US two years ago, combining training courses with on-the-job learning. Patty explains: “We had ­well-educated, well-trained, intelligent people working for us, but because of their diverse backgrounds,


The New Learning

Something in common Sunny Zhang has been director of HR in APAC since February 2012. In that position, she’s charged with implementing the new system in everyday practice, trying to involve all managers in her region. Her staff are spread over an area stretching from China, Japan and South Korea to Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and India, and include both legacy DNV and legacy KEMA offices. What’s her reaction to the plans? “Here in APAC we’re very eager to learn and grow,” she states enthusiastically. “We want to know everything about the new set-up and get started as soon as possible!” She sees this L&D method as a great opportunity to make everyone in her heterogeneous region aware that they’re all part of one

their ideas about consultancy varied enormously. Together with COO Hugo van Nispen, we set out to create a programme to drive a higher level of professionalism and a more consistent understanding of what DNV KEMA consulting is. So we developed a special curriculum for newly hired consultants, examining the questions: “What is DNV KEMA?” and “What makes a successful DNV KEMA consultant?” They attend a number of training sessions, are assigned their own consulting engagement and have an executive sponsor. The training is always done in different offices so they get to know a lot of people.”

What’s in it for me?

What can you expect? Jacobien explains: “Until recently, you would look at the local L&D website and choose the training that was closest to what you were looking for. Soon you’ll be able to enter DNV’s global learning environment system, which is called MyLearning, and enrol in all kinds of programs that are available within DNV. We are also offering ­additional options, such as e-learning.” The l­earning portfolio will be expanded with programmes on Safety, Health & Environment (SHE), leadership ­development, communication and consulting skills, among other things. This will make it easier for people in all locations to have access to the courses and learning opportunities they need. We have already introduced a new introduction programme, which is called WE in DNV.” As Jacobien puts it: global facilities, delivered locally.

While the first seeds of the new approach are already taking root here and there, the Global Learning Team is working hard at preparing whole ‘flower beds’ – the new tools, facilities and structures that are needed.

To take steps on a learning path that will really bring you what you need, it’s important to know your own ambitions and strengths. A meaningful c­ onversation

Reactions are very positive and participants particu­ larly value the vast network that they’re able to build up within a short time, together with the broad-based knowledge that they acquire about the company’s capabilities. The next step is to open up this p ­ rogramme to the rest of DNV KEMA, which is ­scheduled for this year.


“We needed time to create a solid basis for our plans and to get to know the way people work in DNV,” explains Sandra, “but we'll be able to present some results very soon.”

The New Learning

company. “We aren’t separate business lines – we’re one industry/business consultancy. We share something in common! That must be our outlook and, in that case, it’s a good thing if we’re encouraged to learn from one another.” After getting to know the Global Learning Team in September, Sunny got stuck in immediately. She promotes the new model at the monthly meetings of regional managers, who can then pass it on to their own teams. She also encourages employees to put the model into practice in crossregional projects. A Chinese senior consultant who spends six months working on a project in Europe can learn a lot there using the 70-20-10 method.

with your manager is a good way to start, says Sandra, and the Global Learning Team is also working on supporting tools. “To get your thoughts clear on these opportunities you should take some time to reflect on who you are and what makes you tick. We will support our colleagues in this process with “Time out to GROW”, a booklet we will be intro­ ducing shortly.”

Particularly when they’re together physically, “something begins to bubble…” as Jacobien puts it. “We don’t just learn from one another at the professional level; we also inspire one another.” People share ideas and information and, if one of them comes across an inspiring saying or motto, they immediately forward it in an e-mail to the other team members as a little “vitamin pill” to boost their enthusiasm. •

Investing in the future Slowly but surely, the effects of all these efforts are becoming visible. More and more people are curious and asking questions. Sandra notes: “Previously, business was the only focus and Learning & Development was often seen as an afterthought. We believe that business and L&D go hand in hand. L&D ensures that you’re able to stay in business; it's an investment in the future. She adds that cooperation with DNV gives an added boost to the plan, as DNV has more ­experience in some areas and it’s a very open organisation where “everyone has access to information and knowledge.”

“Global facilities, delivered locally.”

How are they getting on themselves with “learning from one another”? All three are equally enthusiastic about it, saying that the collaboration energises them. 31

recharging your batteries

What do you

do in your

free time?

Photograph by Danesh Daryanani

Sanjay C. Kuttan For Sanjay Kuttan, poetry is a memorable part of his ­childhood, inspired by his mother, an English teacher and a published poet. As a child, Sanjay enjoyed reading poems, which he c­ arried into his teenage years when he started ­writing ­himself.

What kind of poems do you write? My poetry is mostly impressionistic. I write about things that affect me – social and political events, the human condition. Most of my poems are non-rhyming. They do have literary form and structure, like haikus. However I struggle with romantic poetry (my wife complains about that sometimes… my excuse, I express that in action and not just words).

What’s so rewarding about writing poetry? For me, it’s always been a way to capture my feelings about things that affect me. When I look at what I’ve written, it has served as a historical record of my emotions. It may take long, though, before I find the words to write about something. For example, I was deeply affected by the suppression of the Tiananmen Square protest in Beijing on 4 June 1989, but it took me almost nine years to write that poem. It has to be inspirational – the best time is often the wee hours of the morning.

What’s the challenge in writing? It’s not about expressing your feelings in words, but capturing them in a way that is both artistic and connects to readers’ own experience. It should be poetic rather than just 32

some lines of prose; it’s not a report. To say a lot in so few words is always the challenge!

About your book… That was published in 2009. Some 400 copies have already been sold! The anthology was supported by good reviews. Furthermore some poems had already been published in international magazines. My mum also serves as a good critic of my work before the rest of the world sees it. I finished my second book last year – a collection of haikus – but still have to find the time to get it published.

Does writing poetry influence your work? Yes, you become conscious of how you’re using words, how accurately you’re communicating an idea. I try to be very precise about that. I want to make sure messages are clear.

Do you have any advice for colleagues who feel attracted to poetry? If you want to write, the most important thing is to be honest about your feelings and not to worry about what other people might think. If you want to read poetry, take time to try and put yourself in that situation, and then relate to the words chosen by the poet. Sanjay C. Kuttan joined DNV in March 2011, moving to DNV KEMA 2 years later. He is currently the regional manager for South East Asia and the managing director of the DNV KEMA Clean Technology Centre in Singapore.

What’s in a logo? A pictorial survey of the visual identities of DNV, KEMA and DNV KEMA.

Imprint Since goods were first produced for sale, people have put their imprint on their products, as well as on their letters and books. The term “imprint” is quite literal: the first “logos” were often printed with a stamp or pressed into wax with a signet ring. As a result, many of the early manufacturing logos made a visual reference to the shape of a sealing stamp. KEMA’s first logo, which was used from the day KEMA was established in 1927, is one of these. The triangle containing the four letters was used on its own, or combined with a circle.

The earliest KEMA logo.


Electric heater with the KEMA quality mark (1966).

Quality mark When electrification was in its pioneering phase, things were rather confusing for consumers. KEMA’s independent quality mark gave them something they could rely on. In effect, it told them they could safely use an appliance. For the supplier this was proof that a product complied with all the safety guidelines (as well as other rules). The KEMA quality mark took various forms, allowing an appropriate form to be selected for each kind of product. It often had to be cast into the metal or plastic body of the product, while the manufacturer of an approved cable received a “quality mark thread” that could be twisted into the cable. It consisted of three coloured cotton threads – white, orange and light blue – which were wound around one another. At the end of 2009, the KEMA quality mark for consumers was sold to the European company DEKRA.


The KEMA quality mark.

The earliest DNV logo.

Baroque DNV’s first logo is much older, dating back to the company’s establishment in 1864. That was the time of the Baroque revival. Although Europe was making a great leap forward in technology, and society was modernising, its art and architecture looked back to older styles such as the baroque. This can be seen in the excessive ornamentation on this DNV logo. It is also reminiscent of the elaborate carved decorations on the wooden ships of the time. The anchor and balance symbolize DNV’s roles – in evaluating risks, setting and maintaining standards, and mediating between all the relevant interests.

The logo was printed on the certificates that Det Norske Veritas issued, and it had other uses. DNV also had a “stamp,” a circular logo including a shield motif. This stamp logo is still used today, as a watermark.

The shield motif was further developed into a round “stamp”. Here seen on the first register.


Modern times The first KEMA logo was probably used until the late 1970s. Around that time, KEMA was becoming a much larger organisation with a solid international reputation as an independent quality control institute. It had become structurally independent of the institutions that had spun it off, and its service and consult­ ancy role had been strengthened. So it was time for a new logo; something more refined, businesslike and modern. The new logo, an ‘e’ with a bolt of lightening, is a direct reference to KEMA’s electrical roots. It came into use from 1981 onwards.

The KEMA logo (1981).

New strategy, new logo Remarkably enough, DNV and KEMA introduced new logos almost simultaneously, in the early 1990s, as part of strategic changes. New tasks, new fields of work and new markets required them to re-examine their visual identities. In 1991, KEMA was an independent, profit-making company that was no longer directly linked to the institutions of the electricity industry in Arnhem. According to a press release, the new logo with three wires “symbolises the traditional affinity with the world of electricity” and also “the three fields of expertise [...] in which KEMA specialises: energy, environment and quality.” The three wires also form a highly stylised “K.” The logo was designed by Roel Jansen.

KEMA logos in 1991 (top) and 2005 (bottom).

In 2005 a diapositive version of this logo was introduced. The rounded corner was maintained in the current DNV KEMA logo, despite the slight challenge it presents in practical applications... DNV commissioned the designer Leif F. Anisdahl to make a new logo that would be easily applied and ­recognisable in national and international markets, and would represent the company’s long history. In the new logo, which was launched by DNV in 1992, the words “Det Norske Veritas” are replaced by the ­letters DNV. The anchor and scales, in a strongly ­stylised form, are still central.

Future developments In light of the planned merger of DNV and Germanischer Lloyd, DNV KEMA’s corporate identity will likely change once again. These exciting developments will be another step in a long line of logo logic. Transponder will keep you posted!•


The DNV logo (1992).

DNV KEMA in Brief DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability, with more than 2,300 experts in over 30 countries around the world, is committed to driving the global transition toward a safe, reliable, efficient, and clean energy future. With a heritage of nearly 150 years, we specialize in providing world-class, innovative solutions in the fields of business & technical consultancy, testing, inspections & certification, risk management, and verification. As an objective and impartial knowledge-based company, we advise and support organizations along the energy value chain: producers, suppliers & end-users of energy, equipment manufacturers, as well as government bodies, corporations and 足nongovernmental organizations. DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability is part of DNV, a global provider of services for managing risk with more than 10,000 employees in over 100 countries.

“There’s something in the air...”. TenneT Tower on Arnhems Buiten, DNV KEMA’s location in Arnhem. Photograph: Luc Verhees, Air Quality consultant, Arnhem

A Fresh Perspective We’re looking for special, funny, beautiful, striking, surprising, or unusual situations in your daily work. If you come across one, take a photo, add a brief description of when and where it was taken, and send it to This is your chance to participate in making our new back cover!

KEMA Transponder Issue #5 | April 2013  

DNV KEMA Global Employee Magazine