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Issue #3 | July 2012 | DNV KEMA Global Staff Magazine

transponder In the Heat of Development in China

Not so much an Expat

Spotlight on Power

More a way of life

The future of grids in Europe

DNV KEMA’s contribution

Velkommen til Norge!

Contents Transponder #3 02 Not so much an Expat

Transponder, the DNV KEMA Employee Magazine, is published by

07 Recharging your Batteries Chris Vleeming on the dance floor

DNV KEMA Global Marketing & Communications

Please send your comments to

08 Connected Kristie DeIuliis

via Twitter: #dnvkematransponder via InTouch: InTouch > Support Services > Marketing & Communications > Printed Materials

09 Connected Narottam Aul

Concept and design Vormgeversassociatie BV

10 Velkommen til Norge!

Wouter Botman


14 Close Up A twin company

DNV KEMA Global Marketing & Communications Elizabeth Fryman, Jessica Hartenberger, Caroline Kamerbeek, Kayla Plante

16 Contributors

Michael Gould Associates BV Marlies Hummelen / Teksten

18 In the Heat of Development in China

Vormgeversassociatie BV

Text Michael Gould Associates BV

23 Recharging your Batteries Doug Norris and the fine arts

Marlies Hummelen / Teksten

Photography Front cover, pages 10, 13 (right)

24 24 Hours A Day in the Life of Claus Christensen

Damir Cvetojevic Pages: 19, 20, 22, Back cover Herman van Ommen Photography Page: 23

26 Brand New Alan Xavier Gómez Hernández, Caroline Kamerbeek, Li Ran

Eddie Rohilla Page: 26 Peter van Breukelen Photography The remaining photos were taken by

28 Spotlight on Power in Europe

DNV KEMA employees


33 Origins How electricity changed women’s lives in the early 20th century

Drukkerij De Rijn 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

37 DNV KEMA in Brief

that they are entitled to certain rights can contact Vormgeversassociatie (

38 What’s This?

From left to right: Vibeke Binz, Carl Sixtensson and Hilde Almås.

From the Editor


ust as this first joint DNV KEMA Transponder was ready for the printer, we heard that DNV KEMA has welcomed a new CEO and CFO, and that three of our senior managers have resigned. From last November to March of this year, I worked with them and many others on Project ‘Eagle,’ as it gradually evolved from a secret project to a concrete partnership, and finally bore fruit in the establishment of our new company. The efforts of Thijs Aarten, Jos Huijbregts, and Hans van Haarst on the KEMA side and Elizabeth Harstad as project leader on the DNV side – throughout this process and in the integration phase that followed – have contributed substantially to DNV KEMA’s first days.

Thijs, Jos and Hans are now setting out on their own, while we will further ­realize our global ambitions with David Walker as CEO, Aad van den Bos as CFO, and Elizabeth Harstad, as well as the other members of the executive and global leadership team. David has already said that he does not intend to change DNV KEMA’s vision and strategic path. I am sure that David, who was born and bred in the energy sector and has a sharp strategic insight and a ‘plan-do-check-act’ approach, will make a great contribution to DNV KEMA’s future. I wish him and Aad every success in their challenging new positions. This change marks a new chapter in DNV KEMA’s short history. As does this issue of Transponder, the first edition from DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability. Once again, it’s full of articles, insights, and photographs of our colleagues around the world. Now that we have a staff of 2300, working on virtually all continents, it’s even more important for us to know one another well. Good contact between colleagues and understanding of each other’s culture, personal circumstances and work is essential for our company’s success. I hope you enjoy this issue of Transponder, and I wish you all pleasant and refreshing holidays.

Caroline Kamerbeek, Global Director, Marketing & Communications

What’s This – Solutions #2 The device on the back cover of Transponder #2 is a thermometer magnifier. It’s used to read precision glass tube thermometers, which are generally filled with mercury. Such thermometers could be read to 0.01 0 C and sometimes even to 0.0010 C. We received a number of interesting suggestions, such as eye-testing apparatus, or a chain clamp in a clamp holder. Adrian D. Wetzel’s suggestion, “a laser/optic table mount,” was the nearest guess.


Lee Stones (left) and his father at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Not so much an Expat DNV KEMA is a truly global company. We 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 Brit – Lee Stones – for his impressions of working in the Gulf region.

Focus on: Senior Consultant Lee Stones Background: Power Cable Specialist Relocation: Recruited in the Middle East; based in Bahrain since 2008 Job: Condition assessment, failure analysis and installation consultancy (throughout the Gulf region)


Not so much an Expat


ee Stones moved to the Middle East with his family in 1980 at the tender age of six. Although he attended a boarding school in the U.K., and later studied at the University of Plymouth, the Middle East always felt like home. Lee explains, “As it happens my parents still live here, and my wife’s parents live here too… This is great for my son and even better for my weekends, as eager grand­parents make great babysitters! I plan to stay here for the foreseeable future. I love the Gulf. My favorite place in the region is probably Oman – it’s so beautiful and the people are very friendly.” Lee is married to Laura, who is from Belgium, and they have one son, Alex, who is four. Lee bought a house in Bahrain – it looks out onto the Royal Golf Club – which he calls his main “global” residence. Despite holding a British passport, he says emphat­ ically: “Bahrain is my home. I met my wife in the Middle East, my son was born here, and I bought my first house here… I have a small flat in Plymouth in the UK, but I haven’t seen it for fifteen years. I rent it out.” Unlike most expats, Lee was recruited by KEMA in the Middle East, where he’d been working since 1997.

Jack of all trades His background is in installation and commissioning underground power cables, but he does a wide variety of projects for DNV KEMA. “I joined the company four years ago. My main focus is cables – condition assessment, failure analysis and installation consultancy – but here in the Middle East I work on all sorts of stuff – from performance testing of large power and desal­ ination stations to calibration of energy meters. I’ve even been known to get involved with boiler and rotor ring inspections, and next month I will be helping with power quality measurements in Saudi Arabia.”

My heart is in Bahrain The Kingdom of Bahrain is a small island near the western shores of the Arabian Gulf. In fact, it’s an archipelago of 33 islands, the largest being Bahrain Island, which is 55 km long by 18 km wide. Lee explains: “This is a very nice place to live, but some readers will be aware that the region is undergoing major challenges right now and, with my friends and colleagues, we’re trying to make the best of a sometimes difficult situation. There are still issues to be resolved, but in all honesty it doesn’t affect my daily life, and I’ve never once felt unsafe here. In March 2011, when things got a little out of control, KEMA management insisted we evacuate to Dubai, but I did so with a heavy heart. I also had a short job in Qatar and I didn’t want to leave Laura and Alex alone in Bahrain, so we left and returned together a few days later. I’m very glad we did.”

Get the spelling right! Lee is keen to point out that “the place I live is called Bahrain with an ‘ai’. Despite my best efforts, the Dutch always spell it Bahrein! Bahrain comes from the Arabic ‘Bahr’ which means ‘sea’ and ‘rayn’, which means ‘two’ of something (grammatically speaking it’s the dualis noun form). So Bahrain means ‘two seas’, symbolising the fresh water springs that flow from under the ground and the salt sea surrounding the island.” “Bahrain is a very social place – it’s a bit like living in a small village, where everybody knows everyone else. This has its charms as well as its downsides, as it’s easy to get Island Fever, but a short plane ride for a weekend in UAE or Oman solves that. I travel a lot for work but, when we have time, we go to some of the many excellent restaurants and bars in downtown Manama, the capital.”

A slow start “On your first day on a new job it may take three or four hours to get into Saudi Arabia with all the extensive security checks and fingerprinting. If you’re lucky, you’ll be on site by lunchtime, and by three o’clock you may even be able to start work. After a couple of hours, it will be time to go home. Normally the next day everything goes smoothly and you can really get started.” 4

Not so much an Expat

Winter’s best “What’s strange about the Middle East is that here we live for the winter! Summer temperatures can breach 50˚C. Add 70-80% humidity and you can just imagine what outside conditions are like. The evenings don’t get any better, as the temperature may drop to 35˚C, but the relative humidity rises to over 90%, so even walking to your car your shirt is soaked in sweat and the screen of your phone clouds over with condensation. The winter months, however, are very pleasant. A “cold” day is 15˚C, but mid to high 20s is average. So we aim to do our outdoor sports from October to April. For example, we had a small speedboat for waterskiing, but sold it three years ago to make room for the baby! Now it’s bicycles and golf.”

“On weekends I also enjoy motorsports. I race Rotax carts and I’ve been a qualified driving instructor at the Bahrain International Circuit since 2004. I teach people how to drive their cars safely, and we also like to scare the tourists on fast laps in Holden Commodore V8s. The nice part is I get to drive many exotic cars. A few weeks ago it was a McLaren MP4-12C, which is a bit like me – British designed but partly owned by Bahrain – and it’s very fast! And you don’t need to worry about fuel economy with gas at 10-20 Eurocents a liter.”

Go with the flow Lee says, “As I’ve lived in the Middle East for most of my life, it’s more of a culture shock going back to 5

Not so much an Expat

Europe. To work in the Middle East takes a certain sort of person, as things tend to happen here at their own pace and, if you let that frustrate you, it will not be a pleasant stay. My advice is to just go with the flow and prepare for the inevitable delays (Insha’Allah as they say here).” He jokes, “And you can always work these delays into your proposals!” “Here in the Gulf they say that 99 percent of a job is getting in the door (due to complex procedures and security arrangements) and opening your suitcase. The rest is under your control. This applies to meetings and to site work. You also need patience and the flexibility to jump when the client asks you to. It’s not unusual for a client to request an urgent proposal, then you hear nothing for months, and suddenly they call and say “OK, we start tomorrow.” This is challenging, especially in a global company like DNV KEMA, as I often need to involve colleagues, usually in several different countries. Coordination is key. It’s important to be straight with the client; tell them that you can only start once the team is assembled. This is also where Middle East experience pays off, as you need to explain the situation in Arabic or simple English. Often, it’s wise to go to their office and ­discuss things over a cup of tea.”

Be prepared to be social “It’s easy to integrate here. Most Bahrainis are friendly and open minded. I also speak reasonable Arabic, which is very useful in Saudi Arabia, but everywhere else people speak very good English. This is a blessing as it makes life easy, but the downside is I don’t get an opportunity to improve my Arabic! Arabs are very social people and enjoy personal contact, so you often find that a long meal and a shisha pipe works better than a phone call. Arabs also like staying up late and think nothing of inviting you round to their house at 9 p.m., then sitting and talking until 2 a.m. (and that’s on a weekday). This can make mornings with a fouryear-old pretty difficult!”


Multicultural team “The situation at work is very different from in Europe or the U.S. You may be the only person of your nationality in an office of ten people, and everyone has their own way of doing things. But our Middle East office in Dubai is great – everyone gets on very well and we work together as a team. I’m based in Bahrain full time but, as we don’t have a formal office, I’ve converted my spare room into an office and I sometimes use my father’s office (he’s an engineering consultant) when I need peace and quiet, such as during school holidays. Most of the staff in the Dubai office have been in the region for years and many worked here before joining KEMA. Like me, they’re well adapted to life in the Middle East.” So the next time you’re in the Middle East, feel free to contact Lee for any help you may need with your work, and afterwards you just may be lucky enough to go for a round of golf or a lap on the F1 track. •

“You often find that a long meal and a shisha pipe works better than a phone call.”

recharging your batteries

What do you

do in your

free time?

Chris Vleeming on the dance floor


n 1982, Chris Vleeming and her husband Willem started learning Latin and ballroom dancing. It grew into a hobby that’s lasted more than 30 years. For a number of years they were part of a Latin Formation Team: eight couples who gave demonstrations of Latin dancing at festive occasions. After a while that became too much like hard work and nowadays they dance purely for relaxation.

Do you still dance a lot?

What do you like so much about dancing?

What influence does dancing have on your work?

Personally I like Latin dancing best, such as the chachacha, the rumba, the samba, the mambo, or the paso doble. I enjoy the rhythm. It’s great to be able to move to it, to really go with the music. My husband’s a bit more relaxed than I am and he prefers ballroom dancing. But we both share a passion for Argentinean Tango.

Dancing really recharges my batteries. It’s also good training for your brain. You have to remember lots of steps and figures, and think ahead. Not that everything’s fixed, though; as you get more experienced you can vary and combine the steps more and more freely, and make up your own dance.

What’s the difference between Latin and ­ballroom? The atmosphere is different. Latin is very intense and earthy, and you dance “into the floor,” as we say. You’re also often separated from your partner when you dance. With ballroom dancing you glide over the floor, so to speak, and you’re always in physical contact with your partner. In the early days we had to practice that with a beer coaster wedged between the man and the woman’s thighs. If it fell out, you had to pay 10 guilders…

Oh yes! We still get a real kick if we’ve had a good dancing session. It’s something you can keep on doing together until you’re old. At the dancing venues that we go to, you see a lot of young people. There’s plenty of pop music that you can do conventional dancing to. However, the atmosphere of a real “old-fashioned” big band is what we love most.

Have you got any advice for colleagues who’d like to start formal dancing? To start with you need to have a good feeling for rhythm; otherwise it won’t work. Another thing is that you often see a woman who’s keen to dance, while the man is only doing it half-heartedly. It’s really important that you both enjoy it! Chris Vleeming, who’s has been working in marketing services since 2000, recently joined the Global Marketing & Communications team in Arnhem, the Netherlands. She’s currently involved in the rebranding of DNV KEMA. 7



In each issue we will i­ntroduce DNV KEMA colleagues ­working in different countries. They will 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

Next: Jenna Canseco

Connected: Kristie DeIuliis Who Kristie DeIuliis Where Burlington (MA), U.S.A. Job Principal Consultant Education and career I’ve got an MS in Public Policy and Environmental Economics. Before I joined KEMA in 2001, I worked for the Pennsylvania Senate, where I was mainly involved with legislation on economic development. After nearly 10 years in the public sector, I wanted to make the transition to more private sector consultancy. Making the move to the electricity sector has been a constant source of new challenges and interests. What do you do exactly? I work in the Markets & Regulations service line for our MOC global business line. To a great extent my work deals with the links between wholesale and retail markets. I’m also involved in innovative projects that have cross-business line implications.

Can you tell us something about the project you worked on with Onno Florisson? A U.S. utility on the East Coast hired us to do 10-year forecasts on emerging gas and electric technologies. Onno provided important European expertise to do with gas. A great ­collaboration! What do (and don’t) you like? The variety of projects is wonderful but what I like most is the chance to work with so many people from different sectors. Maybe I shouldn’t work quite such long hours… But then I really love my work. Free time I work as a volunteer for the Rottweiler Rescue Society. I’m very fond of the breed and they’re often misunderstood. The RRS looks for new homes for Rottweilers that have been abandoned by their owners. I help screen aspiring new owners and check whether they can offer a good home. If I had more time I’d like to set up my own rescue network. Another dream of mine is to write a non-fiction book one day. I feel I have at least one book in me, and it will probably be hilarious… What’s “special” at work? The most special thing for me personally is that within DNV KEMA I’ve made a number of real friends for life. Many of the people I work with are more than just ­colleagues. Connected However, for the next issue I’d like to know more about Jenna Canseco from Oakland, CA. Her work seems really interesting. 8



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

Petra de Jonge

Connected: Narottam Aul Who Narottam Aul, married, two daughters Where Brisbane, Australia Job Director of Business Development

Zwanetta van Zijl Narottam Aul

Next: Andrew Ng

Education and career In India I did a Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering and then later an MBA in Melbourne. I’ve worked for various companies, including TATA in India. For a long time, I worked mainly on software and providing other services for utility companies, but I really wanted to go more in the direction of business development, particularly technical consultancy. So that’s how I ended up at KEMA in 2010. What do you do exactly? My work is essentially business development for DNV KEMA here in Asia. It includes both technical and commercial elements. It isn’t just marketing; you have to have a very good idea of what the customer wants and then translate it into the right package of services. What do (and don’t) you like? Working for an industrial leader such as DNV KEMA gives me the opportunity to learn a lot and to make contacts all over the world. The only drawback is that it’s sometimes awkward working with colleagues in different time zones. But that’s part of the job. Arnhem is a long way away. Do you feel connected with it even so? That’s a good point! It took a while before I was really “connected”, but now I feel very comfortable at DNV KEMA. I work more and more with colleagues from Arnhem and the U.S., so I automatically get to know them better. It’s good, though, to meet them in person at some point. Free time I love traveling and meeting people from other cultures. It fascinates me how people can look at things in so many different ways. In the past I did a lot of trekking in India, but I don’t have time for that anymore. Luckily my work involves a lot of traveling and meeting people. What’s “special” at work? That often has to do with people. I remember a project in Canberra where I was working together with a team from the U.S. We immediately hit it off and had a close relationship, although we hadn’t known each other at all before the project. Something like that is special. Connected A few months ago I worked for the first time with Andrew Ng from Beijing, to develop a business opportunity there. It was a very nice experience. I’d like to know more about him.


Velkommen til Norge!

From left to right: Hilde Alm책s, Carl Sixtensson and Vibeke Binz.


Velkommen til Norge!

It can hardly be news that on March 1, DNV KEMA was established, adding 500 employees from DNV, most of which who are based in Norway. Transponder asked three of our colleagues in Norway for a short introduction on living and working there.

Opportunities and the long view Vibeke Binz (Senior Consultant and Group Leader Project Investment Risk), Hilde Almås (Senior Consultant, External Communication & Marketing) and Carl Sixtensson (Consultant in Renewables for Norway) work in Høvik at the home base of DNV, just outside Oslo and not far from the shores of the Oslo Fiord. Vibeke and Hilde are Norwegian, while Carl comes from Sweden. All enjoy working for DNV. One important reason is the variety of work. “It’s never boring,” says Hilde. “This is such a large company that there’s always something new to do. It’s also fairly easy to change your work. I came here with a PhD in Life Sciences, but now I’m working on social media, marketing materials, and ­organizing events.” She adds that most people feel proud to work for DNV. The company has a strong reputation in Norway. For Carl, DNV is mainly a place where he can learn a lot. “Two thousand people work in the head office alone,” he says, “and you can learn something from everyone. There are also plenty of opportunities for new ideas and initiatives.” In addition, Vibeke adds: “DNV is an independent foundation. Our first priority is to contribute to a more sustainable world, together with our customers. We really take a long-term view. I feel good about that.”

The Enthusiasm Committee What would they say if they were asked to describe the DNV culture in Norway to a colleague from legacy KEMA? Open and informal, is the unanimous reply. “The reporting lines are short,” Vibeke and Carl

explain. “The distance between management and staff is small. For example, we work in an open office. Only the CEO and a handful of others have a room with a door. It’s very easy for us to stop by and talk to one another.”

“We really take a longterm view. I feel good about that.”

And, if morale should dip, they are quick with a pickme-up. Hilde, for example, is a member of a group known as the “Begeistring,” which is Norwegian for the Enthusiasm Committee. They meet twice a month to plan social activities. Summer parties, winter parties, Christmas parties, payday beer, an Oktoberfest… it’s not too hard to find an excuse. At Easter, for example, all the staff in Oslo found a chocolate Easter egg and a card on their desk.

A low sense of authority And if you had to tell your colleagues from former KEMA something about Norway and the Norwegians, what would it be? Here again they tend to agree. “In Scandinavia,” says Carl, “we have a very low sense of authority. In Norway and Sweden there’s not much hierarchy and people are used to deciding things for themselves, including how they do their work.”


Velkommen til Norge!

“We don’t ask the boss about everything,” says Vibeke. “We like to take the initiative, and are expected to be self-driven.” This requires energy and effort, but it also gives you the privilege of being in charge of your own time. “I don’t have to ask anyone whether I can work at home for a day because the carpenter is coming,” says Hilde. “As long as I do my work well, it’s no problem.” Another typical Norwegian characteristic, according to Vibeke, is informality. “I worked for DNV in China for a while, and my colleagues often told me, laughingly, that I was being very blunt. Naturally, that’s not my intention – it’s just the way I come across.” As people, she says, we tend to be individualistic, but the country really is a social democracy. “Solidarity is very important for us.”

Live to work or work to live? Norway as a social paradise: it’s a familiar cliché, but is it true, according to our three colleagues? Well, there’s a lot of truth in it, at least. “Sweden has things just about right,” says Carl, “but it’s even better in Norway! Unemployment here is low and work is so flexibly structured that employees can mostly set their own schedules.” Parenthood schemes are very generous: twelve months of parental leave, and childcare


is guaranteed when you return to work and, last but not least, three of those twelve months of leave must be taken by the father. “That’s very important for the position of working women,” say Hilde and Vibeke. “In the past there was a risk in hiring a young woman, because she might well become pregnant. That’s still the case, but now the same risk applies to men. It makes our positions more equal.” Carl, as a Swede, sees another subtle Norwegian trait: they put family and free time first, and work comes in second place. And they like to spend their free time outdoors.

A cabin in the mountains That brings us to the next cliché: does everyone in Norway have a cabin in the country? Unequivocally: yes. Or at least, there’s one for every family. “The Norwegians are close to nature,” says Carl. “I don’t know of any other people who spend so much time outdoors.” He says that every weekend the roads out of Oslo are choked with people going to their cabins in the mountains. “And when we get there, we prefer to be completely self-reliant,” says Vibeke. “Preferably with nothing but kerosene lanterns, a wood burner, and an outside toilet. It’s nostalgia, to some extent, because cabins like that aren’t so common nowadays, but for many in Norway that’s still the only real way to live.”

Velkommen til Norge!

“I don’t know of any other people who spend so much time outdoors.”

They are also very active in sport. There’s swimming and walking in the summer, and in the winter they strap on their skis. That makes the long, dark, snowclad winter a favorite season for many in Norway. There are also many competitions. The obsession is sometimes too much for Hilde. “All the talk on Monday morning is about how far you’ve skied, and how fast. If I say that I spent Sunday evening watching TV, they look at me with pity. They simply don’t get it…”

e­ xperience life and work beyond the mountains. “Here in Norway we can be rather inward-looking. I occasionally need to go out and get a feeling of what’s going on in the rest of the world.” They see the start of DNV KEMA as a great opportunity. Carl and Hilde are still waiting to see how it works out, as they have only had incidental contact with “legacy KEMA” so far. However they see big opportunities for synergy. Vibeke, who has already had many discussions with colleagues from legacy KEMA, is “almost naively optimistic.” She thinks that the ­competencies of KEMA and DNV complement each other perfectly. “And the corporate cultures seem to be quite similar,” she says. “Quality and ­integrity are top priority for both. That alone bodes well for the future.” •

On the other side of the mountains It sounds like a harmonious society, although, of course, people also have boring work in Norway, and there’s self-doubt and differences of opinion. Hilde, for example, says that those wonderful parental leave schemes are often fiercely debated. Vibeke tells us that she deliberately went to China for a period to


A twin company Some of the staff at DNV KEMA have been doubling up: they are twins themselves, or have twin children. There are not enough of them for a “twin company�, but they do make a good Close-Up spread.


Cathy Griffin, Energy Analyst, and her twin sister Susie (right). Location: Burlington (MA), U.S.A.

Jessica Baldic, Energy Analyst, and her twin sister Niki (left). Location: Burlington (MA), U.S.A.

Ryan Felmlee, Lead Consultant, with his twin boys Jack (left) and James (right). Location: Chalfont (PA), U.S.A.

Claus Fridtjof Christensen, Regional Manager, Wind Energy Certification, and his twin children Emil (right) and Sofie (left). Location: Hellerup, Denmark

Twin brothers Patrick (left) and Marcel (right) Quietzsch both work for DNV KEMA as technical illustrators. Location: Dresden, Germany

Fred Steennis, Service Line Principal, Underground Power Cables, and his twin brother Bram (left). Location: Arnhem, the Netherlands

Kayla Plante, Global Marketing & Communi足 cations, and her twin sister Karyn (left). Location: Burlington (MA), U.S.A.

Jessica Harrison, Principal Consultant, and her twin sister Tabitha (left). Location: Fairfax (VA), U.S.A.

Hannah Hessellund Nielsen, Administrative Assistant, Wind Energy Certification, and her twin daughters Alma (left) and Therese (right). Location: Hellerup, Denmark

Lynn Toomey, Senior Marketing & Communications Manager, and her twin 足daughters Kate (left) and Emma (right). Location: Burlington, (MA), U.S.A.

Anders Krogvig, Consultant, Risk Manage足 ment and CR, and his twin sister Thea. Location: Oslo, Norway


Ryan Felmlee Chalfont (PA), U.S.A.


Chris Vleeming Arnhem, The Netherlands


Caroline ­Kamerbeek Arnhem, The Netherlands

27 Fred Steennis Arnhem, The Netherlands

Jessica Harrison Fairfax (VA), U.S.A.


Thijs Aarten Arnhem, The Netherlands



Yanny Fu Arnhem, The Netherlands


Bert Kiewit Arnhem, The Netherlands


Doug Norris Oakland (CA), U.S.A.





Alan ­Xavier ­Gómez ­Hernández Mexico City, Mexico

Agapi ­Papadamou London, United Kingdom Piergiorgio Chelucci London, United Kingdom

Christian ­Hewicker Bonn, Germany


Kristie DeIuliis Burlington (MA), U.S.A.

8 Cathy Griffin Burlington (MA), U.S.A.


Patrick Quietzsch Dresden, Germany

15 Kayla Plante Burlington (MA), U.S.A.


15 Lynn Toomey Burlington (MA), U.S.A.

15 Jessica Baldic Burlington (MA), U.S.A.

15 16

Marcel Quietzsch Dresden, Germany

Hilde Almås Høvik, Norway


Carl Sixtensson Høvik, Norway


10 Anders Krogvig Høvik, Norway

Vibeke Binz Høvik, Norway



Claus Fridtjof Christensen Hellerup, Denmark



Hannah ­Hessellund Nielsen Hellerup, Denmark

Li Ran Beijing, China


Narottam Aul Brisbane, Australia


Lee Stones Manama, Bahrain

2 17

In the Heat of Development in China China is exceptional in many ways. The consulting part of KEMA has been active there since 1999. Chinese-born Yanny Fu was involved from the beginning and has been the bridge between KEMA and China for 13 years. Transponder talks with her about the exceptional ­challenges that China presents. Opening the door …

Perfect match

When Yanny Fu started to study electrical engineering in China, in 1978, the country had just adopted a new economic strategy, the “open door” policy. Contacts with other countries became possible, and other countries were actually encouraged to invest in China. The Chinese found it easier to travel. Yanny’s husband and fellow-student took the opportunity to go to the Netherlands in 1985 to do his PhD at the Technical University of Eindhoven. In March 1986, Yanny quit the PhD work she had already started in China and came to the Netherlands to join her husband. “For six months I was at home; then I was able to start working on my own PhD in Eindhoven.” Yanny was the first woman to obtain her PhD in Electrical Engineering in Eindhoven.

In 1990, she started working as a researcher for KEMA. In 1993, she set up a KEMA corporate research ­project on High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC). As a result, KEMA became involved in plans for an HVDC ­connection between Norway and the Netherlands, the NorNed cable. But these plans were put on hold and KEMA looked for a new project to use the expertise it had developed. An ­opportunity arose when a Chinese delegation visited KEMA Arnhem in 1997. At that time, work was well underway on China’s Three Gorges project: a gigantic hydro-electric dam on the Yangtze River. The dam and generator hall were already under construction, but China also needed HVDC transmission expertise. KEMA had

Yanny Fu is a Senior Consultant in the field of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission. She works in the Arnhem office for the global business line Electricity Transmission & Distribution (ETD). Right now she’s the Project Manager for Quality Assurance services on key primary equipment for two 800kV HVDC projects in China, both of which began in 2011. 18


In the Heat of Development in China

the knowledge, but no project. “It was a perfect match,” says Yanny. She held discussions with the Chinese delegation for a whole week and was finally asked to lead the HVDC Quality Assurance project. This marked the beginning of a long and successful relationship between KEMA and the Chinese.

Full speed ahead A few facts to start with: China has an area of about 9.6 million square kilometres and a population of more than 1.3 billion people, almost 20 percent of the world’s population. Since free market principles have come to dominate the Chinese economy, growth has been staggering; in recent years at around ten percent per year, even during the crisis. Naturally that has affected energy consumption. In fact, China recently overtook the U.S. as the world’s biggest producer of electricity. And there’s no end in sight. Consumption and industrialization will continue to rise and 70 percent of energy is still generated from coal, which the ­country has in abundance.

Five Year Plan “All of this puts a lot of pressure on the environment and people’s health, especially in the big cities,” says Yanny. “The Chinese government is very aware of this. In the new Five Year Plan, from 2011 to 2015, there is a strong emphasis on renewable and clean energy.” The Five Year Plan, which was a feature of the ­previous Communist planned economy, still plays a crucial role in China’s economy. In the plan, the government sets out economic objectives for the years ahead. “In fact, it’s a very good system,” says Yanny. “Companies can invest and compete freely within the framework set by the government. Government is in broad control. The art is to find an optimal balance between central control and free competition. You also see a trend toward increasing scale and more central control in Europe today. For really large-scale innovations there is simply no other way.” Despite this planning, meeting China’s growing need for energy is a race against time, particularly if the harm to the environment is to be minimized. China has set itself the ambitious goal of reducing CO2 ­emissions by 40 - 45 percent by 2020. It’s working


In the Heat of Development in China

towards this on many fronts, from renewable energy (hydro-electric power, wind, solar, etc.) to smart grids and the infrastructure needed to recharge electric cars. Hydroelectric power plays a crucial role.

From the mountains to the coast The Jin-Su project, one of two 800kV HVDC projects which DNV KEMA is working on right now, illustrates the unique conditions in China. The project consists of a hydro-electric plant in the far West of China, near Jinping, which will supply electricity to the ­heavily industrialized region of Jiangsu, 2,100 kilometres away. Such distances are not unusual in China. “China has many rivers in mountainous areas with large height differences,” explains Yanny. “It’s ideal for hydro-electric plants. Unfortunately the mountainous areas are far away from the densely populated industrial areas in the east. You can transport coal or oil to generating plants close to the customers, but hydro-electric power, solar power and wind energy must be turned into electricity at the source, and the electricity must be transmitted over large distances.” According to Yanny this situation is particular to China. In the U.S., for example, the regions with high energy demand are also concentrated on the coasts, but much less energy is produced in the country’s huge interior.

A unique position HVDC transmission is indispensable for projects such as Jin-Su. Over large distances, direct current suffers much lower energy losses than alternating current. Jin-Su is the most complex project of this type in the world. More suppliers than usual are involved. DNV KEMA has a unique role – we were involved at a very early stage in evaluating the various designs and examining and testing their compatibility. We have the necessary expertise to do this and we are regarded as an independent expert by all of those involved. At the same time, this assignment has also produced an enormous amount of new knowledge for the company.

A culture of enterprise There are hundreds of energy supply projects in China every year, but only a handful involve foreign ­consultants. China’s national electricity authority has to watch its budget like any other enterprise. But Yanny says that for large and prestigious ­projects, such as Jin-Su, the highest quality is required and money becomes of secondary importance. She explains that the Chinese have their own idiosyncratic approach to quality. “The Chinese are generally very result-oriented: products must be delivered within a strict deadline. Efficiency is everything. Quality standards are important, but the Chinese recognize that perfection can be the enemy of the good.” That can lead to tensions, she concedes. However, q ­ uality issues are sometimes dealt with differently. China has no shortage of assignments that are open to tenders. After tendering, there is often a period of hard ­bargaining about achieving the best possible outcome, within the budget. The enormous scale of almost everything has its mark on the Chinese as individuals. “Chinese are always part of a large group,” Yanny explains. “They have learned to survive in a competitive environment. That has made them very flexible and enterprising. When I came to the Netherlands, most people in the West expected to have a job for life, and stick to what they know. Fortunately that has changed now. For the Chinese, a flexible attitude comes naturally.” She also appreciates the optimism of many Chinese: “That’s what makes it such a pleasure to work with them.”

World record-breaking projects Since Yanny began with the Three Gorges HVDC transmission project, there’s been a lot of change in China – and in her work. Over the past 13 years, she and her colleagues have assisted in over 20 projects in China, ranging in size from €50,000 to around €1 ­million. A small office has been set up in Beijing, but only since 2009. Before that, everything was done from the Netherlands. “At that time,” she says, “expertise in HVDC transmission was very scarce in China. Over the years they have built up more and more expertise, and now they are increasingly inclined to run projects without outside help.


In the Heat of Development in China

But for part of the work they still look for an independent, internationally respected organization. So they come to us. What it comes down to is that we now only do special work, such as world record-breaking projects.” Even that will change over time, she says. Whereas once projects were managed by foreign ­companies, in the Jin-Su project the roles are reversed. Chinese ­companies are the main contractors, and other companies, both Chinese and foreign, work as ­subcontractors. Their own capabilities are growing all the time. Is that a problem for DNV KEMA?

Yanny Fu, holding a photo of Three Gorges Dam.


“Certainly not!” says Yanny. “What I’ve noticed is that our volumes per project are declining. But that’s no big deal; it’s good to have to compete and reinvent yourself. Perhaps in three years’ time we will be working in other ­countries, or we may be still working in China but in other fields. As long as you remain innovative and flexible, there will always be new challenges s­ omewhere in the world.” •

recharging your batteries

What do you

do in your

free time?

Doug Norris and the fine arts


oug Norris has a Fine Arts degree in painting from the University of California at Santa Cruz. For a few years he worked as a photographer for an arts consultant in New York and then decided to return to California. In 2007 he rented a room in his apartment in San Francisco to a young engineer who was starting at KEMA. After a few months the engineer hired Doug to help arrange site visits for a field study. Five years later, Doug is still with DNV KEMA, working full time managing the data collection and scheduling staff. And he still paints and takes photographs.

What kind of art do you create exactly? I do paintings in oil or encaustic (pigments dissolved in hot wax). I used to make pop art, but these days I paint in a more abstract style. But recently I’ve mainly been taking photos, which I develop and print myself. All very analog… I like working in the darkroom. My photos are more realistic than my paintings – usually street scenes and portraits.

Where to you get your inspiration? I usually paint things that are in my head but to get started I often surround myself with photos and cuttings. For painting you’ve got to have time to look and think without having to rush. Continuity is very important. Unfortunately, I often don’t have enough time. Photography is faster and more spontaneous, so it’s easier to combine with my work. But recently I’ve really been itching to paint again…

What does creating art mean to you? For me, art is about ideas. But ideas can come from many directions. If you combine shapes and colors, they form a relationship and produce a dynamic reaction. That can have an emotional impact on the viewer. I’m creative by nature. I can’t really stop; nor would I want to – it simply spills out of me.

Does it also have an influence on your work? The work I do at DNV KEMA is a little different from that of most of my colleagues. Above all, I facilitate communication and ensure that work goes smoothly. Sometimes it’s a real balancing act, and it helps to be creative! I never expected to work for an energy consulting firm and I’ve found skills I didn’t know I had.

Do you have any advice for colleagues who want to do something creative? If you’re not infected by the art bug, beware! If you are, go with it. Try and find ways of challenging yourself. One tip: sometimes a new technique can help you get ­creative again. Doug Norris has worked for KEMA since 2007. He’s Senior Analyst at DNV KEMA in Oakland (California), U.S.A.



A Day in the Life of‌


Claus Christensen

07.15 a.m.

07.05 a.m.

12.00 p.m.

13.00 p.m.

15.30 p.m .

17.00 p.m.

17.30 p.m.


20.15 a.m.

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

Claus F. Christensen Regional Manager, Wind Energy Certification, DNV KEMA Copenhagen. Married with three kids: 19-year-old twins (a son and a daughter) and a 15-year-old daughter.

06.20 a.m. My wife and I usually get up early and have breakfast together before the kids wake up a bit before 7. 07.05 a.m. I ride my bike 3 km to the ­station Then I take the S-train to the DNV office in Hellerup, just north of Copenhagen. I spend the 35-minute journey reading the newspaper and checking emails. 07.55 a.m. I’m in the office My first job on a Monday morning is completing and approving time sheets. 09.00 a.m. In preparation for the project certification external audit, we have an internal audit today. However, the auditor is delayed and the audit is postponed until 10. 10.00 - 11.45 a.m. Meeting with a client about foundation designs The idea is to get things to run faster and more smoothly. Usually we have an internal management meeting at 11 on Mondays, but there’s too much on today, so the meeting is canceled. 12.00 - 12.30 p.m. Lunch in the canteen In Denmark a lot of people have lunch in the office.

13.00 p.m. Meeting with a client about a tender for a manufacturing survey of an offshore substation. It’s very important to make sure that the sub-contractors are also included. The surveys will be done by staff from the local Maritime or Oil & Gas Office, but under our supervision and with input from the people who have verified the design. 14.00 - 17.15 p.m. Meeting with a client and the designer of a substation about design approval. They want to order steel by the end of next month, so everything must be totally clear. A few critical items are not clarified, so we agree which ones require additional calculations.

19.45 p.m. After dinner I spend half an hour ­dealing with personal papers. 20.15 p.m. My wife leaves to pick up our daughter from soccer training, while I take the dog for his evening walk. 21.00 p.m. Time for the news on TV and I spend the rest of the evening watching sports programs.

17.30 p.m. At my desk trying to round off for the day, including dealing with crucial emails. 18.00 p.m. Leave the office On the train journey I look at emails (again!). 18.50 p.m. Home My wife has almost finished making dinner, so I help with a few last things and do as I’m told! With teenagers it’s always hard to know who’ll be joining us for dinner. Today the twins are home and my younger daughter is playing soccer.


In this column three of our newest colleagues introduce themselves.


Li Ran

Caroline Kamerbeek

Consultant in Electrical Transmission

Global Director Marketing &

Alan Xavier Gómez Hernández

& Distribution at DNV KEMA in Beijing,

Communications at DNV KEMA,

Senior Sustainability & Climate Change

China, since August 2011

based in Arnhem, the Netherlands,

Advisor at DNV KEMA in Mexico City,

since November 2011.

since January 2012.

Partner, children? Married, one five-year-old son. Where do you live? Eindhoven, in the south of the Netherlands. What are your main tasks? My most important task, together with my colleagues, is to create a strong global brand for DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability. What kind of work did you do before joining DNV KEMA? I worked for various international com­ panies in brand and communication positions, the last nine years for Philips Intellectual Property and Philips Healthcare. What were your first impressions? Most people at DNV KEMA are very friendly and helpful. And their expertise – in all sorts of areas – is really impressive. What were your expectations of DNV KEMA? The company is more Netherlands-focused than I’d expected. We certainly need to become more international in order to ­realize our global ambitions. What do you find particularly ­interesting about your work? I find it a great challenge to work together with my global marketing & communications colleagues and boost the professionalism of the job. That’s really essential if you want to build a strong brand and create greater brand awareness worldwide. Is there anything you had to get used to? I knew that KEMA was looking for another shareholder, but it was pretty strange to find myself in Oslo just one week after joining the company. As a result, the first three months were pretty hectic, but I also learned a lot. I’m happy that we are part of the DNV Group. Together we can really make a d ­ ifference in the world of energy. Is there anything you hope to develop in your new job? Having made a start on integration with DNV, the real challenge now is to further

Partner, children? Partner, no children. Where do you live? Mexico City, Mexico. What are your main tasks? I provide advice on management for ­sustainability & climate change projects throughout Latin America. What kind of work did you do before joining DNV KEMA? I’m an environmental engineer and before joining DNV KEMA I collaborated with ­various organizations for around five years. From 2010 to early 2012 I worked for the Mexican Ministry of the Environment, where I was in charge of developing air ­pollution programs for all Mexican cities. What were your first impressions? I had a great welcome because we celebrated my birthday together. All my colleagues are very warm, the atmosphere is great, and the opportunity to interact with different cultures is amazing. What were your expectations of DNV KEMA? As DNV KEMA is a dynamic company, I expected new opportunities to grow ­professionally and personally. So far, I’m very happy. What do you find particularly ­interesting about your work? I think minimizing risk through sustainability is an art, because you need to translate client requirements into something tangible and achievable. Each project is custom-made. Is there anything you had to get used to? I just love the WE DO program, which is designed to reduce the environmental impact of DNV employees in their day-today life. Now I can walk or bike to my job and, what’s more, I’m rewarded for it! Is there anything you hope to develop in your new job? I hope to become an integral member of the new sustainability team in Latin America. 27

Partner, children? No partner, no children Where do you live? Beijing, China What are your main tasks? Consulting in the area of electricity ­transmission and distribution. What kind of work did you do before joining DNV KEMA? I was an engineer at one of the largest ­utility companies in Germany. What were your first impressions? The work atmosphere is very friendly. What were your expectations of DNV KEMA? Because I’ve studied and worked in Europe for more than 10 years, I know both western culture and the specific Chinese situation. I’ve noticed I can use this experience very well in our projects and in my daily work. Our business in China is going very well and our Chinese clients are very satisfied with DNV KEMA. What do you find particularly ­interesting about your work? The most interesting aspect of my job here is working in a team. Analyzing problems, discussing them with colleagues, developing a strategy together and then helping clients to solve the problems. Also, the variety of projects gives me broad experience and the possibility to increase my technical knowledge. Is there anything you had to get used to? What I like about working at DNV KEMA is that my colleagues and I work hard to achieve our goals, but at the same time we have a lot of fun doing so. That’s refreshing! Is there anything you hope to develop in your new job? I hope I’ll grow together with DNV KEMA in China, making it very successful here.

strengthen the DNV KEMA brand worldwide.


Spotlight on Power in Europe The OECD recently published a report called The Environmental Outlook 2050. It makes pretty somber reading. If we don’t take drastic action soon, it says, 40 percent of the world population will ­suffer from water shortages; quadrupled ­global production will double emissions of ­greenhouse gases, causing an average temperature rise of between 3 and 6°C, and air pollution will be the leading cause of death. The question is: is this unavoidable or can we plan a better future? A DNV KEMA team from our London, Bonn, Groningen, and Arnhem offices created a picture of a future in which many of these crises can be mitigated. 29

Spotlight on Power in Europe


he DNV KEMA team worked on a landmark study – a follow-up to the European Climate Foundation’s Roadmap 2050 report – which focused on the energy transition during the period from 2011 to 2030. In its projections, the European Commission refers to CO2 emission reductions in the power sector of around 60% by 2030. But how can this be achieved? The cross-DNV KEMA team, together with academics from Imperial College in London, focused on three main issues: - Analyzing the infrastructure requirements for a range of scenarios for electricity systems in the EU in 2020 and 2030. - The contribution of gas to power sector ­decarbonization. - Predicting future electricity prices.

Scenarios DNV KEMA CEO, Thijs Aarten: “In November 2011, I co-presented the European Climate Foundation Report Power Perspectives 2030 in Brussels to European politicians, policy makers, industry ­representatives and other stakeholders. One of the report’s main conclusions is that renewables can deliver decarbonization and economic benefits in 2050, if investment in new or extended grids starts now. The report concludes that Europe’s plans for decarbonized power in 2050 are on track, as long as the targets for 2030 are fully met.” Project Manager, Christian Hewicker: “In the report we provided insights into the role of supply, ­transmission, and demand in keeping the power

Thijs Aarten (Arnhem office) Provided high-level communication for policymakers.

Bert Kiewiet (Groningen office) Provided the gas infrastructure ­analysis.

Piergiorgio Chelucci (London office) Worked on the data analysis.

Agapi Papadamou (London office) Worked on the data analysis.

Christian Hewicker (Bonn office) Was the DNV KEMA Project Manager.

“We combine an economic ­perspective with real technical insight.” 30

Spotlight on Power in Europe

system in Europe robust and balanced during the ­transition to renewable energy sources.”

”power to gas” and “gas to energy,” and increasing sustainability through the addition of green gas to the gas infrastructure.”

The contribution of gas Gas expert Bert Kiewiet: “In all scenarios, the analysis shows that gas-fired generation will play an important role in the future. Overall gas consumption is likely to remain stable in the coming decades, due to the projected shift in gas use from the heating to the electricity sector. According to the analysis, the planned gas network infrastructure by 2020 will be able to transport the anticipated load in most parts of Europe. Beyond the scope of the ECF study, we see the role of gas as supporting the inclusion of renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar, balancing the grid through technologies such as

“These people really know what they're talking about……” (CEO of ECF Johannes Meier)


Spotlight on Power in Europe

Close cooperation Christian again: “This project required close cooperation between experts from four of our offices, as well as leading academics. It showed how DNV KEMA can play a leading role in policy development. Especially given the nuclear phase out in Germany and develop­ ments in the European economy, it’s essential to inform both the public and politicians so that they can take the right decisions in the years ahead.”

Agapi: “There was plenty of room for everyone to improvise when we formulated the modeling concept. My Italian colleague Piergiorgio Chelucci and I looked at a set of demand and supply scenarios as well as various contingencies. Roadmap 2050 looked at longterm trends, including EU targets for reducing emissions by 2050. Then, in Power Perspectives 2030 we zoomed in on the situation twenty years earlier.”

The mechanics of cooperation Like a marriage Consultant Agapi Papadamou at DNV KEMA’s London office: “We previously worked together on other projects, such as assessing current infrastructure and simulating electrical and gas grids and markets, so I guess we make a really good team. Are there ever any tensions? Of course. It’s a bit like a marriage: you keep your eye on the long run. This applies equally to teamwork at DNV KEMA as it does to grids and markets.” Christian adds: “Based on publicly available information, it was initially assumed that currently planned investments will go ahead. Transmission System Operators (TSOs) tend to make ten-year development plans. However, we consider it unlikely that network expansion will move ahead as formally planned. This is why we also considered scenarios with less ambitious plans for grid expansion.”

“Power Perspectives 2030 – a big challenge and a real team effort.”


Christian: “This project was a unique opportunity to demonstrate DNV KEMA’s capabilities in creating an integrated approach to gas and electricity. Our main advantage is that we can combine an economic perspective with real technical insight into the way the industry works.” Bert: “In some ways it was a virtual team. Agapi and I have worked together on other projects, but in the context of this project we actually never sat together. Most communication took place by telephone and e-mail, but at important phases in the project we held working meetings in London and Bonn. I am also in Bonn quite regularly, because we work together with colleagues there on several projects, as well as on business development.” Thijs concludes: “After the project was completed there were a lot of newspaper interviews (to inform the general public) and meetings with policymakers in Brussels and elsewhere. The cooperation throughout was excellent. Our Markets & Regulation team meets twice a year and will soon be working on a new report: The Integration of Renewable Energy in Europe. Once again, DNV KEMA will be in the lead, along with Imperial College London. “ •

How electricity changed women’s lives in the early 20th century An ecstatic woman points to an oven containing two steaming roasts. Pots are bubbling on the hotplates. The text encourages us to Cook with Electricity! At first glance this seems to be a good ­example of advertising that reinforces stereotypes: the kitchen as a woman’s domain. But it’s not as simple as that.


n the early 20th century, the feminist movement took off, due in part to industrialization and the increasing number of women working in factories. The feminists’ goals included equal rights and pay for working men and women, including those women who managed their homes. In 1901, the National Office for Women at Work was established in the Netherlands to promote the interests of working women at home and in society. During the economically-challenging 1930s, this movement was strengthened by the electricity ­industry’s need to increase revenues as industrial power consumption declined. They tapped into a new market: the domestic consumer. That gave

a boost to developments on the industrial side, as well as ­changing the lives of women, and KEMA was to be closely involved in both developments.

The home as a business In those days, women were expected to run the household. They would spend a great deal of time and money keeping a clean and organized home, but a group of progressive women were beginning to think that their time could be better spent on other things. Delegating this work to a maid or housekeeper was also becoming too expensive. This “domestic help dilemma” was one of the issues the Dutch National Office for Women at Work examined.


It was concluded that if you could make housekeeping simpler and easier, women would gain time for other tasks. There were efforts to make houses more practical and easier to clean, and to utilize “all effective means” in the home. Ideas about the efficient, businesslike organization of the home were filtering in from America, where Christine Frederick played a leading role. In Germany, in 1926, the female architect Grethe Schütte-Lihotzky designed the revolutionary, rationally organized, “Frankfurt kitchen,” using a minimum of space but offering a maximum of comfort and equipment to the women working in it.

Electricity conquered the world In the 1920s and 1930s, housekeeping methods were an important issue, which were addressed by a variety of organizations and trade unions. It seemed that everything could be new and improved, from kitchen layout, to planning the work week, testing and approving food and domestic articles, public education and advocacy, and the quality of pots and dish racks. Electrical equipment was an important element, and not only for the emancipation of women tied to the home.

“Every woman capable of thought must sense the backwardness of ­housekeeping as it has been carried out until now, and ­r ecognize in it the severest constraints on her own development and thus on the development of her family.”


Grethe Schütte-Lihotzky

Electricity conquered the world in the first decades of the twentieth century. More and more sectors of society were being electrified. Industry was by far the largest and most influential user. However, the economic crisis of the 1930s led to a substantial decline in industrial power consumption. To compensate for declining revenues, the electricity supply companies in the Netherlands – and in other countries – increasingly focused on homes, where demand was more stable. From the very beginning, KEMA had been involved in testing domestic appliances, especially safety tests on behalf of the electricity supply companies, who wanted the systems connected to their grids to be made entirely from materials approved by KEMA. The company even had a special laboratory for ­domestic appliances. But, in response to socio-economic conditions in the 1930s, KEMA also began to focus on the practical application of electricity in daily life. KEMA and its parent organization, the Association of Directors of Electricity Companies in the Netherlands (VDEN), were the motor behind an extensive campaign to persuade consumers to buy electrical appliances. The main focus was on cooking with electricity. In 1931, the VDEN established the Committee for Public Information on the Uses of Electricity. The committee set to work systematically. One of its tasks was to promote the installation of household wiring that could carry heavier currents. This was an important step toward the further electrification of the household. In 1932, a research kitchen for electrical cooking was set up on the KEMA site. The first edition of the “Electro-cookbook” was published in the following year, with recipes and tips. In short, KEMA/VDEN was actively promoting the use of electricity in the home.

The blessings of technology

Education Building

In the same year, 1932, the Fifth Triennial Congress on Scientific Business Organization was held in Amsterdam. Researchers from around the world debated the most rational working methods. For the first time, one session was devoted to the home. A group of women pioneers in the field, from the U.S.A., England, Germany, France and the Netherlands, studied this topic. As one of them later wrote, they all saw that the way work was done in the family was “backward, in comparison to work in corporations and factories” … “It was 150 years after the discovery and first applications of electricity before the idea dawned that housewives too might have a share in the blessings of technology.”

In 1938, an Education Building was opened on the KEMA site for these new information and e­ ducation tasks. It included not only the research kitchen, but also a laboratory for the qualitative study of the ­efficiency of domestic appliances, a washing room, drying room and ironing room, a classroom, and a large lecture hall with demonstration facilities. The research kitchen was used, for example, for trials on the effects of various cooking and baking temperatures, tests of the temperatures at which foods burned, and comparisons between the various cooking methods and appliances. The NVEV had its own office in the building.

The meeting led to the establishment, in 1932, of the Dutch Electrical Association for Women (the NVEV), based on the example set by their English equivalent, which had been established seven years earlier. The NVEV sought to publicize the convenience of electrical systems, inform the public about their application and represent women in the many bodies that were active in the field of electricity. The argument was that the mechanization of domestic work would give women more time to pursue other things. The NVEV quickly grew into a broad and active association, which maintained strong links with KEMA and other bodies.

The Education Building was used intensively, as there was a thirst for knowledge about electricity in everyday life. The NVEV, working in a range of partnerships, organized all sorts of training courses in the building. There were courses for women advisors employed by electricity supply companies, for teachers at housekeeping schools, for midwives and for district nurses. One important component was the course for women who, as members of local government building committees, advised on the electrical systems in new houses. The NVEV provided lectures, outings, brochures, telephone advice, demonstrations, and radio documentaries, for women in every sector of society. 35

Choices, choices In the 1960s, KEMA’s staff magazine had a column on “electrical tips for the housewife,” which addressed issues such as the “electrical egg whisk” and the safety of electric blankets. If you think that it’s very modern to grind your own coffee to ensure the best espresso, read the tip for April 1962. This column examined the relatively new electric coffee grinders. These might be convenient, but they apparently had their drawbacks. In the first place there was the difficult choice between pulverizer and rotary designs, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The article also has serious warnings about lids that fly off, and fingers getting into the rotary models. Only one model was approved by KEMA; as for all the others, it was “buyer beware!”

Different times The NVEV was wound up in 1973. The emancipation of women had entered a new phase, and thinking about electricity and energy consumption in general had begun to change. However, public education and training are apparently in the genes of DNV KEMA and its new parent company, DNV. A recent example is our new information program on the use of electricity in Detroit, focusing on commercial and industrial users. The irony of history is that this time, the challenge is how to reduce electricity consumption.


While the wheel may have turned today, and emancipation of women is seen in a different way, it’s a fact of history that KEMA’s promotion of the use of e­ lectricity in the home played a role in the emancipation of women. Washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and refrigerators have made it easier for women to enter the workplace and demand their rightful role in ­society. And in KEMA itself – in DNV KEMA now – women have increasingly come to the fore. That would certainly not have been foreseen when this all began! •

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.

Strange Objects

See if you can work out what this strange-looking object is and what it’s used for. Use your imagination and send your best guess to In the next issue, we’ll print the most original idea, along with the real explanation.

Kema transponder #3 public  

DNV KEMA global staff