Meet young professionals in European Standardization: Hana Knez

With the European elections approaching, the twin green and digital transitions open new opportunities for the European industry and citizens, in a quickly changing global scenario. But does Europe have what it takes? How can we make sure that it has the skills and the workforce to remain competitive in the global economy? And what is the role of standardization?

On the occasion of the European Year of Skills, which continues in 2024, we are relaunching our special campaign: through a series of interviews with standardization professionals, experts and business leaders coming from a variety of backgrounds, we will explore the interaction between innovation, skills and standardization in some of the most relevant sectors for Europe’s long-term competitiveness.


For the second episode in this year’s series of interviews, we interviewed Hana Knez, a current electrical engineering student and one of the Young Ambassadors for Standardization at SIST, the Slovenian Institute for Standardization, on the importance of involving young people in standardization and the unique skills and perspectives they offer.


1. Please, present yourself.

My name is Hana Knez. I am a second-year electrical engineering student at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Ljubljana. I am enrolled in the university’s bachelor’s programme. Before studying at the university, I attended a grammar school in Novo Mesto, where I graduated with an excellent academic score in all four years of studying there.


Besides college, my favourite hobby is singing. I am a classically trained solo singer, and I have taken part in quite a few national and international competitions, where I received numerous awards in the past few years. I am currently pursuing my passion for music at the Academic Choir Tone Tomšič, University of Ljubljana, which is one of the most successful choirs in Slovenia, taking part in numerous competitions and creating magnificent concerts.

2. Could you explain how you are involved in standardization, and what its value for your field of expertise is?

I first became closely acquainted with standardization at the beginning of my first year at university, particularly through mandatory laboratory research conducted in several subjects. The curriculum places significant emphasis on standards related to measuring equipment, such as multimeters and oscillators. As engineers, we rely on precise measurements, which can only be ensured through adherence to standards.


At the start of the current academic year, our faculty hosted SIST’s Autumn School of Standardization – a week filled with intriguing seminars from SIST and their business partners, highlighting the importance of standards and their applications.

3. Why and how did you become interested in standardization?

Personally, I find standards intriguing because they often represent the hidden yet crucial essence that maintains societal order. Standards play a vital role in ensuring the right balance between quality and price for consumers, preserving original ideas through patents for entrepreneurs and upholding copyright in media and music. Without such regulations, our society would, in my opinion, descend into chaos.

4. At SIST, you are part of the "Young Ambassador for Standardization" programme. Can you briefly explain what it is? What has been your experience?

The "Young Ambassador for Standardization" programme is a new initiative established by SIST. The primary goal of a young ambassador is to promote and represent SIST and the concept of standardization itself. While introducing SIST to companies and entrepreneurs is important, I believe it is equally crucial to educate younger generations, my peers, about the importance of standards and SIST's role in the standardization process.

5. 2024 continues as the European Year of Skills. What skills can young people learn from participating in standardization?

Participating in standardization helps cultivate critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills, vital for navigating complex technical landscapes. Standards ensure consistency, quality, and interoperability in products and services, benefiting industries and consumers alike. Young people's engagement in standardization empowers them to shape these crucial regulations, fostering innovation and societal progress.

6. Do you expect to be working with standards in the future? Do you think standards will give a boost to your future career?

As a prospective Biomedical Engineer, I anticipate working extensively with standards in my future career. Standards play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety, effectiveness, and interoperability of medical devices and systems. Adherence to these regulations not only facilitates compliance with legal requirements but also fosters innovation and quality assurance in the biomedical field. By embracing standards, I aim to contribute to the development of cutting-edge technologies and solutions that enhance patient care and advance medical science. Therefore, I firmly believe that standards will provide a significant boost to my future career, enabling me to navigate regulatory frameworks, uphold industry best practices, and drive positive impact in healthcare.

7. Why should there be more young people in standardization? What advice would you like to tell your fellow young professionals to invite them into the world of standardization?

Encouraging more young people to engage in standardization is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures that diverse perspectives and fresh ideas are incorporated into the development of standards, leading to more innovative and effective solutions. Additionally, involving youth in standardization fosters professional growth by providing opportunities to develop valuable skills in communication, collaboration, and problem-solving.


My advice to fellow young professionals is to recognize the impact they can have in shaping the future of various industries through standardization. Embrace the opportunity to contribute your unique insights and expertise, advocate for the importance of standards, and seize the chance to make a tangible difference in the world of standardization and beyond. Remember, don't be afraid to take on challenges; they are opportunities for growth and learning.

8. Do you think standardization has a role to play in addressing big challenges, such as the digital transition or climate change?

Absolutely! Standardization plays a crucial role in addressing major challenges like the digital transition and climate change. In the fight against climate change, standards are essential for promoting sustainable practices, ensuring energy efficiency, and facilitating the adoption of renewable energy resources. As someone passionate about nature and committed to combating climate change, I firmly believe that standardization can drive innovation and implementation of eco-friendly technologies and practices.


Similarly, in the digital transition, standards are vital for interoperability, cybersecurity, and data protection, enabling seamless integration of digital technologies while safeguarding privacy and security. By actively participating in standardization efforts, we can contribute to tackling these global challenges and creating a more sustainable and resilient future for generations to come.


This article is part of our special series dedicated to the European Year of Skills: through a series of articles and interviews with standardization professionals, experts and business leaders coming from a variety of backgrounds, we will explore the interaction between innovation, skills and standardization in some of the most relevant sectors for Europe’s long-term competitiveness. You can read the other articles related to the campaign here.


Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won't set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on, your device to remember your preferences.

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone.

I accept all cookies