Meet young professionals in European Standardization: Daniel Herbst, from Austria

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 third episode in this year’s series of interviews, we interviewed Daniel Herbst, a PhD student at the Institute of Electrical Power Systems at the Graz University of Technology (Austria) on the importance to invest on the link between standardization and research.

1. Please, present yourself.

I’m Daniel Herbst, I was born in 1988 in Vienna/Austria and studied electrical engineering, with a specialization in power engineering at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz).


Within the scope of my current work at the Institute of Electrical Power Systems at TU Graz, I deal with the topics of protection concepts at low voltage level, protection against electric shock (protective measures), standardization, safety of DC (direct current) electric vehicle charging stations, as well as measurement technology in electrical power systems.


Before working at the university, I was part of the team of a consulting company for electrical engineering in the areas of planning, tendering and construction supervision for more than five years.

2. Could you explain how you are involved in standardization and how you became interested in it?

My involvement in standardization started with the work on my master thesis related to the periodic verification of DC electric vehicle charging stations back in 2017 when my supervisor invited me to participate in several technical subcommittees and working groups.


Before that, during my studies at the Graz University of Technology, as part of the OVE students’ association (OVE Young Engineers) and working at a consulting company for electrical engineering, I was also involved in the use of standards.

Nowadays I am involved in the following (sub)committees and working groups:



  • Member of OVE TSK E01, E06, E07, E08 (national technical subcommittees related to HD 60364 series)
  • OVE AG Ladestationen DC (national working group to work on the national directive regarding the safe operation and the periodic verification of electric vehicle charging stations, convenor/chairman)
  • Member of several other national working groups related to low voltage electrical installations and electric vehicle charging stations / e-mobility
  • Guest member of OVE OEK AK (strategic committee on standardization at OVE)


  • Member of IEC SG 11 Hot Topic Radar
  • Participation in IEC Young Professionals YP Workshop 2022 (San Francisco, USA)

3. You are the technical project coordinator of the ProSafE² research project. Can you briefly explain what it is? How does it relate to standardization?

To ensure the long-term safe operation of DC electric vehicle charging stations (DC-EVCS), they should be inspected periodically. ProSafE² therefore developed a practical concept for such periodic verifications in the form of 15 developed test cases.


Furthermore, a specially designed and constructed testing device demonstrator was developed for evaluating the applicability as well as the practical suitability of the test cases at DC charging stations installed in the field. The knowledge gained will also be implemented in the revision of the national Austrian OVE directive R 30 (safe operation and periodic verification of electric vehicle charging stations).

4. In your opinion, how can we better integrate research results into standardization?

Provide budget for universities and research institutes to finance their contribution in standardization!

5. You are also a project assistant at the Graz University of Technology and are involved in several technical committees of OVE, the Austrian Electrotechnical Association. How does your research activity complement your more hands-on experience in TCs?

I think it is a win-win situation for both, our institute as well as OVE’s committees. On the one hand, our institute’s research activities are – in some cases – the basis for discussions in national TCs (as one can see with the example of ProSafE²). On the other hand, the work in TCs sometimes leads to research questions which are elaborated on in bachelor or master theses.

6. What skills can young professionals learn from participating in standardization? And, in turn, what new, innovative skills can they bring to standardization work?

With participating in standardization, young professionals can get in touch with experts of the (inter)national electrical engineering community. Thereby, they can gain knowledge regarding the process of the development of a standard or get an idea of how different views of various experts can be focused to have a final consensus.


Furthermore, young professionals can be able to extend their personal network as well as contribute to emerging standards on behalf of their delegating institutions. From the perspective of the established experts, on the other hand, they can benefit from the young and fresh spirit of young professionals during the standard development process.

7. Do you expect to be working with standards in the future?

Due to the fact that I’m already working on my PhD thesis, and my university employment will probably end with the end of next year, time will tell how I will evolve and which company I will work for. Of course, I hope that standardization will continue to affect my professional life for a long time.

8. What advice would you like to give to your fellow young professionals to invite them into the world of standardization?

Since youth is often associated with words like novelty, awakening or innovation, and I often feel this spirit in my work with students, I can really agree with a quote from Austrian Standards (ASI): “With standardization, innovation finds its way to marketability.”


Therefore, I can encourage every young professional to participate in standardization to influence technical committees with their fresh ideas and their insight from up-to-date research.


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


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