Founded in 1918, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., and devoted to oversight of the development and use of standards in the United States and the promotion of U.S. standards internationally. Each year, ANSI honors “individuals who contribute to and participate in the U.S. and global voluntary standards-setting and conformity assessment activities.”
On October 18, 2017, ANSI held its annual awards presentation and banquet at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. During the banquet, FM Approvals operations vice president and principal engineer, Bill Lawrence, was presented with ANSI’s Meritorious Service Award for his contributions to the U.S. voluntary standardization system (see photo). Lawrence was one of nine individuals who received the award.
He was nominated by the U.S. National Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission (USNC/IEC) where Lawrence represents FM Approvals on the Technical Management Committee (TMC) and the Conformity Assessment Policy Coordinating Committee (CAPCC).
A 34-year veteran with FM Approvals, Lawrence is actively involved in the examination and testing of electrical equipment rated for use in hazardous (classified) locations. He worked on numerous ANSI standards since 1988 and on IEC standards since 1994; and currently serves in various positions on more than two dozen committees of the IEC, USNC/IEC, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and Underwriters Laboratories.
“I spend almost half my time on the road, attending and participating in various standards organizations and committees,” Lawrence notes. “When it comes to our work with manufacturers on product certification for hazardous locations, we are typically using the ANSI adoption of the IEC standards. We are influencing what happens at the international level, so we have much less work to do at the national level.”
One of his ongoing projects is helping to shepherd the latest version of IEC 60079-0, Explosive Atmosphere—General Requirements, through the ANSI U.S. adoption process. The IEC standard specifies the general requirements for construction, testing and marking of Ex Equipment and Ex Components intended for use in explosive atmospheres. “In most cases, we are introducing what we call national differences to account for regulatory differences, which in our case, primarily involve the U.S. National Electrical Code,” Lawrence notes. About the ANSI award, he adds, “Of course, it’s an honor to be recognized by your peers; I truly appreciate being singled out from so many hard-working members.”