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January 12, 2024

Standards Lead the Way for Innovation and Diversity at CES 2024

Women in STEM
From left to right: Dr. Jayne Morrow, NIST, Sonya Bird, ULSE, Dr. Denice Durrant, ULSE, and Victoria Lancaster, CTA

On January 9-12, 2024, consumer technology innovators, engineers, and professionals convened at the Las Vegas Convention Center for CES 2024, the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies.

As a leading authority in safety, UL Standards & Engagement held several sessions to discuss safety, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and the role of standards in helping to ensure each of these components are an integral part of innovation.

Life in Progress: Capitalizing on the Potential of Clean Battery Power Through Safety

There are risks in many new technologies, and we want to be able to facilitate those new technologies without letting risk hold them back. So, one thing is absolutely clear: we cannot let risk hold back innovation."

– Dr. David Steel, executive director, ULSE

Dr. David Steel, executive director of UL Standards & Engagement, provided opening remarks to a panel discussion led by Sayon Deb, ULSE director of quantitative insights. Panelists Dr. Denice Durrant, ULSE director of engineering and data science, and Sean DeCrane, director of fire fighter health and safety operational services at the International Association of Fire Fighters, discussed clean battery power and the need for standards to address safety risks and protect market growth and confidence. 

"When we think about battery technology and this battery revolution that we're in,” Durrant said, “it's important for us as standards developers to understand the risk, but also not stifle the innovation, and present solutions that can ultimately drive safety." 

Watch the Discussion

C Space Studio Interview with Dr. David Steel

C Space Studio
James Kotecki and Dr. David Steel

Steel sat down with C Space Studio Host James Kotecki to discuss how safety standards support innovation, why brands should bring safety out of the background when creating and marketing their products, and the importance of incorporating diverse voices in the standards development process.

“Standards facilitate innovation safely. It's standards that unlock that promise of innovation, but in a safe way,” Steel said. “Let's make sure we have safety standards in all those critical parts of the value chain, and then let innovation flourish.” 

Watch the Discussion


Growing Women in STEM

Sonya Bird, UL Standards & Engagement vice president of international standards, joined Durrant, along with Veronica Lancaster, vice president of standards programs at the Consumer Technology Association, and Dr. Jayne Morrow, senior advisor for standards policy at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to discuss how growing the number of women in STEM fields increases the potential number of women in standards, having a direct and critical impact on safety.

During the discussion, Bird and Durrant discussed ULSE’s Gender Action Plan and its commitment to developing gender-responsive standards that provide an equal level of safety for all those they impact. One example Bird highlighted is UL 3741, the Standard for Safety for Photovoltaic Hazard Control, which was developed with body impedance models and corresponding shock thresholds for both male and female firefighters, to ensure equal protection for all first responders fighting fires on homes and buildings equipped with solar panels. Additionally, they announced that ULSE will update its catalog of 1,700+ standards and documents for inclusive language by 2030.

Watch the Discussion

Get Involved

Our standards are developed through a consensus-based process integrating scientific expertise with input from our technical committee members and stakeholders. TC members represent a variety of perspectives, including industry, academia, government, retail, and manufacturing. We encourage all professionals in consumer technology to get involved in our standards development process by applying to join a technical committee, submitting a proposal, or reviewing and commenting on proposals in our online Collaborative Standards Development System (CSDS).

To access UL and ULC standards documents, or to sign up for alerts, visit ShopULStandards.com. Within ShopULStandards.com, UL standards documents can be viewed at no charge using our Digital View feature with site registration.