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52 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2021 Feature Article By Symon Franklin CUSTOM INTERCONNECT LTD Being a committee leader is both challenging and rewarding. My career in electronics started with an HNC qualification in electronic engineering as part of an electronics apprenticeship at Marconi in Chelmsford, Essex in 1995. My involvement with IPC began in 2012 when I became a Certified IPC Trainer to the IPC-A-610 Programme for my current employer, Custom Interconnect Ltd. (CIL), based in Andover, Hampshire, UK. My trainer was Debbie Wade at Advanced Rework Tech- nology, who subsequently mentored me and gave me my first experience of attending com- mittee meetings; later, she inspired me to take leadership roles and professional opportuni- ties. With CIL's support, I began to attend a vari- ety of IPC Committee meetings in Europe and the U.S. I was thrilled to receive the IPC Rising Star Award in 2017. is is given to IPC mem- bers who have taken leadership roles and pro- vided support to IPC standards, education, and advocacy, as well as solutions to industry challenges. I am currently a co-chair of the 7-31B IPC- A-610 Task Group with Tiberiu Baranyi (Flex Ltd.) and Ekaterina Stees (Lockheed Mar- tin). We work as a strong, dynamic team and can bounce ideas amongst ourselves as we take turns in leading meetings. Because of the global pandemic, as well as personal and professional challenges, meet- ings are conducted remotely. One of the many skills we have learned is to confidently lead both face-to-face and online meetings of over 90 people. It is vital that we ensure participants can contribute fairly; providing guidance from an industry rather than a personal standpoint can be a careful balancing act. e leader- ship team also deals with different time zones and, as meetings are conducted in English, we encounter language nuances and diverse cul- tural experiences. The Role of 3,000 Committee Members IPC Emerging Engineers Symon Franklin

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