Beat Jeckelmann (Switzerland) is EURAMET’s Chairperson

Dr Beat Jeckelmann, the Delegate of METAS (the Federal Institute of Metrology of Switzerland), has taken over the position of EURAMET Chairperson in June 2015 for a three year term.

In his early career Beat studied physics at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and having obtained a PhD in experimental particle physics he worked at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. Beat joined the Electricity Sector of METAS in 1989 and became Head of the department in 1999. Since 2011 to the present he has had the role of Chief Science Officer and member of the extended management board where he is responsible for the research and development programme of METAS.

Beat has around 25 years' experience working within the EURAMET community: Beat has been the Chair of the Technical Committee (TC) for Electricity and Magnetism, TC Contact Person and Subcommittee Convenor. He is currently a Representative in the EMRP and EMPIR Committees and the Research Subcommittee and since 2010 has been a Member of EURAMET's Board of Directors.

Beat is well known on the international circuit, being not only a Swiss representative in the Consultative Committee for Electricity and Magnetism of the Metre Convention but also a technical expert, peer reviewer, referee, speaker and lecturer.

Interview with Beat Jeckelmann

Beat, what is your vision for EURAMET during your term and what are the biggest challenges?

My vision is that the Metrology Research Programmes (EMRP and EMPIR) bring us closer to sustainable, coordinated and integrated metrology research in Europe. This is a prerequisite to meet the great challenges lying ahead of us. Coordinated research is the basis for the development of a coordinated metrology landscape which will naturally lead to distributed centres of excellence for metrological services and expertise. It is also equally important to support the EURAMET members and associates in the development of an appropriate metrology infrastructure in their countries and to support especially new and evolving National Metrology Institutes (NMIs).

What is, in your view, the importance of metrology?

Lord Kelvin is quoted as saying "If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it". Metrology is an essential tool for scientific research and development and for technological innovation. It underpins modern industrial competitiveness and supports the development of new products and processes. Accepted measurements and standards are essential for global trade and regulations. In summary, metrology is an indispensable part of the foundation of a modern state. Sometimes the importance of metrology is not fully recognized by the public and by policy makers. It is, thus, a priority for EURAMET to make the benefits of metrology better known.

What are you most excited about and looking forward to in your term?

EURAMET membership spans the whole continent. The diversity of cultures is huge, as is the range of capabilities and development status of the NMIs. It is a challenge but at the same time a great enrichment to work in such an environment. I am looking forward to working with many highly committed colleagues and to spread the word about metrology throughout our stakeholder groups. With the Metrology Research Programmes we have a unique opportunity to fundamentally change the metrology landscape in Europe and this is very exciting.

Being EURAMET's Chairperson in addition to your role as Chief Science Officer of METAS is a challenging task.
How do you find a personal balance?

It is very important to be well organized and to have good collaborators. I can count on a dedicated team of professionals in the EURAMET Secretariat and the MSU who do all the operational work. In my private life, I am fortunate to live in a beautiful area. I enjoy my free time with my family. Cooking, gardening and hiking give a good balance to the professional activities.