LEDs Magazine seeks to recognize industry’s young talent (MAGAZINE)

April 2, 2020
With the inaugural “40 under 40” program, LEDs Magazine is looking for young professionals to watch as they take an active role in advancing LED technologies and SSL applications, writes CARRIE MEADOWS.
Image credit: Logo courtesy of Endeavor Business Media's LED & Lighting Network.
Image credit: Logo courtesy of Endeavor Business Media's LED & Lighting Network.

As a business-to-business media group, we are always interested in who’s on the leading edge of the LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) sectors. The LEDs Magazine Sapphire Awards is already heading into its seventh year of recognizing innovative components, enabling technologies, systems, and end products that are driving LED technology forward and revolutionizing the lighting
market. We are proud to support and acknowledge that engineering expertise. But we only hand out one award annually to a specific team or individuals behind the “magic” of product development — the Illumineer of the Year. And we considered that there are many other ways in which individuals can promote the interests of the LED and SSL sectors for the mutual benefit of their organizations and global society.

One idea our team had discussed was acknowledging those who are up-and-coming in the industry — those whose career paths are clearly on an upward trajectory, who are invested in the success of their organizations, and who are on their way to becoming the next generation of technology, application, and design/specification leadership in the SSL community. And so the “40 under 40” was born.

The aim of this new program is to identify the 40 under 40, the best and the brightest, in LED and SSL product engineering, research & development (R&D), and product marketing, as well as lighting design and lighting specification. Consider them the “Class of 2020.” We will feature profiles on those selected in the July/August 2020 issue of LEDs Magazine, on our website, and in newsletters. There will be no cost to nominate someone. Nominees will demonstrate some combination of the following qualities and qualifications.

Age — First and foremost, the nominee must be under the age of 40 on July 1, 2020.

Pursuit of career development — Individuals will have sought and/or completed advanced training, on the job and/or through industry continuing education opportunities. Higher-education degrees are applicable, of course, as are relevant professional certifications.

Industry service — Membership in industry associations, especially taking an active role; participation in industry standards development; participation in industry events such as speaking opportunities (live or online); and committee membership and/or leadership are excellent qualifications to make a nominee eligible.

Contributions to internal organization success — Here is where we start to see a combination of both qualitative and quantitative potential in an individual. Has this person been deeply involved in process and operations management? Have they spearheaded improvements in internal workflows or procedures? Do they manage or contribute significantly to R&D projects? Have they demonstrated leadership and support of colleagues in some way?

Contributions to commercial successes — These would be more quantifiable characteristics
of a nominee, such as fundraising initiatives for organizational R&D, cultivating partnerships for R&D, meeting demanding sales or product management objectives, and/or demonstrating successes in commercial project management, product design fulfillment, or lighting design/installation fulfillment.

We realize that some of these criteria may seem a bit subjective rather than objective. That is to be expected. There will be a combination of factors that make these candidates stand out to their employers and colleagues, who would be the ones nominating them. Consider your direct reports, your team members, and determine how they best represent your organization’s mission, standards, and roadmap, as well as their ability to meet the demands of their position and the potential to reach beyond them. Think about it, and then help to educate us on who deserves to be in the spotlight. You’ll find the submission portal at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/leds40u40; the entry period will close on April 22.

*Note: The program will recognize up to 40 individuals who meet the criteria as outlined and evaluated by our LED & Lighting Network team, to be determined by number and quality of entries at the discretion of the team.