Lilian studied food science at ETH Zurich, completing a master’s degree in food process engineering, and now works as a process specialist at Nestlé. In addition to this, she represents the food industry on the Swiss Association for Standardization (SNV) Board.
28.11.2022 // General news
Meet young professionals in European Standardization
2022 is the European Year of Youth. To mark this occasion, CEN and CENELEC are conducting a series of interviews with young professionals in European standardization. One of the interviewees is SNV Board Member Lilian Fehlmann.
Please, present yourself. To what extent are you involved in standardization?
I am 33 years old and come from Switzerland. After studying at ETH Zurich Food Science with a major in Food Process Engineering, now I am working at Nestlé as a process specialist. I am also a Board Member of SNV (the Swiss Standardization Institute) as representative of the Food Industry. It has been an honour to be elected and I am looking forward to contributing to the standardization of the food industry sector.
Why and how did you become interested in standardization?
In my job, it is essential to make products with a perfect quality, and food safety is always the key priority. Additionally, the product must be CO2-neutral, energy efficient, and sourced fairly and sustainably. That is way I became interested in standardization: standards provide us with a powerful instrument to define and monitor the appropriate quality levels and best practices. For this reason, they facilitate our work in the complex jungle of regulations and necessities we are faced with. This is why I decided to participate to the standards-making work.
What kind of added value that you believe standardization provides users and standards-makers with?
I think an important value of standardization is that it is a good tool to help connect professionals, companies and industries and facilitate the exchange of best practices between them. If every company defined their own standard, without consulting with the others, it would not be of any value. And soon enough, it would also end up not being state of the art anymore. Instead, standardization provides a forum to exchange points of view, and also learn from each other: working together is always the key to improvement. Additionally, ensuring that the same standards are applied by all companies and the approach adopted is the same everywhere creates clarity and helps build trust in the market.
Do you have or have you had a role model or mentor in standardization? What is the best advice they gave you?
I don’t have just one specific mentor: everybody working at SNV opened my eyes on how powerful standards are! Thanks to them, I learnt that, although Switzerland is a small country, everyone can join the discussions and contribute to developing better standards.
Why should there be more young people in standardization?
Young people grew up with digital devices, living in a fully digital world. We are used to daily changes and are flexible and quick in adapting to new circumstances. Therefore, we can bring new and fresh perspectives to the table. Furthermore, including younger voices in standardization processes is an investment in the future, as they will become the standardization leaders of tomorrow. Nevertheless, we should not forget that the value of standards comes from the diversity of the system: everybody is important in their development, no matter their age!
You can follow the whole campaign here. The other interviews with young talents in the standardization field are available to read, too.
CEN/CENELEC | Meet young professionals in European standardization