Dave Stehlin joined TIA in September 2019. He brings more than 30 years of experience leading the development and implementation of key business and technology strategies in the telecommunications industry. Most recently, Dave was the general manager of Spirent Communications’ ( SPT:L) Lifecycle Service Assurance business segment focusing on creating and providing innovative testing and analysis solutions for advanced telecommunications systems and network around the globe. He has also been instrumental in the leadership of multiple public and private networking companies including CEO of MRV Communications (MRVC) and CEO of Ceterus Networks as well as president of Overture Networks. Prior to starting his career in the ICT industry, Dave was a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. He hold a B.S. degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD and an M.B.A. from National University

How did you become involved in Smart Buildings?

I’ve been in the telecom and networking industry for over 30 years and new technology is driving us all closer together, our world is becoming more connected. This connectivity creates many benefits and helps us deal with many imperatives that we all face. The potential of connecting people, buildings, cities and industries in a way that helps us live smarter, safer and more robust lives can be enabled through new technologies such as 5G. At the core of this potential is connectivity and that is what TIA is all about, which is why we started our Smart Buildings Program.

What excites you about the Smart Buildings industry?

There’s a lot to be excited about in smart buildings. We believe these buildings will be the foundational elements of smart cities and I’m excited for the promise they hold for a more sustainable future. A United Nations report estimated that by 2050, global urban population will increase from 54% in 2016 to 66% and smart buildings will be a key enabler to making that population growth more sustainable.

Smart technologies will deliver improved quality of life in the places we live and work and they will help make our governments and the resources they provide more efficient. Technology applications are allowing us to optimize our lives and everything around us to be safer and more efficient and it’s exciting to be a part of it.

Are there any particular technologies that we should be aware of, but are currently under the radar?

Enabling 5G to reach its potential is something that is not widely understood yet is at the core of this transformation. Managing information from millions of critical IoT devices and doing so with extremely low latency (delay in data transportation caused by distance) will connect the in-building operating systems, safety and security systems and tie it to the broader cities and networks. This has not been done before but can be enabled through the flexibility and capacity of 5G technology. We’ll start seeing more private networks and industrial networks enabled through the ability to tailor or ‘slice’ the network to meet the needs of individual businesses or buildings.

Combine this technology with advancements in sensor technology, data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) and you allow buildings to become smarter and establish the critical foundation for smart cities to evolve.

What services does your company offer?

TIA is both a standards development organization and an advocate for the information and communications technology (ICT) industry. As the trusted industry association for the connected world and the collective voice of the network equipment manufacturers and suppliers, TIA serves as an incubator, strategic partner and business developer for the ICT industry.

On the standards side, TIA facilitates various engineering committees comprised of TIA members and participants who collaborate to develop best practices, guidelines, and standards to address common industry challenges for everything from operating cellular towers and securing supply chains to data center facilities and product lifecycle management. There are thousands of individuals and hundreds of companies involved with us in advancing the industry.

TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute and works with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to ensure the standards our teams develop are relevant and accessible globally.

For Smart Buildings, TIA is leading the development of a comprehensive, consistent, reliable and measurable framework of assessment criteria for smart buildings through our Smart Buildings Program. The program has a working group comprised of people and companies that span the smart building ecosystem who are working together to help advance smart building adoption collectively.

Are people aware of the regulations that they will need to comply with in the near future?

There are multiple layers to regulation compliance as they can range from the local city level up to the national and even international levels. While stakeholders are likely to be most aware of the local regulations that they encounter during the permit and building processes, currently there is no holistic smart building assessment program that provides the framework for smart buildings. We believe this is an opportunity for the industry to come together and provide a set of common criteria that can be used by the industry, government and occupants to assess and verify smart buildings, regardless of building type or industry. The criteria we are establishing focuses on six main categories including sustainability, health and well-being, safety, security, power and energy and, of course, connectivity.

For smart buildings to reach their full potential, they need to be integrated within their communities. A smart building will help achieve much more when it’s in sync with the environment around it.

What are the benefits of a smart building?

There are a host of benefits that will come from smart buildings but it’s important to also note who will benefit from smarter buildings and how. At a high level, building owners and REIT’s will see benefits in the form of reduced energy costs, higher occupancy rates, streamlined operations, potential new sources of revenue and higher property value. Building occupants or tenants will benefit from better living and working environments with optimized air quality, lighting, and functionalities. Local governments and general populations in urban areas will benefit from the controlled environmental impact of smart buildings through increased sustainability and operational efficiency which will minimize the strain on local power grids and associated peak load management. Data collected from smart buildings could be used in a smart city to help predict and reduce energy and resource consumption, improve water management and enhance public transportation, lighting, parking, traffic control and sanitation. Additionally, it can assist first responders by helping provide them with more accurate data before they arrive at the scene of an emergency.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?

Always think about the bigger picture, pull yourself out of the day to day, figure out your overall intent. This ICT industry has driven massive improvement in how we all live and that is something worth investing in. Also recognize that you can’t move forward if you don’t take a single step and then another and another.

What is your favourite book?

I don’t have a single favorite book but I frequently enjoy reading history or historical fiction books. Typically, change comes for a reason and understanding the events and actions that drive change is very interesting to me. I’ll often listen to audio books when working outside or making dinner.

How do you relax?

I relax by exercising. We are meant to be active, it adds vibrancy, the ability to think more clearly and confidently. A good workout, whether it be working in the yard, going for a walk/run or going to the gym, is very rewarding.

What is your ideal holiday?

I enjoy traveling and visiting new places, we live in a big world with much to experience. I also enjoy just relaxing on the beach.