Valerie Maguire: Engineering progress

As global sales engineer, Valerie Maguire's role with The Siemon Company melds standards leadership and technical expertise with efforts to increase IT-related awareness in global markets, develop and implement product sales-and-marketing initiatives, and provide support to customers within and outside of the Siemon organization.

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As global sales engineer, Valerie Maguire's role with The Siemon Company melds standards leadership and technical expertise with efforts to increase IT-related awareness in global markets, develop and implement product sales-and-marketing initiatives, and provide support to customers within and outside of the Siemon organization. It's a little-known fact that she began her career in telecommunications by assembling connecting hardware on Siemon's production floor, then expanded her skillset to include product qualification, printed circuit board design and research-and-development test methods.

Val's behind-the-scenes lab work on technical issues such as subpar patch-cord performance and the fundamental operation of screened and shielded cabling ultimately resulted in the development of groundbreaking standardized test methods used in the cabling-manufacturing realm, as well as a patent. While some of this lab work earned her the nickname "Patch Cord Queen" within the Siemon organization, it and other efforts have made Val a mainstay on the standards scene and in front of industry audiences in all forms. She is probably most well-known for sharing her knowledge through technical seminars at industry events and conferences. Invariably, attendees commend her on her ability to use layman's terms to clearly explain some of the most complex topics. She is considered one of the industry's foremost experts on TIA standards.

The analogy of "making connections" is too apparent to ignore, as for the past 15 years Val also has been actively engaged with the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group, whose mission is to develop Ethernet standards. "As liaison from TIA to IEEE 802.3, I have shared TIA consensus input on every subject from cable temperature rise due to remote powering currents, to Category 8 specification development within the group," she explains.

The list of leadership positions she either has held or still does hold within TIA and IEEE groups is extensive. Now in her second term as vice chair of TR-42, Val also is serving her sixth consecutive term in a leadership role on the TR-42.7 Telecommunications Copper Cabling Systems Subcommittee (the group developing the Category 8 specifications, for which she is document co-editor). Other standards she has edited or co-edited have included TIA-568-C.4, TSB-190, TIA-1152, TIA-568-C.2, TSB-184 and TIA-568-B.2-10.

And she's just getting started. "I have to chuckle," Val says, "when I hear 'lifetime' tied to achievements at this stage in my career. I feel that I have so much more to contribute. Don't be surprised if I'm still around when the industry buzz is about OM6, category 12 and CI&M's 40th anniversary commemorative issue!"

On her work within the TIA and The Siemon Company, Val says, "I am extremely fortunate to be a member of a standards community that encourages positive action and contribution, as well as to be part of the Siemon organization, which not only manufactures world-class products, but provides world-class resources and opportunities for its employees. Every individual on our R&D staff is a treasure trove of technical knowledge and expertise. John Siemon and Bob Carlson, my mentors, encourage personal and professional growth and continue to provide opportunities for me to learn something new each and every day."

Professionals throughout the cabling industry have the opportunity to learn something new, each and every day, from Valerie Maguire.

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