The General Assembly of EOTA on April 19, 2016, unanimously voted Dr.-Ing. Karsten Kathage as President of the European Organisation for Technical Assessment (EOTA). With immediate effect he indicated having big plans for the organisation. The 52-year old succeeded Yannick Lemoigne of the French Technical Assessment Body, CSTB. Yannick Lemoigne concluded the mandate of four successful years as President of EOTA and accompanied in particular the transition from the CPD to CPR, the Construction Products Regulation.
As a longtime member of various technical committees of EOTA and beyond, Mr. Kathage is very familiar with the processes in EOTA. On the wave of continuity and fresh wind he wants to use this knowledge to enforce improvements. For his first two-year term, he has clear goals. "The important thing is to reduce the time for issuing of ETAs and further eliminate frictions at various levels" the newly appointed EOTA President was quoted saying. "If a European Assessment Document (EAD) exists, ETAs should be granted within a few months. However, even if a new EAD must be developed, we must be able to inform the manufacturers about reliable and reasonable timelines."
As important levers to achieve this objective, Karsten Kathage wishes to enhance the direct dialogue with the European Commission and talks are already underway.
Context: EOTA, EADs and ETAs
In the European Organisation for Technical Assessment (EOTA) TABs, which have been authorized by the Member States, are responsible for issuing European Technical Assessments - better known under the acronym ETA. Currently, EOTA has 50 members from 25 countries.
The ETA offers building products manufacturers a way to CE marking, when no harmonized standard exists (hEN) or a harmonized standard is incomplete as regards certain essential characteristics. As internationally accepted technical assessment the ETA is increasingly gaining importance.
The ETA contributes to establish confidence in the performance of the essential characteristics of a construction product for its intended use. The ETA route supports the free movement of construction products and thus the Single European Market. ETAs are issued on the basis of a harmonised technical specification, called the European Assessment Document (EAD).
For the development of the EADs responsible are the TABs acting jointly in EOTA. The content of the EADs is being decided by consensus between the TABs and the European Commission. This ensures that the various technical experience and requirements of the Member States are included in the assessment basis, which permits building products with an ETA to ensure good marketing opportunities.
Background Information: Dr.-Ing. Karsten Kathage
Dr.-Ing. Karsten Kathage studied civil engineering at the Ruhr University Bochum in Germany where he completed his doctorate with a dissertation on "Plastic design of continuous composite beams with composite joints". Since 1995 he has worked at DIBt and in 2005 took over the management of the section "Metal and Composite Construction, Special Structures, Bearings and Glass". Since 2011 he has been Vice President of DIBt, the German Institute for Building Technology. He is also involved in many national and European technical committees.