LONDON, June 24 /PRNewswire/ --

- The Competition Provides a Forum Where Electronic Design Engineers and Students can Design Products That are Environmentally Friendly Using Electronic Components.

Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl), the leading multi-channel, high service distributor supporting millions of engineers and purchasing professionals globally, today announced the selection of the expert judging panel for the international design competition, 'Live EDGE' - Electronic Design for the Global Environment.

This year's esteemed and accomplished 2008 Live EDGE competition panel of judges to date comprises:

Sir Peter Gershon - Chairman of Premier Farnell, plc

Sir Gershon is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He is Chairman of Symbian Software Ltd, Chairman of General Healthcare Group and Chairman of Vertex Data Sciences. He is also a Member of the Advisory Board of the UK Defence Academy and a Member of the Court and Council of Imperial College. Formerly, he was the Chief Executive of the Office of Government Commerce, a Chief Operating Officer of BAE Systems plc, Managing Director of Marconi Electronic Systems and a Member of the GEC plc Board. Sir Gershon was awarded the CBE for services to industry in the 2000 New Year's Honours List and Knighted in the 2004 New Year's Honours List for services to the Public Sector.

John Noble - Director of Torus Technologies and 2007 Live EDGE Winner

Mr. Noble is an electronics engineer who has worked over a decade on commercialisation of electronically commutated (EC) motors & electronic controls. One of his first projects was the development of the motor drive electronics for the category winning "Solar Kiwi" entry in the 1993 World Solar Challenge. Since then he has worked exclusively on developing and commercialising high efficiency EC motors & electronic controls.

Mr. Noble is an inventor of various patented technologies in this field, with manufactured products based on these now approaching 1 million units in service. His experience spans all phases of commercialisation, from core research and technology patenting, through production development & manufacture and on to global product release. Mr. Noble is currently a Director of Torus Technologies Sdn Bhd, formed to commercialise the Live EDGE 2007 winning MyFan high efficiency ceiling fan.

Steve Sanghi - Chairman of the Board of Directors, Microchip Technology

Mr. Sanghi was named the President of Microchip Technology in August 1990, Chief Executive Officer in October 1991, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors in October. In June 1995, Mr. Sanghi received the Arizona Entrepreneur of the Year award. Mr. Sanghi was Vice President of Operations at Waferscale Integration, Inc., a semiconductor company, from 1988 to 1990 and was also employed by Intel Corporation, where he held various positions in management and engineering, the most recent, serving as General Manager of Programmable Memory Operations. Today, Mr. Sanghi is a member of the Board of Directors of Xyratex Ltd., a member of the State of Arizona Governor's Council on Innovation and Technology, a member of the Board of Trustees of Kettering University, and a member of the Board of Directors of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). He is also co-author of a book, "Driving Excellence - How the Aggregate Systems turned Microchip Technology from a Failing Company to a Market Leader." Mr. Sanghi is also the author of the "Ask Steve" column in the Sunday Business Section of the Arizona Republic.

Indro Mukerjee - Chief Executive Officer, C-MAC MicroTechnology

Mr. Mukerjee was formerly with Hitachi's European Semiconductor Division, where he moved into sales and marketing, operations and business management positions. He was with the leadership team of VideoLogic, an innovative PC- based multimedia/graphics venture company. As a member of the leadership team, he went through a successful IPO and developed a commercial infrastructure to support growth, opening new markets internationally and a successful joint venture in Japan. In 1997, Mr. Mukerjee joined Philips Semiconductors, initially as General Manager of the European region, then leading the Consumer Market Group. He subsequently progressed to the executive management positions of Executive Vice President - Global Marketing & Sales, Chief Marketing Officer and then the overall general management responsibility for the strategic Automotive and Identification Business Unit.

Robert Rodin - Chairman and CEO of RDN Group

Mr. Rodin is the Chairman and CEO of RDN Group; and he serves as Vice Chairman, Executive Director and Chairman of the Investment Committee of CommerceNet which researches and funds open platform, interoperable business services to advance commerce. Mr. Rodin served for over 10 years as CEO and President of Marshall Industries (NYSE: MI) a global, industrial, electronics distributor and supply chain management company with over $2 billion in sales. Mr. Rodin's bestselling book, "Free, Perfect and Now: Connecting to the Three Insatiable Customer Demands," chronicles the radical transformation of Marshall Industries. Mr. Rodin has been on the Board of Directors of Napster (NAPS, formally Roxio), Board of Leaders of the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business , Advisory Board of LASEC (Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission).

Paul Goodman - Senior Materials Consultant, Reliability and Failure Analysis Group, ERA Technology Ltd

Mr. Goodman is an expert and provides consultancy on environmental legislation, including the EU WEEE and RoHS directives and the REACH regulations. He assists clients to determine their obligations and to deal with implications. He regularly presents papers on regulatory compliance issues at international conferences. Paul Mr. Goodman has led an investigation into compliance with the RoHS directive for the UK Department of Trade and Industry on behalf of the RoHS Technical Adaptation Committee and regularly advises the UK Department of Trade and Industry on issues relating to electrical equipment and legislation. He has carried out an investigation into exemptions to the RoHS directive for the European Commission in 2004, and has completed a review of Categories 8 and 9 for possible future inclusion in the scope of the RoHS directive.

Steven J. DeKrey - Senior Associate Dean and Director of Masters Programs at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Professor DeKrey is currently Senior Associate Dean and Director of Masters Programs at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Founding Director of the highly-regarded Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA Program and Adjunct Professor in Management. Professor DeKrey was Director of MBA Programs at the University of Florida from 1989-1995. Prior to that, he was Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and Assistant Professor from 1983-1989. Professor DeKrey also served as consultant to Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration at the Chulalongkorn University in Thailand from 1984-1989. Professor DeKrey is also active in the Hong Kong community having served as President of the Kowloon Rotary Club, current member of Rotary Club of Hong Kong, 2008 Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce and advisor to Junior Achievement Hong Kong.

Gottfried Ecker, Dipl.-Ing - Senior Lecturer in Microelectronic and Automation Technologies in the School of Engineering at Wiener Neustadt, Lower Austria.

Mr. Ecker obtained an MSc in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University of Vienna, Austria. Between 1986 and 1996 he worked at the Austrian Aerospace Company as a development engineer.

The Live EDGE judges will base their decision on criteria including; usefulness of the application, originality and innovation, technical merit, its effect on the global environment, feasibility of the design, efficient use of energy, end of life consideration, innovative use of components, cost optimisation, completeness of design dossier and clarity of supporting documentation.

Registration for news, updates and activities began on the 6th of May 2008 via the Live EDGE website or on the Live EDGE Design Challenge group on Facebook. The Live EDGE website will soon feature social networking tools, and a leading edge community forum for engineers to share and develop ideas.

"We are immensely proud to have such a distinguished, diverse and world-renowned group of industry and educational professionals on our judging panel," said Harriet Green, Chief Executive Office of Premier Farnell plc. "Live EDGE is the first global competition of its kind and this year we have opened the competition even further by inviting entries from students, hobbyist and industry professionals. We are committed to supporting design engineers globally and the environment, through Live EDGE we are bringing these two things together to make a difference to the future of our planet."

Editors Note:

High resolution images of the judges can be found at:

About LiveEdge:

Electronics engineers, students and inventors around the world are invited to submit designs for an innovative product that utilises electronic components and has a positive impact on the environment.

Entries can be submitted between the 1st of October 2008 and the 31st of January 2009. Judging will start on the 1st of February 2009 and winners will be announced on the 2nd of April 2009. The competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over.

The winning entrant for both the full-time student and the general/open category will receive a cash prize of $25,000 USD as well as a design support package valued at an additional $25,000 USD to move their design towards production. The support package will include the services of an electronic design consultancy to help develop the design to prototype stage, assistance with legal matters and IP registration, some marketing and publicity, as well as Premier Farnell's help in securing investment funding. The group will actively market the end product to millions of customers globally through their leading edge website, catalogue and direct marketing.

In addition, up to 3 entrants for the full-time student category and 3 entrants for the general/open category will be eligible for 'honourable mentions', each receiving a cash prize of $5,000 USD.

More information about Live EDGE is available at

About Premier Farnell

Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl) is a leading high service, multi-channel distributor of electronic, maintenance, repair and operation products and specialist services throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific.

While global in scope, and with over 4,100 employees Premier Farnell recognizes the individual needs of each market and has continued to internationalize its model accordingly, trading locally under different brand names. Its primary electronics businesses trade as Farnell in the UK, Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand, Newark in the US, Canada and Mexico, and Premier Electronics in Greater China. In Singapore, Malaysia, and Brazil the operation is known as Farnell Newark. For information visit

Contact Details: Jenny Peters Head of Corporate Communication Premier Farnell plc, and Asia Tel: +44(0)207-851-4102 Email: Web: Janice Fleisher PR & Communications Manager Newark The Americas Tel: +1(1)773-907-5941 Email: Jonathan Roberts Account Director Pinnacle Marketing Communications Ltd, Tel: +44(0)208-869-9339 Email: Web: Kate Robson Marketing Campaigns Manager Farnell Europe Tel: +44(0)133-387-5110 Email:

Contact Details: Jenny Peters, Head of Corporate Communication, Premier Farnell plc, and Asia, Tel: +44(0)207-851-4102, Email:; Janice Fleisher, PR & Communications Manager, Newark, The Americas, Tel: +1(1)773-907-5941, Email:; Jonathan Roberts, Account Director, Pinnacle Marketing Communications Ltd, Tel: +44(0)208-869-9339, Email:; Kate Robson, Marketing Campaigns Manager, Farnell, Europe, Tel: +44(0)133-387-5110, Email: