|News of the ASTM Board of Directors
ASTM International’s board of directors last met Oct. 17-19 at the St. Regis Hotel in Beijing, China. The following is a summary of reports made and actions taken by the board at those meetings. More information on events in Beijing surrounding the meeting is available here.
For further details on any of the following topics, contact ASTM President James A. Thomas, ASTM, 100 Barr Harbor Dr., PO Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959 (phone: 610/832-9598).
The October 2006 meeting of the ASTM International board of directors was opened with an address by Mr. Shi Baoquan, vice administrator of the Standardization Administration of China. Mr. Shi gave an introduction to the Chinese standardization system. For more information on Mr. Shi’s speech and other special events in Beijing, see this article.
Kitty Kono, ASTM vice president of global cooperation, reported to the board on ASTM International’s outreach in various countries.
China ASTM recently hired its own chief representative in China, Mr. Liu Fei. Prior to joining ASTM, Liu Fei was the director of operations for the China Consortium on Standards and Conformity Assessment, of which ASTM International is a member. His responsibilities will be to work with ASTM staff and technical committees to work with Chinese business and industry in the use of ASTM International standards.
Panama ASTM staff members Teresa Cendrowska and Jessica Hychalk traveled to Panama in June to meet with representatives of Panama’s national standards body (Direccíon General de Normas y Tecnología Industrial). In addition, they gave a presentation about ASTM International and our standards activities in the field of concrete to 60 participants from the Panamanian Association of Producers of Concrete.
Colombia ASTM members Anthony Fiorato, Martin Vachon, and Nicholas Carino joined ASTM staff Teresa Cendrowska, James Olshefsky and Jessica Hychalk in Cartegena, Colombia, in September to participate in a major Latin American Concrete event that brings together ready-mix concrete producers from around the world. Fiorato, Vachon, Carino, and Olshefsky made technical presentations and conducted special workshops throughout the week.
Iraq ASTM International was involved in the organization of a National Institute of Standards and Technology workshop on standards and codes for the Iraqi construction sector in July. Twenty participants from Iraq attended the workshop. ASTM members David Hattis and Nicholas Carino and staff members James Olshefsky and Jessica Hychalk participated in the program. As a follow up to the program, ASTM will provide up to 20 sets of ASTM Standards in Building Codes to the various ministries and universities involved in the Iraq reconstruction effort.
Kono also reported that ASTM International has debuted three new mini Web sites in Chinese, Japanese and Spanish. The sites provide information about ASTM committees, membership, publications, directories, global cooperation and Standardization News. Finally, Kono reported on ASTM’s growing standards experts program, in which ASTM hosts experts from various national standards bodies at its headquarters. This spring and summer, three Chinese standards experts were hosted; in November, ASTM hosted standards experts from Vietnam, Indonesia and Zambia.
ASTM International Director of External Relations Teresa Cendrowska reported on ASTM’s efforts to work with academia in promoting standardization in college and university curricula. ASTM has made available downloadable tools, through which professors can identify up to 10 standards for use in their classrooms, allowing students to download the documents for a small fee for the academic term. Also as an aid to professors, PowerPoint modules are being prepared for use in the classroom. Four modules are under development, which will cover standardization in general, ASTM International and its standards, the ASTM standardization process, and copyright/intellectual property rights issues. In addition, ASTM continues in its efforts to conduct student events on campuses near Committee Week locations and will extend the events to independent meeting locations where appropriate. Cendrowska noted that events were planned for the October and November Committee Weeks with the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
Cendrowska announced that the first ever Bryant Mather Scholarship, in the amount of $7,500, was presented to Raissa Douglas Ferron, who was selected from a field of 19 candidates. She is currently a teaching assistant and Ph.D. candidate studying self-consolidating concrete and cementitious materials at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. An interview with Ferron was featured in the Standards in Education section of the September 2006 issue of SN.
Economic Research Study
Cendrowska followed her report on academic outreach with an update on the economic research study that ASTM International has undertaken to show the impact of standardization on corporate profitability. The University of Texas, which has been retained to perform the qualitative portion of the study, and ASTM staff chose six sectors for the research: metals, petroleum, consumer products, medical, plastics, and construction. The university has conducted extensive interviews with representatives of the six sectors, completed their portion of the research and is finalizing its report. The information from the university will assist in conducting the quantitative portion of the research, to be completed by Market Measurement Inc. This second phase will reach across a broader selection of sectors in order to verify the findings of the university’s research. Completion of the study is anticipated by the end of the year.
Government and Industry Relations
Jeff Grove, ASTM’s Washington representative, provided an update on activities involving legislation, international trade agreements, and corporate awareness of standardization issues.
U.S. Commerce Department Posts Statement on International Standards The U.S. Department of Commerce has posted on its Web site a statement of U.S. government policy defining international standards. The statement from the U.S. government is helpful to ASTM International in that it 1) reaffirms the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Committee Decision of 2002 that recognizes international standards based on globally accepted development principles rather than the label they bear or their source and 2) helps to counter misperceptions encountered by ASTM in discussions with governmental standards authorities regarding U.S. policy on the issue.
Corporate Outreach In the year since the board approved the ASTM organizational objective of promoting a greater corporate awareness regarding the importance of standards and the value of ASTM, staff has been engaged in 23 outreach meetings with corporate and trade association representatives. President James Thomas has personally led a dozen of the meetings in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Pa., Wilmington, Del., and Detroit, Mich.
State-Level Standards Policy Standards developing organizations and voluntary consensus standards would be more widely utilized in state regulations if states had a clear policy such as the federal-level National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, which encourages the use of voluntary consensus standards for regulatory purposes. To address this situation, ASTM continues to educate state policymakers and to propose model state legislation.
Congressional Legislation Summary Finally, Grove reported that there are several legislative proposals under active consideration that reference ASTM standards. Legislation that would offer states incentives to make ASTM pool safety, fencing, and latch standards mandatory has garnered much Congressional attention and seems likely to be enacted due to its bipartisanship. Other legislation that would make ASTM gas-can tampering and furniture tip-over standards enforceable by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has attracted large numbers of cosponsors, but no legislative activity has occurred.
Corporate Development and Communications
Drew Azzara, ASTM International vice president of corporate development, reported on ASTM International membership trends. The number of ASTM members, particularly those participating in technical committees, continues to grow. Notably, the number of ASTM’s non-U.S. members has increased by 42 percent since 2002. Azzara highlighted the factors that have helped increase membership, including promotional campaigns targeted to specific industry and business sectors, the creation of new technical committees and subcommittees, and the implementation of a member retention plan.
Barbara Schindler, ASTM director of Corporate Communications, reported to the board on that department’s activities. In 2007, ASTM International will launch the Year of the Student, a campaign to increase awareness of ASTM’s education outreach efforts. Components of the Year of the Student campaign include development of a logo, updates to the ASTM Campus Web site, creation of a Year of the Student micro site, and launch of the curriculum modules mentioned above.
In addition, the Corporate Communications department is overseeing an ASTM International paper competition to be launched in 2007, which will seek descriptions of the benefits of standardization to a corporation. Cash prizes will be awarded to papers that show cost savings, increased efficiency, and positive impacts on commerce and trade from the use of standards. Competition rules are being developed.
Appointment of 2007 Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee
Gregory Saunders, vice chair of the ASTM board, announced the appointment of Roger Stoller as the 2007 Finance and Audit Committee chair. Stoller, a 2004-2006 director on the board, is a distinguished research staff member in the metals and ceramics division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. He is active on ASTM Committees C26 on Nuclear Fuel Cycle and E10 on Nuclear Technology and Applications.
Technical Committee Operations
The following actions were taken by the board regarding technical committee operations.
Discharge of Committee E02 on Terminology The board approved a motion to discharge Committee E02 on Terminology on the grounds that the committee has been inactive for several years and because terminology is an issue that is handled by individual technical committees in a fashion that satisfies their unique terminology needs. Issues regarding terminology that require guidance or resolution may be handled through the Committee on Standards. Standards under the jurisdiction of Committee E02 will be withdrawn and offered as historical standards; the E02 Frank W. Reinhardt Award will become the responsibility of COS; and the technical advisory group to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 37 will be managed by ASTM’s staff manager of international coordination, who maintains several other independent TAGs.
Regulation Change At its fall 2005 meeting, the ASTM standing Committee on Technical Committee Operations editorially modified Section 5 on the “Termination of Committee or Subcommittee Official Votes” in the Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees. This change enabled staff to consolidate inactivity into one report issued shortly before the committee meeting. As a result, a new system is being implemented that improves notification of ballot inactivity for individual members and consolidates the review of inactive members and voters to committee leaders. A further enhancement to the voting reminder e-mail alerts has added language to second reminders specifically stating the obligation of voting members to return ballots and advising of the possibility of pending inactivity.
COTCO recommended to the board that, due to enhancements like these, Section 5 of the Regulations be revised to eliminate the “missed 2 ballot” notification. The board approved this recommendation.
Form and Style Manual Change At the request of the Committee on Standards, ASTM general counsel reviewed section F4 of the Form and Style for ASTM Standards on “Use of Trademarks and Specific Sources of Supply for Apparatus, Reagents, and Reference Materials in ASTM Standards” to ensure that it is consistent with board policy and the Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees. The following revisions to section F4 were proposed to the board as a result of this review:
1. Insertion of a new section F4.1 to clarify ASTM’s policy on certification and accreditation.
2. Reversal of the order of appearance of the Trademarks section with the Sources of Supply section for a more logical flow.
3. Removal of the word reference where used as an adjective in the term reference materials to expand this section to cover all materials not just reference materials.
4. Insertion of new language as section F4.2.2 to make trademark language consistent with Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees and board policy.
The board approved all of these changes.
Awards The board approved requests for Society recognition of the following awards:
• Committee B10 William J. Kroll Zirconium Medal Award, an award established in 1975 by the W. J. Kroll Institute for Extractive Metallurgy of the Colorado School of Mines, which recognizes outstanding achievement in the scientific, technological or commercial aspects of zirconium production and utilization, and encourages future efforts, studies and research. In 1982, ASTM Committee B10 on Reactive and Refractory Metals and Alloys became a co-sponsor with the Kroll Institute and in 2003, assumed full responsibility for the award’s funding and administration.
• Committee C12 J. Ivan Davison Memorial Award, a new award created to recognize an individual who has made exemplary technical, practical and/or administrative contributions to Committee C12 on Mortars and Grouts for Unit Masonry over a long and continuous period of time.
• Committee F04 Patrick G. Laing Award, which was established in 1974 by Committee F04 on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices to honor its members for exceptional service to the committee. //