||Iraqi Construction and Housing Delegation Meets with Standards Roundtable
A four-member delegation from the Iraqi Ministry of Construction and Housing met with representatives of various international standards organizations at a roundtable discussion hosted by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers on Oct. 18, 2004, in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the meeting was to give the Iraqis the opportunity to meet with members of other standards organizations and explore how the organizations could aid reconstruction efforts in Iraq. While attending the discussion, the delegation presented a 10-year plan for the reconstruction of roads and bridges in Iraq.
Jim Olshefsky, director of committee services, represented ASTM International at the discussion, which was attended by Iraqi officials, Basil B. Ghazala, director general, National Center for Engineering Consultancy; Taha Y. Al-Kabbi, director of soil investigation, National Center for Construction Labs and Research; Issam Hamid Nashat, general manager, National Center for Construction Labs and Research; and Mustafa Abdul Rahman Mustafa, director general, State Corporation for Roads and Bridges. Many organizations were represented, including ASHRAE, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American National Standards Institute, and ASTM International.
Members of the Iraqi delegation said that they were quite familiar with the standards published by organizations represented at the roundtable, but that, due to sanctions against Iraq, they had been working with outdated standards (dating as far back as the late 1980s). Many of these standards had been destroyed during the recent conflict in Iraq. Delegation members spoke of the need for hard copies of standards in Iraq, since electricity is still difficult to find and CDs dont always work well in the sandy environment.
Reconstruction of roads and bridges is the highest priority for the Iraqi Ministry, but delegation members also noted that railroad lines need to be repaired, that lab equipment has been lost and that the Tigris River needs to be dredged to better facilitate water transportation. As a result of the meeting, ASTM International has donated a set of over 2,000 ASTM construction standards to the Iraqi Ministry of Construction and Housing for the reconstruction efforts. //
ASTM International Presents First Arabic-Language Training Course in Qatar
Three ASTM International petroleum training courses were given in Middle Eastern countries in 2004. The courses were given by Ubaidallah Alghamdi, president, Arabian Fuels Technology Center, a division of U.S. Alghamdi Consulting Engineering Office, Saudi Arabia. Alghamdi, a member of ASTMs Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants, has been involved in petroleum product manufacturing, distribution, engineering and technical support services for over 30 years.
||Attendees at the jet fuels training course held in Qatar in October 2004.
While an English-language version of the course was given in Bahrain in September 2004, an Arabic version was offered in Qatar the following month. The session in Qatar marked the first time an ASTM training program was taught in a language other than English, followed by a Spanish-language Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Class that was taught in Peru in November 2004.
Alghamdi feels that the courses, which also included a session in Dubai, were a success. I am sure that with ASTM Internationals continued support, we can do more to strengthen the strategic relationship between our organizations to help and support the professional community at large in the Middle East, says Alghamdi. Alghamdi also noted that he has received inquiries about the courses from companies in several other countries, including Pakistan and India.
ASTM International entered into an agreement with Alghamdi in August 2003 to bring training courses to the Middle East through the Arabian Fuels Technology Center. //
ASTM Is Represented at Biodegradable Polymers and Plastics Conference in China
Ramani Narayan, ASTM International board member, and Todd Sandler, manager, international coordination, ASTM, journeyed to Chengdu, China, to attend the First International Conference on Technology and Application of Biodegradable Polymers and Plastics in October 2004. Sandler presented an overview of ASTM International, with a special emphasis on ASTM Committee D20 on Plastics and Subcommittee D20.96 on Biodegradable Plastics and Biobased Products. Narayan, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, Michigan State University, gave a presentation on the environmental impact of biodegradable plastics.
||Weng Yunxuan (left), organizer of the conference, meets with Ramani Narayan (center), ASTM board member, and Todd Sandler, manager, international coordination, ASTM.
The conference was organized by the China Plastic Processing Industry Association, the Biodegradable Materials Group of China, the Biodegradable Plastic Society of Japan, the National Standardization Technology Committee of Plastics and the National Center of Testing and Supervision for Quality of Plastics. Conference attendees included students from Sichuan University, as well as researchers and representatives of trade and standards development organizations. In addition to sessions presented by Sandler and Narayan, presentation topics included innovative technologies, products and application of biodegradable plastics. //
Spellerberg Replaces Retiring Pielert at CCRL
Peter Spellerberg has been selected to replace Jim Pielert, who is retiring as manager of the Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory (CCRL), a research associate program under the sponsorship of ASTM International. As manager, Spellerberg will be an employee of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and his responsibilities will include management of the AASHTO Materials Reference Laboratory (AMRL), located at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md. This management arrangement is based on a memorandum of agreement signed by ASTM and AASHTO in 1999.
Spellerberg has a bachelor of science degree from the University of Maryland and spent the first six years of his professional career with ASTM as a CCRL laboratory inspector. He then joined AASHTO, rising to the position of assistant manager of the AMRL. He has been an active participant in ASTM Committees D04 on Road and Paving Materials, D18 on Soil and Rock, and E36 on Conformity Assessment. He is a recent recipient of the A. Ivan Johnson Outstanding Achievement Award of Committee D18 for his contributions to the ASTM Institute for Standards Research Soil and Testing Program. He is currently on the Executive Committee of Committee D04 and is secretary of Committee E36.
||Pete Spellerberg, left, has replaced the retiring Jim Pielert as manager of the Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory.
CCRL, which has been based at NIST since 1929, operates laboratory inspection and proficiency sample programs that are used by more than 1,500 laboratories worldwide to improve the quality of testing of cement and concreting materials. //
National Standards Bodies of Indonesia, Zambia, and Nigeria Sign MOUs with ASTM International
||Dr. John Akanya, director general of the Standards Organization of Nigeria, and Jim Thomas, president of ASTM International, sign an MOU between the two standards organizations. The signing ceremony took place on Nov. 10, 2004, in Washington, D.C., during the semi-annual meeting of ASTM Committee E28 on Mechanical Testing. The MOU is the 32nd to be signed between ASTM International and a national standards body.
The National Standardization Agency of the Republic of Indonesia, the Standards Organization of Nigeria, and the Zambia Bureau of Standards are the latest national standards organizations to sign memorandums of understanding with ASTM International. ASTM has now signed MOUs with 32 national standards bodies worldwide. The purpose of the MOU is to promote communication between ASTM and the signatories; promote knowledge of each others standards development activities; facilitate greater worldwide participation in the ASTM standards development process; and facilitate the development of national standards that will aid each countrys, health, safety, environmental, and economic conditions. //