ASTM Staff Meet with Research Director at Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey
ASTM International staff met with Julio E. Rubio, director of research and post graduate studies at the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, during a recent visit to Mexico City, Mexico. The meeting was part of ASTM’s ongoing academic outreach efforts to inform professors about the tools and resources available to support standardization education. Tec de Monterrey is one of the largest private, nonsectarian and coeducational multi-campus universities in Latin America, with more than 91,000 students at the high school, undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Possibilities for future cooperation include lectures on standardization, technical presentations to engineering students and information sessions for professors.
Members of the ASTM International staff met on May 19th with delegates from the Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development and the Pakistan Ministry of Commerce. The ASTM standards developing process and market access through the use of standards were discussed during the meeting.
ASTM International Visits Washington University During April Committee Week
Several hundred students were introduced to ASTM International and the resources available to them when ASTM staff visited the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. on April 21. Staff Manager Kathleen McClung participated in the College of Engineering’s “Cheap Lunch,” which is a unique event designed to connect with engineering students during their lunch break.
During the event, flyers were distributed about ASTM’s free student membership, scholarships and project grant programs. The group also had the chance to view ASTM’s new student member video.
Learn more about ASTM International academic outreach activities.
ASTM Conducts Workshop in Collaboration with Korean Standards Organizations
ASTM Chairman Roger Stoller Speaks at Event in Seoul
ASTM International, in collaboration with the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards and the Korean Standards Association, conducted a Standardization Workshop on April 16 at the COEX Conference Center in Seoul, South Korea. KATS and ASTM International have been partners through a memorandum of understanding since May 2006. Together, KATS and KSA have been very strong supporters of Korean industry participation in ASTM technical committee work. The workshop was another positive step in the developing relationship between ASTM International and KATS.
The full-day workshop consisted of a plenary session and two industry sector breakout sessions. Yoon Jong-Ku, Ph.D., director, International Standards Cooperation Division, opened the workshop on behalf of KATS. As opening speaker, KSA President Choi Kap-Hong conveyed the strategic value of standards in general and ASTM standards in particular relative to competitiveness and corporate strategy. He noted that standards are tools that assist organizations in accomplishing strategic objectives in today’s global marketplace, which consists of diverse languages, cultures, institutions and environments.
Teresa J. Cendrowska, vice president of global cooperation, ASTM International, spoke about the ASTM–KATS partnership, how ASTM standards might contribute to KATS’ 3S strategic program and the opportunity for additional collaboration.
Other KATS and ASTM speakers addressed three industry sectors. Among them, Kim You-Kyum, Ph.D., of the FITI Testing and Research Institute, introduced the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act regulation and its importance to Korean domestic industries, particularly in the area of textiles. Andrew Farhat of Intertek, Arlington Heights, Ill., addressed the mutual relationship between CPSIA and ASTM International standards.
The afternoon’s two breakout sessions addressed the civil nuclear energy sector and the steel sector. Representing ASTM International in the nuclear sector was Roger Stoller, Ph.D., Oak Ridge National Laboratories, and current chairman of the ASTM International board of directors. His topic was the current status and technical perspective of ASTM’s nuclear energy standardization. Among several other speakers, Jung Yeon-Ki of the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety addressed the referencing of ASTM standards for regulations of the Korean nuclear energy industry.
Consultant John Mahaney, Ph.D., immediate past chairman of Committee A01 on Steel, Stainless Steel and Related Alloys, spoke about standardization activities of and technical trends in the ASTM steel committee. Another of the steel sector speakers, Korean ASTM member Choi Min-Seok of the Pohang Iron and Steel Company (POSCO), addressed POSCO’s best practice for facilitating revisions to ASTM standards.
Grenada, Vietnam and the Gulf Cooperation Council Mark MOU Success in Annual Reports
The national standards bodies of Grenada and Vietnam, as well as the Gulf Cooperation Council, have provided annual reports that indicate the continued success of their memorandums of understanding with ASTM International. Reports are supplied each year by the 69 national standards bodies that have MOUs with ASTM International.
Established by Standards Act No. 6 in 1989, the Grenada Bureau of Standards (GDBS) is a corporate body within the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Industry that oversees national standards, provides for the testing and calibration of precision instruments, encourages standardization in commerce and trade, and offers standards-related consultation services to government and industry.
GDBS signed an MOU with ASTM International in 2008. Since then, GDBS has referenced 47 ASTM standards in the development of Grenada national standards. Most of the standards come from ASTM Committees C01 on Cement and C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates and are used in the construction sector. GDBS currently oversees 139 national standards, with 24 of those standards used
“The Grenada Bureau of Standards has successfully implemented programs to improve the quality of materials used in construction in Grenada, and the success of these programs mainly depends on the bureau’s ability to test the various materials used in this sector,” says L. Simeon Collins, director, GDBS. “The use of ASTM International standards and test methods has provided the confidence and reliability in the results produced by the bureau’s material testing laboratory and, in turn, has generated great success in the bureau’s programs. GDBS will continue to develop programs in other areas with the help of standards from ASTM International.”
In 2009, STAMEQ, the national standards body of Vietnam, continued the successful partnership with ASTM International that began with the signing of an MOU in 2004.
STAMEQ has been known as the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality under the the Ministry of Science and Technology (formerly the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment) since 1995. STAMEQ oversees the country’s management of standardization, metrology and quality as well as representing Vietnam in international and standardization organizations such as ASTM.
In the years since the MOU between ASTM and STAMEQ was signed, STAMEQ has adapted, adopted or referenced more than 2,000 ASTM International standards for petroleum, aviation fuels, gasoline, road construction, paint, metals, rubber, roofing materials, coal and more. Forty ASTM standards covering various sectors were consulted in the development of Vietnam national standards in the last year alone. Through the MOU, ASTM International members and staff have had the opportunity to exchange information and conduct technical training courses through meetings both at ASTM and STAMEQ headquarters. In 2010, a representative from STAMEQ, Mr. Nguyen Van Khoi, participated in ASTM’s Standards Expert Program, an intensive one-month training program at ASTM headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa., that is offered as part of the ASTM MOU program.
Gulf Cooperation Council
The partnership between the Standardization Organization of the Gulf Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GSO) and ASTM International that began with the MOU signing in 2006 continues to be strong.
GSO prepares, approves and publishes Gulf Cooperation Council standards for goods and products, and works with the standardization organizations in member states to develop their production and service sectors; promote intra-GCC trade; protect consumer, environmental and public health; and encourage GCC agricultural products and industry. The six members of GSO are Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Fifty-six ASTM International standards were adopted as GSO standards in 2009. GSO has also taken part in various training sessions offered by ASTM International to MOU members, including programs on cement and concrete, paint standards, amusement park safety and tire standards. In November 2009, ASTM staff traveled to Dubai to participate in the Open Forum on the International Best Practices for Standardization, which was sponsored by GSO.
“Adoption of ASTM International standards and the harmonization of ASTM and GSO standards boost trade between the GCC states and the United States,” says Dr. Anwar Al-Abdullah, secretary general of GSO.
The ASTM Memorandum of Understanding Program
Initiated in 2001, ASTM International’s MOU program promotes communication between ASTM International and national standards bodies worldwide, fostering awareness of the standardization systems of all parties involved. The purpose of the program is to increase greater worldwide participation in the ASTM standards development process and facilitate the development of national standards that will aid health, safety, and environmental and economic conditions. More information on the MOU program can be found on the ASTM International website.
ASTM and COMCE Co-Host Paint and Plastics Meeting in Mexico City
Accessing Markets Through Standards Is a Focus of Event
On April 28, ASTM International partnered with the Consejo Empresarial Mexicano de Comercio Exterior (COMCE) to host a breakfast meeting with approximately 40 industry experts, mostly from the paint and plastics sectors, in Mexico City, Mexico. Two ASTM members from Mexico joined staff to speak about how participation in standards development can improve Mexican competitiveness with its trading partners in the United States and elsewhere.
Rafael López, manager, ADS Mexico, and an active member of ASTM Committee F17 on Plastic Piping Systems, presented information on standardization in the plastic pipe industry. Federico López, director, Euclid Chemical, spoke about Euclid’s success in working to develop a new standard within ASTM Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates that has helped improve his company’s ability to market a new product. In addition, James Olshefsky, ASTM director of external relations, spoke to the group about accessing markets, and Luis Ordonez from ASTM’s Mexico City office discussed standards in the paint industry.
The meeting was another opportunity to raise awareness about how standards can influence trade and benefit companies that are positioned to participate in their development.