News of the ASTM International
Board of Directors
ASTM International’s board of directors last met April 13-15, 2010, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Tokyo, Japan. The following is a summary of reports made and actions taken at those meetings.
For further details on any of the following topics, contact ASTM President James A. Thomas, ASTM, 100 Barr Harbor Dr., P.O. Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959 (phone: 610-832-9598).
The April 2010 board meeting took place in the context of four days of information-sharing events in Tokyo. As a starting point for its meetings, the board was honored to hear opening remarks by Mr. Hajime Sasaki, chairman of the Japanese Standards Association, who acknowledged the longstanding relationship between JSA and ASTM International, the wide use of ASTM standards in Japan, and Japanese industry’s recognition of the importance of international standards to marketplace acceptance. Sasaki also discussed the Japanese government’s commitment to tackling issues such as sustainability and product quality and emphasized that it is essential for ASTM International and JSA to support industry in these endeavors.
For more information about events surrounding the board meeting, see the article, “Building Cooperation with Japan.”
The Standards Expert Program, Technical Assistance and Alternative Training Programs, and special delegation visits and meetings highlighted the division report given by Teresa Cendrowska, vice president of global cooperation.
As of the April board meeting, ASTM International had memorandums of understanding with 69 national and regional organizations. Cendrowska reported that through the Standards Expert Program, conducted in concert with MOU partners, ASTM would host Mr. Nguyen Van Khoi, a senior official with the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality, Vietnam, and Percy Malatsi, standards writer in the Chemical and Mining Department of the South African Bureau of Standards, South Africa, from May 24 to June 18. The program includes detailed training about ASTM International, committee week meeting attendance and visits to organizations and agencies in and around Washington, D.C. In addition, the experts were to participate in a special project on country-specific membership promotion.
ASTM also offers training programs to its MOU partners. For 2010, program invitations have been accepted by Badan Standardisasi Nasional in Indonesia and Instituto Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia y de la Protección de la Propiedad Intelectual in Peru. In November 2009, ASTM conducted a two-week plastics-related program with India’s Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology. Proposals for similar programs are being considered by the national standards body of Qatar and for textile sector manufacturers in India.
The use of technology to communicate with national standards bodies, associations and individual experts continues to be a focus of the Global Cooperation division. Significant recent virtual sessions include meetings with Korean members about the ASTM standards process; a sustainability session conducted in Spanish with more than 30 participants; a virtual meeting for participants in Colombia about Committee D04 on Road and Paving Materials and a proposed D04 test method; and a virtual training session on Committee F09 on Tires and several F09 standards held in cooperation with the Standardization Organization for the Gulf Cooperation Council. In addition, the global cooperation section of the ASTM website has been updated with more information about the MOU program and activities of the division.
Liu Fei, ASTM’s chief representative in China, reported on ASTM International’s outreach efforts in that country, which include a visit by ASTM President James A. Thomas to business and MOU partners in China, a workshop on metal standards application held in Beijing, and ASTM’s co-sponsorship of the International Symposium on Environmental Technology and Standards in Beijing.
James Olshefsky, ASTM director of external relations, reported on academic outreach activities. As of March, ASTM International student members numbered 4,870, with 61 percent from outside the United States.
This is ASTM’s fourth year of sponsoring a student in the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering Program. During the 10-week internship in Washington, D.C., students research and present papers on topical engineering-related public policy issues that are important to their sponsoring societies.
The designated funds set aside to finance the ASTM International Graduate Scholarships have generated enough proceeds to support up to two $10,000 scholarships in 2010; the scholarships reward high achieving graduate students who have demonstrated high levels of interest in or involvement with ASTM standards.
This year, ASTM will offer up to three $500 mini-grants to assist university students in completing their graduate or senior capstone design projects; submitting the final paper or report for posting in the student area of the ASTM website is a requirement of the grant.
Standards on Campus, which provides professors and other instructors an inexpensive way to incorporate standards into their courses, provides student access to up to 10 ASTM International standards for $10. In 2009, 37 different classes used the program, and as of April 2010, 18 classes had been registered.
ASTM International members and staff continue to visit such institutions such as the University of Tennessee and area Japanese universities during the April board meeting. Plans were also under way to invite local engineering students to attend the spring committee weeks.
As part of her presentation, Barbara Schindler, director of ASTM Corporate Communications, debuted a new video on the value of ASTM membership. In addition, Schindler reported on projects in her department, including participation in an updated website design, completion of the 2009 annual report and preparation of the literature packets for the outreach meetings conducted as part of the board’s events in Tokyo.
Global Policy and Industry Affairs
Jeff Grove, ASTM vice president of global policy and industry affairs, reported on the activities of the ASTM International office in Washington, D.C.
ASTM International was one of 25 organizations that responded to a request by the U.S. House Committee on Science for input from industry and related stakeholders on the effectiveness of the U.S. standards system in promoting competitiveness and innovation.
The ASTM Washington, D.C., office is working with a U.S. House committee concerning provisions of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which requires that all toys meet the requirements of ASTM F963, Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety. Congress is interested in making the standard more widely available to small toy crafters and woodworking hobbyists.
ASTM staff members in Washington continue to provide information about standards work to various groups. At the invitation of ASTM stakeholders from the National Biodiesel Board, the Renewable Fuels Association, and the Archer Daniels Midland Co., ASTM staff members have recently helped to brief U.S. policymakers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agriculture Service, the State Department’s office on climate change, and the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office of Agricultural Affairs on global efforts to regulate biofuels and bioenergy by mandating certain sustainability-related criteria. Additional outreach work in the Washington, D.C., area includes meetings with industry representatives from such sectors as green buildings (BASF), renewable energies (Nuclear Energy Institute, Areva and the Southern Co.), and safety equipment (International Safety Equipment Association).
In Europe, ASTM International continues to work with the Brussels, Belgium, office of APCO Worldwide, a global public affairs firm, to raise awareness and support of ASTM in Europe among industry, policymakers and other targeted organizations. Grove reported on successes in this work, such as the 45 meetings held in 2009 with various interests in Europe and advocating for ASTM’s message across the continent. With changes coming to the European Union, including a new European Parliament and European Commission, and the EU’s emphasis on both climate action and energy, ASTM will continue to reach out through direct engagement, consultation proceedings and related efforts.
The board approved revisions to the ASTM intellectual property and logo policies, which can be found via a link on the ASTM home page. The revisions were primarily intended to address certification services in these two documents.
The board also approved additions to the Guidelines for Cooperation with Other Standards Organizations. The document now includes procedures for handling requests for the use of the ASTM logo on the documents of other standards organizations.
Technical Committee Operations
Katharine Morgan, vice president of technical committee operations, reported on activities in the technical committee operations division.
ASTM International is involved in “Tomorrow’s Codes and Standards Volunteer,” a research project initiated by the National Fire Protection Association designed to collect, review and analyze available information from codes and standards developers, participants and their employers to paint a picture of the needs of future volunteers (both international and domestic) who participate in U.S.-based codes and standards development. Study results will be presented at the World Standards Day event in September.
Morgan reviewed statistics and trends for the primary membership categories, and also summarized membership activity for five months of this year for U.S. and international government memberships. Morgan noted a slight increase in membership renewals via the website this year and said that staff is investigating ways to increase online membership renewals.
The board granted society recognition to a new award from Committee E35 on Pesticides and Alternative Control Agents. The award, the Committee E35 Chip Collins Memorial Award, honors Collins’ outstanding long-term service and commitment to the work of E35 and will be given for distinguished service to the committee by individual members.
William T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award
The board voted unanimously to honor Gregory E. Saunders of the U.S. Department of Defense with the 2009 William T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award. The Cavanaugh Memorial Award is granted to a person of widely recognized eminence in the voluntary standards system who may or may not be a member of ASTM International. The title of honorary member is bestowed on recipients of the award. Established in 1987, the award honors W. T. Cavanaugh, who firmly established ASTM International as the world leader in the development and dissemination of voluntary consensus standards during his service as chief executive officer from 1970 until his death in 1985.
The board approved the 2010 Nominating Committee, which is charged with selecting the 2011 slate of candidates for ASTM directors and officers. The committee is composed of the three past chairs of the ASTM board and six other individuals. The following people are serving on the 2010 Nominating Committee:
- Jack Brenizer, Pennsylvania State University;
- Jeffrey Goldfinger, L-3 Communications;
- Madelyn Harding, Sherwin-Williams Co.;
- Dennis Hollatz, Federated Insurance;
- Mark James, Alcoa;
- Richard Kayser, NIST, past chairman of the board;
- Eugene Palermo, Palermo Plastics Pipe Consulting;
- Gregory Saunders, Defense Standardization Program Office, past chairman of the board; and
- Paul Whitcraft, Rolled Alloys Inc., past chairman of the board.