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Laing and Spivak Receive ASTM’s W.T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award

Dr. Patrick G. Laing, emeritus clinical professor of Orthopaedics at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School and adjunct professor of Bioengineering at Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa., and Dr. Steven M. Spivak, professor emeritus and immediate past-chair of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md., will receive the 2001 William T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award. The award was established in 1987 in memory of the late William T. Cavanaugh, ASTM chief executive officer from 1970 until his death in 1985. The award is given to a person or persons of widely recognized eminence in the voluntary standards system.

Cited for outstanding and distinguished leadership in promoting national and international standards for surgical implants, Dr. Patrick G. Laing has a near record of almost 40 years of continuous ASTM work. Laing has been a member of ASTM Committee F04 on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices since 1962. He is among the pioneer researchers and clinicians whose efforts have led to the technological advancements that have been made in orthopaedic surgery, particularly for biocompatible materials and implant design. Laing has always recognized that standards are crucial to advancing orthopaedic work, and with his colleagues he has encouraged standards development so that competing companies could be held to science-based minimum requirements for materials and design. As a result of the ongoing F04 work, the committee’s standards are widely used by the global medical community.

An active participant in many F04 subcommittees, Laing is chairman of the 2001 Nominating Committee for F04 officers and the past-chairman of the Planning Subcommittee. He has led colleagues to be part of standards development activities. A former F04 chairman—a position he filled for six years—who helped mold the committee into the efficient group it is today, Laing has been recognized with an ASTM Award of Merit, an F04 Award of Merit, and an F04 Joseph Barr Award. In addition to F04, he is a member of ASTM Committee C28 on Advanced Ceramics.

Internationally, Laing has been a prime mover in the development of international standards to provide the greatest patient benefit. He is a member of the U.S. delegation to the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 150 on Surgical Implants, a group he helped form. He is also chairman of Subcommittee 1, Materials for Surgical Implants, of ISO/TC 150.

A graduate of Southampton University College, Southampton, U.K., and of London University, Laing came to the United States following a period as resident surgeon at the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital at Lancaster, New Brunswick, Canada. He won a Cerebral Palsy Fellowship at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital and after its completion, took a position as assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. He served on the medical staff of a number of Pittsburgh health care institutions and he became clinical professor of orthopaedic surgery. He soon became affiliated with Carnegie-Mellon, a connection that continues today.

Throughout his career, Laing has studied and written about using implants in orthopaedic surgery and the effects of such implants on bone and the surrounding tissues. He is widely published with dozens of papers printed in refereed journals as well as presenter at numerous conferences.

Laing is a senior fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, an emeritus member of the American Orthopaedic Association, an emeritus fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a life fellow of the American Fracture Association, a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, an emeritus fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and a member of the American Society for Biomaterials.

Dr. Steven M. Spivak has been on the faculty of the University of Maryland since 1970; he has been with the Department of Fire Protection Engineering since 1992. The prior 20 years he worked in textile fire research, fiber science, and polymer/chemical engineering. He has taken three sabbatical leaves involving standards work, one at the General Services Administration and two at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Spivak joined ASTM in 1969 as a regular member; he had previously been a student prize member as a textile-engineering student at Philadelphia University (formerly PCT&S). He earned a B.S. degree in textile engineering there, and later an M.S. in textiles from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in polymer and fiber science from the University of Manchester.

Throughout his career, Spivak has promoted standards education and standards development for consumer products and textiles, including fiber and textile labeling, care and maintenance, and performance and safety. A member of ASTM Committees D13 on Textiles and E05 on Fire Standards, Spivak has contributed widely to the development of national and especially international standards for consumer products/services. He has also worked tirelessly on standards education.

More than 20 years ago, Spivak introduced annual university courses on product standards and standardization, product safety and quality, with an emphasis on standardization and international trade. Along with this effort, he was influential in launching the ASTM Faculty Intern Program in the mid-1970s. He has been interviewed by SN on this topic.

These efforts related to standards education have also resulted in two books on voluntary standards and standardization. One is A Sourcebook on Standards Information: Education, Access, and Development, co-edited with Keith Winsell. This year has seen another major work published: Standardization Essentials: Principles and Practice, by the late F.C. Brenner and Spivak, and published by Marcel Dekker. Spivak has also had a series of articles on standards education published in SN.

A fellow of the Standards Engineering Society (SES), Spivak was awarded the Leo B. Moore Medal in 1997 by SES for “the highest achievement, extraordinary contribution and distinguished service in the field of standardization.” He has served as chairman of the Washington Section of SES and received the William J. Slattery Memorial Award for standards information from that section. He has chaired the SES Professional Education Committee, and currently serves on the SES Awards Committee.

At the American National Standards Institute, Spivak is completing a fourth term as a director. He has also served ANSI as vice chair of its Consumer Interest Council, and was chairman since inception in 1982 of the ANSI–Consumer Product Safety Commission coordinating committee and voluntary standards forum. In 1992 he received the ANSI George S. Wham Leadership Medal for contributions to national and international standardization. He is co-author of a chapter in the ANSI book, Standards Management: A Handbook for Profits. He is currently the ANSI/USA designee, along with Dr. Mark Hurwitz, to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ad hoc international committee on awareness and promotion of standards education.

From 1991 to 1995, Spivak served as chairman of the ISO Committee on Consumer Policy (ISO/ COPOLCO), reporting to the ISO General Assembly. He had previously headed the US/ANSI delegation to COPOLCO. During his time as chairman, COPOLCO urged voluntary international standards for environmental management—in this case, labeling and eco-friendly labels and claims on consumer products. There followed a special Strategic Advisory Group on Environment, leading to the establishment of a new ISO committee on environmental management systems. Another initiative was Spivak’s presentation to the ISO General Assembly about the enormous need for standards in the area of services and service industries. Spivak has been published widely on consumer standardization, education, and services in the ISO Bulletin.

In addition to all these activities, Spivak has served for several years on the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Consumer Advisory Council, and has been elected to Corporate Membership of UL. He maintains close ties with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and has represented the University of Maryland’s Fire Protection Engineering Department at NFPA meetings for the last several years. He is also active in committees of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers relating to post secondary education, student recruitment, training, and education seminars.

In addition to the books and articles mentioned, Spivak is author of more than 80 scientific-technical publications and some 200 other trade press articles on fiber and textile science, consumer product standards, standards education, and on standardization policy and practices. //

Copyright 2001, ASTM