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News of the ASTM Board
News of the ASTM Board

ASTM International’s Board of Directors last met April 8-10 in Mexico City. The following is a summary of the actions taken by the board at those meetings.

For further details on any of the following topics contact James A. Thomas, President, ASTM, 100 Barr Harbor Dr., PO Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959 (610/832-9598; jthomas@astm.org).

ASTM Business Plan

Board Chairman Richard Schulte presented an overview to the Board of the current ASTM Business Plan. He stated that ASTM International’s mission is to continue to be recognized as a world leader for the development and distribution of standards worldwide. Schulte cited the following four corporate initiatives, and provided examples of some of the specific programs the staff is working on in support of these initiatives:

1. Technology
• Electronic distribution of products

2. Globalization
• Outreach to National Standards Bodies around the world
• Cooperation with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

3. Corporate Development
• Increasing membership base
• Increasing international contribution to technical content

4. Communication
• Name change to ASTM International
• Translation of promotional materials into other languages

On recommendation of the Board, the chairman will report on these initiatives when he meets with Executive Committees at the upcoming Committee Weeks.

Executive Committee Report

Chairman Schulte reported on the response of ASTM’s committee chairs, with whom he met at the March Committee Week, to the Board’s negotiations with ISO. ASTM is seeking attribution and acknowledgement of its intellectual property when its standards are incorporated into ISO standards and is currently negotiating an agreement with ISO that would provide this. Schulte noted that the feedback from the chairs with whom he spoke indicates that the decision to submit ASTM standards to ISO as the basis of new work items should be dependent upon each individual committee’s strategic standards objective.

The Nominating Committee is charged with selecting the slate of candidates for the 2003 ASTM directors and officers. The committee is composed of the three past chairmen of the ASTM Board and six other individuals. The following people have been named to the 2002 Nominating Committee:

• Barbara J. Furches, Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich.;
• Russell D. Culp, L-M-R International, Dothan, Ala.;
• John J. Lentini, Applied Technical Services Inc., Marietta, Ga.;
• J. Michael Sollie, Transco Products Inc., Newnan, Ga.;
• John M. Stewart, Acordis Cellulosic Fibers Inc., Axis, Ala.;
• Paul K. Whitcraft, Rolled Alloys, Temperance, Mich.;
with the three past chairmen of the Board:
• Harvey P. Hack, Northrop Grumman Corp., Annapolis, Md.;
• Donald E. Marlowe, US FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Rockville, Md.; and
• James S. Pierce, Littleton, Colo.

Corporate Communications Report

This year, ASTM will produce some of its promotional pieces in other languages. Access ASTM International (the newsletter for ASTM’s global customers) is being published in Spanish and Japanese, and the educational booklet The Handbook of Standardization has already been translated into Chinese and Spanish, with more translations planned. Additionally, a news release announcing ASTM’s name change to ASTM International was developed and translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, and distributed across newswires in Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia.

Technical Committee Business

New Committee F36 on Technology and Underground Utilities

The Board unanimously voted to approve the formation of a new technical committee, F36 on Technology and Underground Utilities. The new committee’s goal is to create standards to make the installation of fiber optic cable in existing underground utilities practical and safe.

The problem the committee hopes to solve is this: Thousands of miles of fiber optic cable have been laid around the globe, and many urban building owners have placed fiber from rooftop to basement. But around the world, “the last mile,” the section of network that connects that basement to the metro area network surrounding the city, has yet to be bridged. Concern over the tremendous upheaval caused by the excavations necessary to bridge this communications gap has led to this impasse. The absence of local fiber broadband loops in the last mile impedes the optical Internet and is a slowdown in the telecommunications industry.

Today, we have the technology needed to robotically lay fiber-optic cable in existing underground utility pipes, reducing or even eliminating the need for road and pavement excavations in urban environments. The aim of ASTM Committee F36 is to create standards that will make the work practical and safe. The standards will cover sewer selection criteria, safety, access rights, construction, materials, operation, and maintenance.

The committee is comprised of a diverse range of stakeholders from various countries, including telecommunications companies, underground utility owners, regulators such as the Environmental Protection Agency, fiber optic cable manufacturers, members of the civil engineering community, and many other representatives from the public and private sectors as well as academia.
See the August 2002 issue of SN for feature articles on this new committee.

Other TCO Business

The Board voted to approve slight modifications to the scope of ASTM Committee D13 on Textiles for clarification purposes.

Prior to this meeting, at the request of the ASTM Board of Directors, staff investigated the basis for the current practice of requiring the Board to approve revisions to technical committee titles and scopes that were previously reviewed and approved by the Committee on Technical Committee Operations (COTCO). After examining the Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees, the ASTM Board Procedures, and the COTCO bylaws, staff could find no policy statement or regulation to support this practice. Following a discussion of the facts presented, the Board voted unanimously that COTCO be the sole entity responsible for the review and approval of revisions to technical committee titles and scopes.

The Board agreed to continue reviewing recommendations from COTCO on the formation of new committees, as well as the merger or discharge of existing committees in accordance with Section 3 of the Regulations.

Global Update

Vice President of Global Cooperation Kitty Kono reported that the objectives for ASTM’s global outreach are to expand the overall application and use of ASTM standards worldwide. Increasing global input into the development of ASTM standards, and expanding the accessibility of these standards to the global community are important components of accomplishing this goal.

Since the signing of the first memorandum of understanding with Colombia’s national standards body at the October 2001 Board meeting, eight other national standards bodies have signed MOUs with ASTM (Bosnia, Chile, Croatia, Ecuador, Jamaica, Romania, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay). The agreements are geared toward strengthening relationships between ASTM and signatories in developing countries and allowing ASTM to assist that country’s national standards body in their standards development and adoption efforts.

ASTM International senior staff have worked throughout the past year to increase outreach in other ways. Kono reported on a trip she and Jim Thomas made to Uruguay in November to sign an MOU with the Uruguayan Standards Organization, and spoke about Thomas’ trip to Bogotá, Colombia, where he gave a presentation about ASTM to a group of Colombian engineers.

ASTM’s International Headquarters has played host to many dignitaries from other countries’ standards and governmental organizations. Kono reported on the ASTM Open House held in late November 2001 for leaders of about 24 countries from Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada. In addition, a large delegation of standards representatives from seven countries in Eastern Europe visited ASTM in 2001 as part of a trip sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program.

Kono reported that in March, she visited the headquarters of the World Trade Organization in Geneva with Helen Delaney, ASTM standards consultant, and the Director of Trade Barriers in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Suzanne Troje. There they spoke with Vivien Liu, counselor of the WTO Trade and Environment Division, about standards and trade, and expressed willingness to provide standards-related technical assistance and training to developing countries worldwide.

Kono concluded her report by mentioning future global activities that include visits to the national standards bodies of Brazil and Argentina and plans for industry workshops in Tokyo, Japan, and Shanghai, China. (For news of some global outreach efforts conducted since this Board meeting, see International Scene.)

Welcome to the following new members of the Board, whose terms began this year:
• Vincent Diaz, Atlantic Thread and Supply Company, Baltimore, Md.;
• Terry S. Hawk, Dick Corporation, State College, Pa.;
• Robert L. Jordan, Online Computer Library Center, Dublin, Ohio;
• Rey G. Montemayor, Imperial Oil Ltd., Sarnia, Ont., Canada;
• John S. Snodgrass, Alcoa, Alcoa Center, Pa.; and
• Jon S. Traw, Traw Associates Consulting, Whittier, Calif.

Biographical material on Board members and information on upcoming Board meetings is published in the Board of Directors book, available by contacting Josephine Felizzi (fax: 610/832-9623). //

Copyright 2002, ASTM