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Workshop Reaches Out to Engineering Educators to Promote Standards Knowledge

Recent studies in the United States and Europe have revealed a lack of support related to standardization as study matter in higher education, and indicated that standards training and education is most often seen as a professional activity. As part of a collective goal within the standards community to promote the integration of standards and conformity assessment in university curricula, the American National Standards Institute is co-sponsoring a faculty workshop for the American Society for Engineering Education to be held in conjunction with the ASEE Fall Regional Conference. The workshop, “Incorporating Standards into Capstone Design Courses,” will be held at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 22. Co-sponsored by ANSI, the Catholic University, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the workshop will bring together panelists from industry, government and academia to provide insight into the world of voluntary standards, and offer techniques for incorporating standards and conformity assessment-related topics in university curricula. Contact William Kelly, Catholic University (phone: 202/319-5514); or Pamela Suett, ANSI (phone: 212/642-4976).

Composites Symposium and Conference

The Center for Composite Materials is celebrating its 30th anniversary by honoring its founding director and ASTM member Jack Vinson with the Jack Vinson Symposium, to be held on July 6 at the University of Delaware Clayton Hall, Newark, Del., just before the Flow Processes in Composite Materials Conference, which will be held July 7-9 in the same location. Register here for the Vinson symposium online. Themes of the flow process conference include processing of nanocomposites, sensing and control of flow, thermoplastic processing, biodegradable and green processing, effect of processing on properties and durability of composites and more.

Safe Working Conditions in the Petroleum Industry

The National Fire Protection Association, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the American Petroleum Institute have announced an alliance to promote safe working conditions within the petroleum and petrochemical liquid storage industries. The alliance will focus on providing industry workers with training and guidance to ensure their safety and health. The focus of this activity will be safe tank entry, cleaning, maintenance, and rescue operations regarding petroleum and petrochemical liquid storage tanks. Alliance partners will encourage industry workers, many of whom are tank owners and operations supervisors, to take NFPA courses on safety and health standards, including confined-space safe practices, and then share that knowledge with fellow operators. The alliance will also coordinate best practices and lessons learned with others in the industry and publicize those results through individual training programs and materials.

Scholarships Available

The Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute Foundation is making scholarships available for the 2004-2005 academic year. The scholarships are intended to foster the development of practicing engineers in the field of site-cast reinforced concrete construction. CRSI plans to award scholarships in the amounts of $2,500 each to senior students who are majoring in civil engineering or architectural engineering; and $3,000 each to incoming graduate students (master’s degree program) in civil engineering, structural engineering, or architectural engineering. The deadline for receipt of applications is June 7. Contact: Lisa M. Kelly, CRSI, Schaumburg, Ill. (phone: 847/517-1200).

World’s Best “Rulers” Will Make Better Clocks

Lasers that emit pulses of light lasting just 10 femtoseconds (10 quadrillionths of a second) can reliably measure time and frequency more precisely than any other “rulers,” according to recent tests conducted at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The experiments demonstrated that femtosecond laser devices could be used to reproducibly generate and accurately control wavelengths of light to serve as the “gears” that translate ultra-high frequency “ticks” from next-generation optical atomic clocks into practical electronics-based timekeeping. Applications for ultra-precise timekeeping include navigation, telecommunications and basic scientific research. The devices are called “frequency combs” because a graph of the oscillating electromagnetic waves looks like the teeth of a hair comb. The experiments are the first to compare the operation of multiple femtosecond frequency combs —thereby demonstrating reproducibility — and to verify that both the starting position of a comb and the spacing between the teeth can be controlled precisely. //

Copyright 2004, ASTM International