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 September 2007
Standards in Education

Members Express Their Thoughts on ASTM and Standards in Q & A’s

Since 2005, ASTM International has been offering more and more information to university students and professors as part of its educational outreach effort. Q & A with Experts, an area in the Campus section of the ASTM Web site that features question and answer sessions with a variety of ASTM members from both academia and industry, as was created is part of that effort.

The purpose of the Q & A sections, Views from the Podium and Meet the Standards Setters, respectively, is to give students and others an inside look at ASTM members who are well-versed and actively involved in the development and use of standards on a regular basis. Questions posed to the featured members touch on the application of standards in daily work and the advantages of participation in standards development.

As hoped, the question and answer sessions have produced some very candid responses from our members. A selection of quotes from the Q & A’s are highlighted below. The full text can be found on the ASTM Web site.

The importance of standards in our everyday lives and the many benefits of participating in their development as an ASTM member is something we here at ASTM talk about often. But don’t just take it from us, take it from the people who live and breathe standards on a daily basis.

“ASTM standards are tools in your professional toolbox and have frequent application for those who know them. Start to know them a little, and let them start to work for you.”
-Rich Fields,
chairman, Committee D30 on Composite Materials

“Understanding standards opens a brand new world of knowledge and provides the opportunity to speak the same language that all people in your field speak.”
-Francisco Duncan,
Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices

“The primary reason why I have stayed involved for almost 20 years is that I have enjoyed and personally benefited from working with the many experts in various fields that are involved in ASTM. There has never been a meeting where I have not learned something important or been challenged to change the way I work or think.”
-Martyn Shorten,
chairman, Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities

“The biggest advantage to participating in the ASTM process is the free education that you get by working with a diverse group of individuals with a common goal – standardization of a product or test method.”
-Earl Ruth,
ASTM board of directors and member, Committee E28
on Mechanical Testing

“A student with an understanding of standards has a head start in working with and for suppliers, buyers, regulatory agents, the military and so on, who use standards to specify many materials and products.”
-Warren O. Haggard, Ph.D.,
Committee F04 on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices

“It is critical to participate in standards development if a company’s central focus is adherence. Only through participation can one fully comprehend not only the requirement but also an appreciation of the origin and background of that requirement.”
-Jim Seay,
vice chairman, Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices

“The community of technical experts that participate in the various ASTM committees is absolutely world class. The opportunity to interact and discuss technical issues with these experts on a continual basis is invaluable.”
-Markus Heinimann, Ph.D.,
Committee E08 on Fatigue and Fracture

“Students can learn the latest practices by being involved in standards and their development. It helps them to be engaged in a peer-review process to help the industry engage in a consensus-based standard development process which is not biased by either the government, suppliers or users for a given application.”
-S. Paul Singh, Ph.D.,
Committee D10 on Packaging

“Simply put, I have learned more about art materials from my ASTM colleagues over the past 25 years than I ever learned in school. The forum ASTM International provides is a terrific classroom.”
-Mark D. Gottsegen, M.F.A.,
Committees D01 on Paint and Related Coatings, Materials, and Applications and D06 on Paper and Paper Products

“Through being involved in standards development, you are always knowledgeable about state-of-the-art practice. In addition, you can help ensure that the most worthwhile standards are produced.”
-Kent von Maubeuge,
Committee D35 on Geosynthetics

“Participation helps ensure that the standards required for your industry are developed and maintained because ASTM standards are developed through a collaborative process. By encouraging participation and input from those in industry, academia, research and other interested parties, the ultimate product is better.”
-John Malmgreen,
Committees A05 on Metallic-Coated Iron and Steel Products, B02 on Nonferrous Metals and Alloys, E01 on Analytical Chemistry for Metals, Ores and Related Materials, and F40 on Declarable Substances in Materials

“It is standards that help to move innovations from laboratories into practical application. ... ASTM was one of the first private sector standards writing organizations to formally recognize U.S. Department of Defense adoption and to work actively with DoD offices to accommodate defense needs and to ensure adoption.”
-Greg Saunders,
ASTM chairman of the board and member, Committee F07 on Aerospace and Aircraft

“Standards form a technical language that is essential for new engineers to understand. Progressing for the first time into the work of engineering is much easier if you understand the language and landscape of the technical standards that shape your industry.”
-Steven M. Cramer, Ph.D.,
chairman, Committee D07 on Wood

“Exposing engineering students to the development and formation of standards greatly increases the speed with which they can adapt to workplace demands.”
-John K. Mahaney,
chairman, Committee A01 on Steel, Stainless Steel and Related Alloys, and member, Committees A05 on Metallic-Coated Iron and
Steel Products, E11 on Quality and Statistics and E28
on Mechanical Testing