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News of the ASTM International Board of Directors

ASTM International’s board of directors last met April 28-30 at ASTM International headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. 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).

Nominating Committee

The ASTM International board approved the 2014 Nominating Committee, which is charged with selecting the slate of candidates for the 2015 board. The committee is composed of the three most recent past chairs of the ASTM board and six other individuals. The following people are serving:

  • Josiah Beakley, American Concrete Pipe Association, Irving, Texas;
  • Mark Carlos, MISTRAS Group Inc., Princeton Junction, New Jersey;
  • David Kretschmann, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin;
  • Mary C. McKiel, The McKiel Group, Arnold, Maryland (past chairman of the board);
  • Rod McMillan, Synthes USA, West Chester, Pennsylvania;
  • Catherine H. Pilarz, Fisher-Price, East Aurora, New York (past chairman of the board);
  • Jerry Shick, ArcelorMittal Steel, Coatesville, Pennsylvania;
  • Steven Westbrook, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas; and
  • Kenneth F. Yarosh, Dow Corning Corp., Midland, Michigan (past chairman of the board).

New Business Development

Brian Meincke, assistant vice president of business development, reported on new standards-related activities; memorandum of understanding agreements; new programs, products and services; and relationship building initiatives.

Meincke described organizational meetings that resulted in the formation of two ASTM technical committees, both of which have since been approved by the board. The formation of new ASTM Committee F45 on Driverless Automatic Guided Industrial Vehicles was approved later in this board meeting; the group is responsible for standards for driverless vehicles used in a variety of environments in a range of industries from automotive to warehouse and distribution. ASTM Committee E62 on Industrial Biotechnology was approved by the board later in the spring and is embarking on a program of standards development for industrial biotechnology from raw materials to end use products. Learn more about this new committee.

The ASTM Smart Manufacturing Advisory Committee, a public-private partnership co-chaired by representatives of the Boeing Co. and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, will provide a cross-committee forum to engender collaboration in developing innovative production systems across industrial sectors.

Meincke reported that several other potential partnerships with stakeholders are being explored that may result in industry solutions from standards development to certification, training and more.

Meincke and Jeffrey Grove, ASTM vice president for global policy and industry affairs, also reported on a new branding initiative being undertaken by ASTM staff, which will help the organization better convey its principles, areas of service, and value to business and industry. ASTM’s new brand identity will be unveiled in the fall; see the upcoming November/December issue of SN for more information and a new look.

Global Policy and Industry Affairs

Grove reported that, in support of ASTM’s mission and strategic objectives, the ASTM office located in Washington, D.C., is engaged in a number of activities involving federal legislation and regulations, international trade and standards cooperation issues, and corporate outreach to industry and trade associations.

Part of the work of Grove’s division is monitoring revisions to the White House Office of Management and Budget’s Circular A-119, “Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities.” The proposed changes, out for public review and comment at the time of the board meeting, focus on numerous topics of interest to ASTM and the standardization community, including the use of voluntary consensus standards in federal regulations, incorporation by reference and intellectual property rights, government participation in standards development activities, international conformity assessment schemes, and regulatory cooperation, and the role of the Interagency Committee on Standards Policy, among other issues. ASTM submitted its comments on the proposed revision to OMB in May.

ASTM Global Offices and Global Outreach

The board heard reports on the activities of ASTM’s offices in Brussels, Belgium; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Beijing, China, and Mexico City, Mexico.

From its office in Brussels, ASTM continues to engage in a number of outreach activities to raise greater awareness with the European Commission, business and trade associations, and other European stakeholders. Some of the key recent activities of the ASTM Office of EU Affairs in Brussels include introducing ASTM to new stakeholders and fostering already existing relationships.

Sara Gobbi, director of the EU affairs, has been monitoring new and developing European policies in different industrial sectors. For example, the work of ASTM International in relation to plastics recycling processes was introduced to the Environment Directorate General, which confirmed that they will take ASTM work into consideration as they move forward with the follow-up to the Green Paper and Consultation on Plastic Waste. On nuclear and uranium measurement standards, the ASTM Brussels office initiated a collaborative exchange and dialogue with the European Commission and the Joint Research Center, aimed at exploring avenues of cooperation and possible joint development of standards. The JRC has confirmed their willingness to work together.

In constant and close coordination with ASTM’s global headquarters and Washington, D.C., office, ASTM’s Brussels office has been involved in and provided input to the current discussions concerning the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in which standards and regulatory convergence have emerged as key objectives.

Diane Thompson, director of ASTM’s Canadian office, reported on outreach meetings held with various stakeholders in Canada; efforts to develop a strategic plan for ASTM in Canada; ongoing discussions with Health Canada about developing a Canadian National Standard for toys based on ASTM F963, Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety; and her participation in the 48th meeting of the Standards Council of Canada’s Standards Development Organizations Advisory Committee.

Teresa Cendrowska, vice president of global cooperation, reported on the activities of the ASTM office in China, which included coordination with ASTM technical committees, such as F40 on Declarable Substances in Materials, to engage Chinese business, government and trade associations in ASTM standards development and use. The office also regularly engages in training and outreach, and has been monitoring development of the Chinese standardization and certification policy, which aims to restructure the current quasi-governmental testing and certification bodies in China into corporate entities by 2015.

In Mexico, ASTM maintains its cooperation with the Alliance for Training and Research Infrastructure for the Development of Mexico (Alliance FiiDEM) to cooperate in knowledge sharing about ASTM International in Latin America. In March, ASTM representatives in Mexico worked with FiiDEM to host a workshop on Evaluation Criteria and Behavior of Nonstructural Elements in Buildings During an Earthquake in Mexico City; approximately 200 engineers and technicians attended the event.

In addition to her reports on China and Mexico, Cendrowska also described a range of activities undertaken by her Global Cooperation division. The ASTM Memorandum of Understanding program is vibrant, with 86 MOUs signed to date with regional and national standards bodies in developing areas. The programs for standards experts and attached staff are attracting professionals from MOU signatory organizations to work at ASTM International headquarters for a period of weeks or months to explore aspects of the ASTM and international standards development systems. A Technical Visitor Grant program is being offered as well in 2014, which is a competitive program intended to benefit a technical expert from an MOU signatory, who will be exposed to standards-related information and activities in a given sector within ASTM’s scope of work.

Corporate Communications

Barbara Schindler, director of ASTM corporate communications, reported on the recent deliverables from that department, including the 2013 annual report, entitled Leadership, which provides examples of ASTM’s leadership in standards development, health and safety, sustainability and global markets, in addition to financials. Also noted were the 2014 print edition of the Chinese-language version of SN; a large overview on ASTM’s activities in promoting water safety published in commemoration of the United Nations World Water Day in March; and publicity work on behalf of the 2014 academic campaign, Focus on Academic Research. Schindler also reported on ASTM’s local charitable giving to nonprofit organizations such as the Riverbend Environmental Education Center.

Certification Programs

Timothy Brooke, vice president of certification, training and proficiency testing, reported on highlights from his division, including the government’s reauthorization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Voluntary Biobased Product Labeling Program involving ASTM’s certification program for biobased products, ASTM’s recent personnel certification programs partnership with the National Center for Aerospace and Transportation Technologies, and ASTM’s first published product category rule for single-ply roofing membranes.

Technical Committee Operations

The board approved the following actions with regard to the Technical Committee Operations division:

  • The establishment of new main Committee F45 on Driverless Automatic Guided Industrial Vehicles, described above;
  • The addition of a new Mercury Caveat in Section F2.6 in Form and Style for ASTM Standards section on Caveats and Other Legal Aspects in Standards; and
  • Society recognition of the John N. Balough Distinguished Service Award in Committee F11 on Vacuum Cleaners.

Academic Outreach

James Olshefsky, ASTM director of external relations, reported on ASTM’s ongoing initiatives to reach out to academia in order to expose students to the concepts of standardization. He described how a cross-divisional task group of ASTM staff has been studying ways to prepare tomorrow’s workforce for employment.

Other academic initiatives include a new student paper competition, ongoing project grants for students utilizing ASTM standards in design projects, participation in the WISE (Washington Internships for Students of Engineering) program, and graduate scholarships for high achieving graduate students demonstrating strong levels of interest or involvement with ASTM standards.

William T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award

The board unanimously approved Salvatore J. Rand and Andreas Wolf as recipients of this year’s William T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award.

The Cavanaugh 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 William 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 to 1985.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.