Professor's Advisory

    Richard Klingner, Ph.D.
    University of Texas at Austin
    Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

    "I incorporate ASTM standards into my masonry course because it is vital that students know how to specify masonry properly using ASTM specifications."

    At what university and in what department do you teach?
    I'm a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin, in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering.

    What is the nature of the courses you teach?
    I teach courses in the behavior and design of building structures. Those courses include structural behavior, architectural function, and energy efficiency.

    What year did you join ASTM International? In which committees are you active? Are you a committee officer?
    I joined ASTM in 1988. Since then, I have been active on Committee C12 on Mortars and Grouts for Unit Masonry and C15 on Manufactured Masonry Units. I am also involved with Committee E06 on Performance of Building Construction. I have been chair of Subcommittee C15.04 on Research, and am now chair of Subcommittee C15.10 on Autoclaved Concrete Masonry Units. I have also chaired several task groups.

    What are some advantages of your participation in standards development?
    Participation by academics in ASTM standards development benefits the academics, and it also benefits ASTM International. It benefits academics by keeping them up-to-date on the standards governing materials and methods of test that are relevant to their courses and their research. It benefits ASTM International by bringing individuals with a "General Interest" affiliation who have specialized technical knowledge in areas of committee interest, plus skills in writing.

    Do you incorporate standards, ASTM or otherwise, into your curriculum? If so, what types? How are they implemented (case studies, research, other)? What is the value of doing so?
    I incorporate ASTM standards into my masonry course because it is vital that students know how to specify masonry properly using ASTM specifications.

    Have you worked in industry, either past or currently? If so, in what capacity? What role did standards play in this experience?
    I have worked in consulting structural engineering offices, but standards in general, and ASTM standards in particular, did not play a significant role in that experience.

    Have you been involved in research, either past or presently? If so, in what capacity? What role did standards play in this research?
    My work involves extensive research and ASTM standards are an absolutely essential aspect of that. Basic material tests must be conducted, and the results reported, according to the appropriate standards.

    What advantages do you see for students to have an understanding of standards and their development?
    It is advantageous for students to have an understanding of standards and their development for several reasons. First, they need to know what the role of testing and material standards is in our building code environment. Second, they need to know how to use the standards that are relevant to their professional responsibilities. Third, they need to understand how standards are developed and maintained so that they will be able to participate in that process if they wish.

    In your view, should a familiarity with standards be required for graduate-level education, particularly in engineering, law and business disciplines? Would this assist in gaining professional success?
    I believe that familiarity with applicable ASTM standards is part of an undergraduate as well as a graduate student's responsibility in engineering. I do not know if it would assist in gaining professional success, but it would help ensure the quality of work performed.

    2006