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Status and a Grant for ANSI

Under an agreement reached by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the American National Standards Institute, and the Federal Communications Commission, NIST recognizes ANSI as a qualified accreditor of product certifiers that test radio transmitters, telephone hand sets, modems, and other equipment to determine whether they satisfy FCC regulatory standards.

To help streamline its approval process and to prevent delays that can slow the introduction of new products into the fast-changing telecommunications market, the FCC turned to NIST. Rather than set up a new program for accrediting certification bodies, NIST chose to rely on the existing product-testing infrastructure in the private sector. Although the FCC will continue to offer equipment testing during the transition to the new certification system, the commission anticipates that this arrangement will permit them to devote more resources to market surveillance through random product testing. ANSI’s recognition by NIST to perform this service is valid through May 2002. It can be renewed, subsequent to formal NIST review.

In other news, NIST has officially approved a grant of $500,000 to ANSI to further the U.S. interests in areas of international standardization and conformity assessment. ANSI will apply the grant funds toward payment of ISO and IEC dues. While this grant was under consideration by Congress, Congressional staff made it clear that under no circumstances are any of the grant funds to be used to support any sector, standards developers, or standardization efforts.

This news item comes from the “ANSI Insider,” an e-mail publication for ANSI members. For more information on the American National Standards Institute or the “Insider,” contact Jane Schweiker (202/331-3610).

Volunteer for the Future of Engineering

National Engineers Week is looking for volunteers to become mentors in the National Engineers Week Future City Competition. Mentors guide teams of students and teachers through the intricacies of making a town tick in this competition, which has been held around the United States since 1993. Contact: Carol Rieg, National Coordinator (301/977-6582).

Geosynthetics Websource is a new free, online, interactive, geosynthetics technical information resource. Included on the site are abstracts, standards, technical documents (including complete CQA plans), international specifications, geosynthetics news, a calendar of geosynthetics related events, and more. Slated for addition to the site are geosynthetics related software downloads, an industry directory, book purchasing, and video and audio streaming.

CSA Introduces New Certification Markings

New certification markings recently introduced by CSA International (the Canadian Standards Association) will provide an alternative to the existing CSA markings used for products certified for use in the U.S. market that currently bear the NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory) or NRTL/C designation. This change supports a marking scheme that is clear and easy to understand, and emphasizes CSA International’s ability to serve the U.S. market, according to CSA International. The markings indicate compliance with applicable U.S. standards, or both U.S. and Canadian standards. Use of the new markings is not mandatory. In Canada, call 800/463-6267; in the United States, call Mary Beth Sonneborn at 216/524-4990.

Get Savvy (dot-com, that is)

IHS Engineering has developed a new online technical destination site, IHS built from the ashes of, which was one of the first B2B e-commerce sites that brought buyers and sellers together. TechSavvy has transitioned from a community site that put content on the Web as a business service, to a destination site for engineers researching parts, standards, and engineering documents. The site offers six sections: Parts (information on more than 90,000,000 individual parts), Standards (information from more than 450 of the world’s leading standards developers), Historical (obsolete or hard-to-find technical data), Company Directory (listings of 800 business centers with links to company catalogs and Web sites), and World Wide Web (sorting and cataloging of Web sites that contain only technical or business-related information).


The 15th National Educators’ Workshop will be held at the National Composite Center in Kettering, Ohio, Oct. 29-Nov. 1. The theme of this year’s workshop is “Automotive, Aerospace, and Infrastructure Materials into the Future.” Approximately 40 peer reviewed experiments and activities will be demonstrated, that cover a full range of concepts in materials science, engineering, and technology. Contact: Jim Jacobs, NEW:Update 2000, School of Science and Technology, Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA 23504-8060 (757/823-8109; fax: 757/823-8215).

Awards for Fastener Experts

The Industrial Fasteners Institute (IFI) has inaugurated an annual awards program to recognize individuals who have contributed significantly to the fastener manufacturing industry. Contributions shall have advanced the stature, technology, and/or application engineering of fasteners/formed parts. Candidates may be fastener company representatives, suppliers, end users, government, academia, etc. There are three award categories: Technology Award, Meritorious Service Award, and Leadership Award. Nominations should be completed prior to Sept. 1. Contact: IFI, 1717 E. Ninth St., Ste. 1105, Cleveland, OH 44114-2879, Attn: IFI Awards Committee (216/241-1482; fax: 216/241-5901).

Pan European Conference for Protective Coatings

PCE 2001, the annual pan-European conference and trade fair for protecting industrial and marine structures with coatings, will be held March 27-29, 2001, at the Bouwcentrum in Antwerp, Belgium. PCE 2001 is expected to include a dual track conference focusing on marine and protective coatings for specific industries, a three-day trade fair of products and services for the protection of large steel and concrete structures, and half-day workshops in basic coatings education. Contact: PCE U.S. Office, 2100 Wharton St., Ste. 310, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (412/431-8300; fax: 412/431-5428); or PCE U.K. Office, Ste. 57, Westmead House, 123, Westmead Rd., Sutton, Surrey, SM1 4JH, UK (0/20/8288-0077).

Playing It Safe

The American Sports Products Group, Inc., is spearheading a national public awareness campaign titled “Play Within the Safety Zone.” The campaign is designed to raise awareness of the importance of annual football field testing to aid in the minimization of injuries, particularly life-threatening, to high school and college athletes. The campaign urges institutions to test their football field surfaces yearly to ASTM Standards F 355, Test Method for Shock-Absorbing Properties of Playing Surface Systems and Materials, and F 1936, Specification for Shock-Absorbing Properties of North American Football Field Playing Systems as Measured in the Field, both developed by technical Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities. //

Copyright 2000, ASTM