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Meeting in Mexico City Opens Discussion on Use of International Standards in Mexico

ASTM was one of several U.S. standards development and code organizations, trade associations and testing laboratories invited to Mexico City for a meeting in November with COMENOR, the Mexican Council for Standardization and Conformity Assessment. The discussion with the U.S. representatives was part of COMENOR’s work with standards developers around the world in preparation for their development of a long-term standardization strategy for Mexico. Teresa Cendrowska, ASTM’s director of external relations, and Luis Ordonez, a member of ASTM’s board of directors and representative to Mexico, attended the meetings.

COMENOR’s intent is to understand the practical use of standards by Mexican industry and business so that the longterm national standards strategy effectively promotes the quality of Mexican products, goods and services for a global market. The strategy is intended to encourage participation in standardization by all links in the industrial supply chain and also to protect the rights of the Mexican consumer.

The meeting in November included representatives from several states in the United States, Underwriters Laboratories, the National Fire Protection Association, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, Intertek Testing Services, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, and ASTM. Cendrowska and Ordonez encouraged Mexico to change the definition of an “international standard” in the Mexican Metrology and Standards Law to comply with the principles noted in Annex 4 of the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement. According to Cendrowska, the meeting was an open exchange of ideas, wherein the Mexican hosts encouraged participants to describe potential solutions for problems encountered in the use of international standards, testing, certification, and so on.

Technical and Professional Training Program Reaches Out

Environmental Assessment Course Packaged for Distance Learning with MGI Management Institute

ASTM International’s Technical and Professional Training department recently worked in conjunction with MGI Management Institute, White Plains, N.Y., to create a new mode of delivery for ASTM’s standards training. MGI has formatted ASTM’s Property Condition Assessment Course, formerly only available in live training sessions, into a distance-learning program offered by MGI in Internet-based modules.

The Property Condition Assessment course is based on ASTM standard E 2018, Guide for Property Condition Assessments: Baseline Property Condition Assessment Process. According to the standard’s scope, the purpose of the guide is to define good commercial and customary practice in the United States for conducting a baseline property condition assessment of the improvements located on a parcel of commercial real estate by performing a walk-through survey and conducting research.

ASTM member Thomas W. Snyder, a registered architect with TWS Associates in Rockville, Md., who was instrumental in the development of E 2018 and chaired the task group that developed the original live course for ASTM, consulted with MGI on the distance learning project.

In several units based on ASTM’s original course, the distance-learning program covers an introduction to the standard, its uses and the protections provided to users, gathering information, the walk-through survey (parts one and two), case studies, opinions of probable costs to remedy physical conditions, and the property condition report.

Richard B. Garber, vice president of Victor O. Shinnerer and Company, an underwriting manager of professional liability lines based in Chevy Chase, Md., reviewed the course for MGI. “Special kudos are due the course’s author, Thomas W. Snyder,” Garber writes. “In addition to his content knowledge, Snyder brings to this task a clear, easy-to understand writing style that is engaging and accessible to a wide range of readers with varying levels of knowledge and interests. Both the organization and the content of the course have a practical orientation that leads students through the actual tasks required for a property condition assessment. Case studies and sample forms are invaluable aids in this process.”

Technical Training as Part of ASTM MOUs

The national standards bodies of 15 countries have signed memorandums of understanding with ASTM to date. One of the many provisions of the MOUs is the assurance that ASTM will, in conjunction with the national standards bodies, provide standards training to professionals in those countries.

During the week of Nov. 18, 2002, two such training programs came to fruition in Jamaica and Ecuador. In Jamaica, two ASTM TPT courses on ISO 14001, one for auditors and one for managers, were held in Kingston. Connie Ritzert, of Meredith EMC, Mars, Pa., and a former ASTM board member, taught the courses, which were cosponsored by the Jamaican Bureau of Standards. The program attracted some 40 students.

Salvatore Rand, Ph.D., a petroleum professional from Fort Myers, Fla., and second vice chairman of ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants, was the instructor for an ASTM TPT course on fuels technology, held in Quito, Ecuador. The course, co-sponsored and promoted by INEN, Ecuador’s national standards body, was tailored to the needs of the Ecuadoran and Peruvian petroleum community, with the addition of a half-day of instruction on the measurement of octanes. Forty-two students attended the course.

In both countries, plans are under way for follow-up classes.

Felipe Urresta (right), director-general of Ecuador's national standards body, INEN, poses with Salvatore Rand, who taught the ASTM Technical and Professional Training course on Fuels Technology to Ecuadoran and Peruvian professionals in Quito, Ecuador in November. INEN and ASTM co-sponsored the two and one half day educational event as part of the memorandum of understanding signed between the two organizations.

Agreement in Japan

ASTM has signed an agreement with the Geo-Environmental Technology Research Center in Japan, which already has an agreement with ASTM to translate and distribute the Phase I, Phase II, and Transaction Screen standards and its associated ASTM manual. The agreement authorizes them to conduct ASTM’s Phase I and Phase II environmental assessment training courses in Japan. //

Chinese-Language Version of ASTM Technical Dictionary

ASTM International has joined forces with the Shanghai Institute for Standardization (SIS) to co-publish a Chinese-language edition of the ASTM Dictionary of Engineering Science and Technology, 9th Edition. This edition contains all 22,000 standard definitions found in ASTM terminology standards. Many of ASTM’s 130 technical committees maintain terminology documents, which provide a common language for the many materials, systems, and processes found in their standards.

SIS, which translated and printed the dictionary, specializes in research on standardization, providing services to Chinese technical professionals in all areas pertaining to standards and standardization. SIS provides support for quality assurance, the adoption of international standards, and technical innovation in Shanghai and adjacent regions. The Institute is an authorized distributor of ASTM standards in China and has worked closely with ASTM for the past several years to disseminate the Society’s materials to its Chinese audience.

For more information, contact: Standardization Service Center, Shanghai Institute of Standardization, Changle Road 1219, Shanghai, People's Republic of China 200031 (phone: 86 21 64741090).

What Is ASTM International?

ASTM has updated its popular “What Is ASTM International?” brochure. The convenient piece answers questions from “What is a standard?” to “Does ASTM meet criteria for organizations that develop international standards?” Learn how ASTM standards are developed and by whom, how to become an ASTM member, how long it takes to develop a standard in ASTM, and more.

The brochure will answer many questions you may have about the organization and is a quick and easy introduction to ASTM for your colleagues. For copies, contact Josephine Felizzi at ASTM, or view the text online.

ASTM Staff News

ASTM International is pleased to announce that Len Morrissey has returned to Headquarters as a staff manager in the Technical Committee Operations Division.

Morrissey first joined ASTM in 1995 as a staff manager. Since leaving ASTM in 2000, he worked at Association Headquarters in Mount Laurel, N.J., where he served as executive director of the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, overseeing all activities for 1,000 members.

An honors graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, Morrissey holds a bachelor of arts degree in Letters, Arts and Sciences with additional concentrations in Business and History.

ANSI Award to ASTM Member

ASTM member George Quinn (center), a ceramic engineer in the Ceramics Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology is shown receiving the American National Standards Institute’s Meritorious Service Award from Oliver Smoot (left), ANSI’s chairman at the time, and ASTM President Jim Thomas. Quinn is the convener or the U.S. representative for five working groups in International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 206 on Fine Ceramics. He has previously served as both chair and vice-chair of ASTM Committee C28 on Advanced Ceramics and was a past chairman of the Versailles Advanced Materials and Standards (VAMAS) Technical Working Area #3, Ceramics. Quinn is the author of more than 180 technical papers and presentations, one patent and two Web sites, and has edited three books.

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