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ASTM Participates in DOC Standards Initiative Implementation

In March 2003, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced an eight-point initiative intended to enhance standards activities. This initiative responds to a growing number of requests from U.S. industry, trade associations, and standards development organizations to address foreign standards development and technical regulation as the increasingly important issues that they are. ASTM has participated in several activities related to this initiative, including:

Developing a global standards activity assessment — ASTM responded to the DOC’s request for industry input on the most pressing standards issues for various sectors by gathering input from several of its technical committees. As a result of canvassing its committees in this way, ASTM’s response provided an overview of a wide range of sectors and showed the equally wide range of approaches that are needed to respond adequately to a variety of international interests. The responses DOC has received will be used to develop a set of recommendations for an overarching approach to international standards issues. DOC’s recommendations are expected in January 2004.

Devising effective training and outreach programs for foreign commercial service officers — ASTM has offered its assistance in development and review of the Department of Commerce training program.

Appointment of a liaison to the International Trade Administration — At press time, ASTM Vice President of Global Cooperation Kitty Kono and Director of External Relations Teresa Cendrowska were scheduled to meet in December with Heidi Hijikata, who has been named the International Trade Administration standards liaison. Hijikata’s position will serve as focal point for standards within ITA and ensure that industry’s priorities on standards are promoted through the Commerce Department’s international policies and programs. Kono and Cendrowska planned to discuss ASTM’s “multiple paths” positions on international standards.

Industry-specific roundtables — In June, ASTM Committee D02 Chairman Jim Bover, of ExxonMobil, Annandale, N.J., presented on behalf of ASTM at the energy industry roundtable conducted by Commerce.

At the roundtable held in October for standards developing organizations, cosponsored by the DOC’s National Institute of Standards and Technology and the American National Standards Institute, ASTM International President James Thomas was one of 11 SDO representatives to give short presentations on issues facing standards developers today. These presentations were followed by open discussion among the SDO leaders, representatives of NIST (Arden Bement, director; Mary Saunders, chief of the standards services division; and Richard Kayser, director of technology services) and Benjamin Wu, deputy undersecretary of the Department of Commerce’s Technology Administration.

For their short presentations, NIST asked each participating SDO to consider one or more of 11 key issues. Taking his cue from this list, Thomas spoke on the highest priority standards-related issues facing ASTM and its constituents, funding concerns, and the partnership between the Department of Commerce and ASTM.

Regarding the first of these topics, Thomas said that the highest priority issue facing ASTM and its constituents is the need for evidentiary U.S. government recognition of and support for U.S.-domiciled international standards organizations. He stated that legislative barriers in other economies to the use of internationally developed and used standards created by U.S.-based SDOs makes it imperative that the U.S. government state its position regarding the international viability and relevance of these standards. In terms of funding, Thomas explained that ASTM’s business model has served it well over the course of its 100-plus year history, and that the diversity of business models among U.S. SDOs is what makes the sector-driven U.S. standards system vital and responsive. Finally, regarding ASTM’s longstanding relationship with the DOC, Thomas cited the nearly 200 NIST professionals that participate on ASTM’s technical committees, and the valuable perspective they add to the creation and maintenance of ASTM’s market-relevant standards. Thomas also highlighted ASTM’s participation in NIST’s Standards in Trade program, in which international representatives of standards organizations and industry come to the United States to learn about standardization in their industry sector; ASTM’s support of the DOC’s new standards initiative, especially the soon-to-be-developed training program for standards attaches; and ASTM’s eagerness to work with the new China Desk at the DOC’s International Trade Administration. //

Uganda’s National Standards Body Is Latest to Sign MOU with ASTM International

The Uganda National Bureau of Standards has signed a memorandum of understanding with ASTM International. The purpose of MOUs such as this, which have been signed with 26 national standards bodies over the course of the last two years, is for ASTM and the signatory bodies to work together to use standards in support of the signing nation’s needs in public health and safety, technology development and environmental protection. //

Yorkdale Award Presented for Outstanding Paper in Masonry

ASTM International Committee C15 on Manufactured Masonry Units has presented the 2003 Alan H. Yorkdale Memorial Award for the paper “Strength and Stiffness of Masonry Shear Walls with Openings.” The winning paper was written by Hany Elshafie of Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; Ahmad Hamid of Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa., USA; and El-Sayed Nsar of Ain Shams University. The paper appeared in the December 2002 issue of the TMS Journal published by The Masonry Society.

The award-winning paper examines the load carrying capacity, failure mechanism, and post-cracking stiffness of 1/3-scale masonry shear walls with openings. A simple analysis approach employing plastic hinge failure mechanisms was refined and used to predict failure mechanism, lateral load carrying capacity, and internal forces at ultimate load. The work provides a basis for predicting post-cracking shear wall stiffness.

Established in 1987, the award is given each year to the best peer-reviewed, English-language paper dealing with manufactured masonry units or assemblages of such units. Hundreds of papers are reviewed each year by a panel of impartial experts, and the award-winning author or authors are invited to ASTM C15 meetings each December to present their paper and receive their award. The award honors Alan Yorkdale, FASTM, secretary of C15, member of C15 Executive Committee, chairman of C15.02 for 18 years and a leading proponent of the advancement of masonry engineering and research in his 27 years of service with the Brick Institute of America (now the Brick Indutary Association). //

New Staff Managers Join ASTM International

Kevin Shanahan has joined ASTM International as a staff manager in the Technical Committee Operations division. He comes to ASTM from Pep Boys in Philadelphia, Pa., where he served as presence marketing manager. Shanahan also served as marketing coordinator for XFL in Stamford, Conn., and as director for Sport and Social Clubs of the United States in both Chicago and Philadelphia. He has a bachelor of arts in communications from Loyola University in New Orleans, La., and a master of education in sports management from Cleveland State University.

Carolyn Sheahan comes to her position as a staff manager in the Technical Committee Operations division from MBNA Sports Promotions in Philadelphia, Pa., where she served as a sales representative. She has also served three internships with Kemper Insurance Companies: as communications assistant in Long Grove, Ill.; as assistant for federal and state affairs, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety in Washington, D.C.; and as branch claims rep-resentative/subrogation assistant in Dallas, Texas. Sheahan has a bachelor of science in marketing from La Salle University. //

Zhang Yanhua, vice administrator of the Standards Administration of the People’s Republic of China (seated second from right) and Zhang Lin, director general of international standards at SAC (seated left) hosted a visit from ASTM International’s Kitty Kono and Drew Azzara in October. During their visit to Beijing and Shanghai, Kono, vice president of global cooperation, and Azzara, vice president of corporate development, met with many leading standards officials to discuss greater collaboration between ASTM International and China.

Copyright 2004, ASTM International