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 January 2007

Akira Aoki: 2006 Cavanaugh Award Recipient

Presentation Made at International Standardization Forum in Japan

About the Recipient

Akira Aoki took his first position in 1958 at the Fuji Iron and Steel Co., which later merged with Yawata Iron and Steel Co. to become Nippon Steel. He soon rose to a managerial position, followed by other management roles with increasing responsibility. Aoki’s tenure with the corporation included four years as vice president (technology) of Nippon Steel USA. In 1988, when he retired, he was director and specialty general manager in Nippon’s Technical Head Office. His entire career focused on steel production management and corporate technology administration.

On Oct. 23, 2006, ASTM President James Thomas presented the 2006 William T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award to Akira Aoki, executive advisor/international for the Japanese Standards Association. The award ceremony and reception took place in Tokyo, following the International Standardization Forum, where Thomas made the keynote speech.

In 1989, Mr. Aoki became a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) executive board as well as of a group working to improve the governance structure, organization, and the level of participation of ISO member nations. He represented the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee, where he served as a divisional council chair and council chair, in ISO governance bodies from 1985 until he became vice president for policy in 1998; he also represented JISC on the ISO board of directors from 1994 to 1997. In addition, Mr. Aoki became ISO vice-president (policy) for two one-year terms, in 1998 and 2000; during that time he also served as chair of the Standing Committee on Policy.

Mr. Aoki has a long involvement with the Standards Committee of the Iron and Steel Institute of Japan, the Japan Stainless Steel Association, and the Japanese Society of Steel Construction. He chaired ISO Technical Committee 17 on Steel from 1981 to 1995, and facilitated a new policy to streamline standards development by the group.

In 2002, Mr. Aoki received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, which honored his contributions to global standardization and to ISO. He has also received the Medal with Blue Ribbon, one of Japan’s distinguished Medals of Honor; an achievement award from the Minister of International Trade and Industry; and honorary permanent membership and the Noro Award from the Iron and Steel Institute of Japan.

Mr. Aoki currently serves on three JSA groups; he is chairman of the (ISO)/IEC Policy Development Working Group and the JISC Working Group for Developing Country Issues. In addition, he is a member of the Standards Board of the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee and the Advisory Committee for International Joint Research Programs in NEDO, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization.

From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Aoki served as a member of the ASTM board of directors.

As he presented the award, James Thomas recalled, “We are particularly grateful for Mr. Aoki’s service on the ASTM board of directors, whose great respect for Mr. Aoki’s participation was always present. Mr. Aoki’s expertise in policy and its implementation came to the fore in his involvement on the ASTM board and in private discussions. His wisdom was valued by the ASTM board and staff and his insights brought an added global perspective to our board’s deliberations, for which we are very grateful.”

Mr. Aoki was cited in the Cavanaugh Award for distinguished and outstanding contributions to standards and standardization both nationally and internationally, and for advocacy of an open and transparent global standardization process. The title of ASTM honorary member accompanies the W.T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award.

Conference on Standardization

The Cavanaugh Memorial Award ceremony followed the International Standardization Forum. Hosted by the Japanese Standards Association, the conference was attended by 85 corporate executives mainly in the areas of chemicals, plastics, and electronics. In his speech titled “The New Face of Globalization,” Thomas noted that marketplace globalization, technology, and the politics associated with standardization have impacted ASTM International. Regarding Japan, the conference host country, he noted that Japan is one of the largest purchasers of ASTM standards and that the vice chairman of one of ASTM’s newest technical committees, E56 on Nanotechnology, is from Japan, the site of an E56 meeting. //

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