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Magazines & Newsletters / ASTM Standardization News


July/August 2008

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ASTM International President Addresses Russian Standardization Conference

Thomas Speaks on Use of ASTM Standards by Global Industries

ASTM International President James A. Thomas traveled to Moscow, Russia, in April to participate in “International Standardization — The Effective Tool to Increase Competition of the Russian Industry,” a conference sponsored by the Russian Federal Agency on Technical Regulating and Metrology. The purpose of the conference was to explain the advantages of standardization and to promote Russian industry representatives’ participation in the development of national and international standards.

James A. Thomas at conference

ASTM International President James A. Thomas (third from left at table) and other participants listen as Grigory Elkin, head of the Russian Federal Agency on Technical Regulating and Metrology, addresses the conference.

In his speech at the conference, “How Global Industries Use ASTM International to Achieve Their Goals,” Thomas noted that international standards are more important than ever for Russian industry. He also described a survey commissioned by ASTM International in 2007, in which successful U.S. companies in more than 100 industries were asked about the impact of standards on their business. The results of this survey show that standardization is considered to be a vital corporate function, that successful organizations are proactively involved in the work of standards developing organizations and that companies view standards as tools, with the selection of a particular standard based on its ability to solve specific problems.

In addition to Thomas, other speakers at the conference included Alan Bryden, secretary-general, International Organization for Standardization; Grigory Elkin, head of the Federal Agency on Technical Regulating and Metrology; Dmitriy Pumpyanskiy, vice president, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs; Torsten Bahke, general director, German Institute for Standardization (DIN); and Florence Nicolas, director general, AFNOR International.


ASTM International Hosts Russian Delegation for Coordinated Program

ASTM International held a coordinated program in cooperation with the Russian Federal Agency on Technical Regulating and Metrology and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs on May 6-8 at the Omni Orlando Resort Hotel in Orlando, Fla. In addition to ASTM, the program was cosponsored by ASME International, SAE International and the American Petroleum Institute (API International).

Three separate divisions of ASTM — Global Cooperation, Publications and Marketing, and Technical Committee Operations — helped lead the event in conjunction with industry experts and staff from each of the cosponsors. Petroleum, steel, automotive and aerospace were special industry sectors of focus. More than 40 participants, including more than 20 from the Russian Federation, shared information about current standards for the various sectors, the stakeholders involved in their development, and the global use of the standards. Training and conformity assessment opportunities were also presented.

In addition to attendees from the Federal Agency on Technical Regulating and Metrology, the Russian delegation included members of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, which consists of representatives of unions, industrial associations, corporations and academic institutions. Russian industry representatives were drawn from the oil, natural gas and chemical industries, metallurgical enterprises and construction companies. The program provided the delegates the opportunity to learn about standards in their sectors and to establish contacts that can be utilized in the future to advance their business objectives.

This coordinated program is the second of four events being planned for this year, with the first, on the topic of green construction, having been held in Beijing, China, on April 16. Other coordinated programs in the planning stages include an event in South America in September and one in the Middle East in November.

Since April 2007, a memorandum of understanding between the Russian Federal Agency and ASTM International has allowed the adoption or use of ASTM standards as the basis for new Russian Federation standards. The MOU agreement also promotes greater Russian participation in ASTM technical committees and technical training programs. In addition, more than 200 ASTM International standards have been selected for translation and use by Russian industry.

For detailed information and copies of the presentations from the Orlando event, please visit www.astm.org/global/coordinated_programs.html. For more information on ASTM coordinated programs, contact James Olshefsky, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9714).

Hefei groupA delegation from the Hefei General Machinery Research Institute in China met with ASTM International staff members Jessica Hychalk (front row, third from left), Diane Rehiel (front row, sixth from left), Joe Koury (back row, left), Kevin Cummins (back row, fourth from left), Kate McClung (back row, sixth from left) and George Luciw (not pictured) at ASTM International headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa., on April 21. The institute is engaged in the design and development of new products in the valve sector, research of valve actuators, key problem solving, fundamental research and standardization for valves. It also serves as the secretariat for the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China’s Technical Committee 188 on Valves. During their visit, the delegation learned more about ASTM International, the U.S. standards systems and ASTM’s partnerships with Chinese organizations. In addition, specific information was presented on ASTM Committees A01 on Steel, Stainless Steel and Related Alloys, A04 on Iron Castings, C26 on Nuclear Fuel Cycle and E10 on Nuclear Technology and Applications.

CSMIA groupMembers of the China Stone Material Industry Association met with staff at ASTM International headquarters on April 29. Staff members Teresa Cendrowska (front row, third from left), Jessica Hychalk (front row, fifth from left) and Jeffrey Adkins (back row, fourth from left) met with the delegation to provide an overview of ASTM and its partnerships with China. Also included was information on ASTM Committee C18 on Dimension Stone. CSMIA is an industrial association founded in 1983 that plays an important role in promoting the development of the stone industry in China and expanding international communication within the industry.

Assessing U.S. Federal Research and Development Funding

ASTM International was one of 21 cosponsors of the 6th Annual Engineering R&D Symposium held May 6 in Washington, D.C. The event provided leaders in academia, industry and government with an opportunity to learn about the federal government’s current and future investment R&D and its impact on engineering research. The program is sponsored by the United Engineering Foundation and its founder societies.

Governmental funding of research and development is an essential building block of national competitiveness. But last year’s America COMPETES Act, based on the executive American Competitiveness Initiative and recommendations in the National Academies’ influential 2005 report “Rising Above the Gathering Storm,” remains under-funded. The proposed fiscal year 2009 federal budget presents a mixed bag to legislators, with increases recommended for ACI agencies (the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the National Institute of Standards and Technology), more spending recommended for physical sciences than biomedical and decreases in funding for basic and applied research across the board. With these realities as a backdrop, more than 100 representatives of academic institutions, standards developing organizations, trade associations, professional societies, industry and government attended the symposium, with many taking advantage of the time set aside in the afternoon for visits to Congressional representatives to discuss priorities.

Featured speakers at the symposium were John H. Marburger, III, Ph.D., science adviser to the president and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy; Kei Koizumi, director of R&D budget and policy programs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science; David Wu, congressional representative from Oregon; Ralph Hall, a Texas representative and ranking Republican member of the House Committee on Science and Technology; and Mike Holland, a program examiner at the energy branch of the Office of Management and Budget.

Marburger cited President George W. Bush’s proposed R&D budget for FY2009 and overall administrative increases in funding requests since 2001; he advised attendees that they must be prepared to continually and persistently educate newly elected officials about complex R&D funding issues. Koizumi provided an assessment of the FY2009 budget requests based on AAAS’s detailed analysis, which was included in the symposium materials. Both Congressional speakers discussed their perspectives on R&D funding in the context of overall national priorities, and Holland showed attendees how his office views funding requests and how these requests can be framed for the best possible response.

The symposium was followed by opportunities for visits with Congressional staff and an evening reception commemorating the 50th anniversary of the House Committee on Science and Technology. The committee was first formed in 1958 as the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, in response to the launching of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1 satellite. The committee’s jurisdiction includes all non-defense scientific R&D at a number of federal agencies.

Nominees Sought for Sensory Evaluation Committee’s Peryam Award

ASTM International Committee E18 on Sensory Evaluation is seeking nominees for the David R. Peryam Award. The award was established by Committee E18 to recognize outstanding professionals in the field of applied sensory science. The award is granted to individuals who best exemplify the life and career of David R. Peryam, the father of sensory evaluation and a prolific contributor to Committee E18.

Criteria for nominees include:

  • Significant contributions to the advancement of applied sensory sciences;
  • Has shared knowledge of the field through papers, articles, seminars, mentoring, teaching, coaching and consulting;
  • Has given time and effort to students of sensory research and food science.

A complete list of criteria and other information on the award can be found by clicking here.

The awards committee strongly prefers that nominees not be aware of their nomination, but that is not a requirement for the award. The award review committee consists of the E18 Awards Committee, a representative of Peryam and Kroll, and other persons, as appropriate, who are knowledgeable about Peryam’s work.

Please submit all nominations to Mona Wolf (phone: 513-891-9100) by Oct. 1. The nominee will be announced on Feb. 15, 2009, and presented at the Spring 2009 ASTM E18 meeting.

SII groupASTM International staff members Teresa Cendrowska, vice president, global cooperation, and Kevin Cummins, director, public policy and international trade, recently met with representatives of the Standards Institution of Israel at the headquarters of the International Code Council in Washington, D.C. Topics discussed during the meeting included the existing memorandum of understanding between ASTM and SII, the electronic tools that facilitate technical expert participation and enable training, the upcoming ASTM-sponsored technical training program on flammability of wearing apparel and flammability of children’s sleepwear, ASTM’s procedures for the quick and responsive development of international voluntary consensus standards and outreach to academia. Left to right: Yaacov Wachtel, director, industry division, SII; Teresa Cendrowska; Kevin Cummins; Doron Tamir, director general, SII; Yoram Zara, manager of international relations, SII; and Robert Maron, trade officer, U.S. Department of State.

ASTM International Donates to China Earthquake Relief

ASTM International has made donations to assist with relief efforts for victims of the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan Province, China.

A $25,000 donation to AmeriCares will help the organization as it works with its long-standing partner, the China Primary Health Care Foundation, as well as physicians at Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital and other health care organizations to deliver critical medication and medical supplies. AmeriCares is a nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization that responds to emergency medical needs and supports long-term humanitarian assistance programs around the world.

ASTM has also donated the compilation, ASTM Standards in Building Codes, to the Sichuan Institute of Standardization for reference in the process of reconstruction as well as a list of seismic-related standards in the work and an overall list of its contents. The compilation contains more than 1,300 standards used in building design and construction.