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January/February 2009

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workshop in Dubai

Ubaidallah S. Alghamdi (left), ASTM International member and president, Arabian Fuels Technology Center, and James A. Thomas, president, ASTM International, at the Arab and U.S. Standards and Conformance workshop in Dubai.

ASTM Participates in Arab Standards
and Conformance Workshop

ASTM President Attends Event in Dubai

James A. Thomas, president, ASTM International, participated in “Arab and U.S. Standards and Conformance: Tools for Business and Regulation,” a workshop held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Oct. 13, 2008.

The workshop, which was co-sponsored by the American National Standards Institute, the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) and the National U.S. — Arab Chamber of Commerce, highlighted international cooperation on standardization issues among U.S. and Arab stakeholders representing industry, government and academia. Also participating in the workshop was Waleed Bin Falah Al-Mansouri, director general, Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology. Thomas and Al-Mansouri signed a memorandum of understanding between ASTM International and ESMA on the same day as the workshop.

Three workshop panels covered tools for business and regulation, petroleum and energy, and construction and engineering. Thomas spoke as part of the panel on petroleum and energy, detailing the role of ASTM International in activities specific to the Middle East and highlighting the ASTM technical committees that develop energy-related standards and that contribute to energy efficiency. Thomas spoke of the growing partnership with national standards bodies in the Middle East, including memorandums of understanding, an Open House event, virtual and on-site orientation and training programs, and participation in ASTM’s Standards Expert Exchange Program.

Ubaidallah S. Alghamdi, president of Arabian Fuels Technology, and an ASTM member who provides ASTM Technical and Professional Training throughout the Middle East, also participated on the petroleum and energy panel with Thomas.

Stakeholders in Peru Participate in E06 Virtual Session

Twenty stakeholders from Peru participated in a virtual session on testing the performance of exterior doors on Oct. 15, 2008. The meeting was facilitated by Patricia Castro, Instituto Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia y de la Protección de la Propiedad Intelectua (INDECOPI), who participated in the 2008 Standards Expert Exchange Program at ASTM headquarters. From his Maryland office, technical expert David Hattis, Building Technology Inc., and a member of ASTM Committee E06 on Performance of Buildings, presented technical information and answered questions on two E06 standards for the group who met at INDECOPI offices in Lima, Peru.

The event took place during the final week of this year’s successful exchange program. Each SEEP participant is asked to organize an event that brings industry experts from their home country to a virtual forum to discuss a topic of mutual interest related to the work of an ASTM committee. In Aug. 2008, Korean visiting expert Jun-ho Kim organized a similar meeting with Korean textile experts and a representative of Committee D13 on Textiles.

ASTM Staff Visit Several Organizations in Mexico

ASTM Has Cooperative Agreements with IMCYC and AMIC

Teresa Cendrowska, vice president, global cooperation, ASTM International, and Jeff Grove, vice president, global policy and industry affairs, visited several Mexican organizations and government agencies in Mexico City from Nov. 11-13, 2008. Cendrowska and Grove were accompanied by Luis Felipe Ordóñez and Vanessa Corona, ASTM’s Mexico City representatives.

Among the organizations visited were two that serve the concrete and cement industry in Mexico and with which ASTM has cooperative agreements. Meetings with the Mexican Institute of Cement and Concrete and the Mexican Association of the Premixed Concrete Industry included reviews of the existing cooperative agreements and discussions on how to enhance the partnerships to facilitate greater industry participation in ASTM’s standards development committees and enhanced technical understanding of the related standards.

A meeting with the Mexican Council for Standardization and Evaluation of Conformity Assessment enabled discussion on the implementation of the agreement that facilitates Mexican membership and access to ASTM products in Mexico and general standardization issues. The ASTM representatives also conducted outreach meetings to technical and marketing staff in USG’s Mexico City office and with representatives of the Permanent Commission of the Farmacopea of the United States of Mexico. In each of these meetings, ASTM staff discussed related technical committees as well as opportunities for virtual training, use of ASTM standards in the Mexican construction and pharmaceutical industries, respectively, and increased active participation in standards development.

Meetings were also held with representatives of offices of the Secretary of the Economy, including the Directorate General for Standardization and the Subsecretariat of International Commercial Transactions. These exchanges related to the Mexican government’s renewed focus on competitiveness for business and industry, the relevance of standards to competitiveness and market access, the multiple path approach to international standards and the extensive use of ASTM International standards by Mexican industry.

meeting with delegatesASTM International staff members Kevin Cummins, James Olshefsky and Scott Orthey met with delegates from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 31, 2008. Cummins, Olshefsky and Orthey provided an overview of ASTM to the delegation, which was in the United States to visit government agencies, private companies, industry associations, transportation authorities and other organizations. The objective of the visit was to expose the delegation to U.S. technologies, companies, policies and best practices in road building. Each of the African countries represented by the delegation has a compact agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corp., which is providing road investments for the countries totaling approximately $1.1 billion.

MINCYT breakfastASTM International recently participated in a breakfast seminar and presentation in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for representatives from the MINCYT Consortium there. The event was hosted by ASTM’s Latin American sales distributor, IHS, and Bioinformatica, the local distributor in Argentina. In attendance were 25 members of the MINCYT Consortium representing different universities and institutes throughout the country, Maria Centeno from Bioinformatica, Laura Torres and Susan Hankins from IHS and Martin Farrell, Latin America sales director for ASTM.

2009 Advantage Award

ASTM International is seeking success stories that demonstrate the benefits of standardization for the 2009 ASTM International Advantage Award. The goal of the award is to gather real-life examples that support the positive value of ASTM standards. If you can clearly show the positive impact of an ASTM standard or group of ASTM standards, then consider competing for a prize in the 2009 Advantage Award competition. First prize is $15,000, second prize is $10,000 and third prize is $5,000. All submissions must be received with an official entry form by June 1.

workshop in Qatar


During his October trip to the Middle East, James A. Thomas (left), president, ASTM International, participated in a ceremonial MOU signing with
Mohammad Saif Al Kuwari, general director, Qatar General Organization for Standards and Metrology (QS), and other staff and members from QS. The ceremony celebrated the original signing of an MOU between QS and ASTM in Sept. 2007.

MOU Program

ASTM International has recently signed MOUs with three national standards bodies, bringing the total number of MOUs signed to 64.

United Arab Emirates
ASTM International has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Emirates Authority for Standards and Metrology (ESMA), the national standards body of the United Arab Emirates. James A. Thomas and Waleed Bin Falah Al-Mansouri, director general, ESMA, signed the MOU in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Oct. 13, 2008. The ASTM/ESMA MOU was signed the day that Thomas and Al-Mansouri attended the Arab and U.S. Standards and Conformance workshop in Dubai.

ASTM International signed an MOU with the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology in November 2008. The MOU was signed by James A. Thomas and Sita Ram Joshi, director general, NBSM.

Also in November 2008, ASTM and the Tanzania Bureau of Standards agreed to an MOU, signed by James A. Thomas and Charles M. Ekelege, director, Tanzania Bureau of Standards.

The ASTM Memorandum of Understanding Program
Memorandums of understanding allow ASTM and national standards bodies to join together to achieve standardization goals for both organizations. The MOU program promotes communication between ASTM International and national standards bodies; promotes knowledge of each other’s standards development activities; facilitates greater worldwide participation in the ASTM standard development process; and facilitates the development of national standards that will aid health, safety, environmental and economic institutions.

ASTM in China

Chief Representative in China Speaks at World Standards Day Celebration, Attends SAC/TC56 Meeting

Liu Fei, ASTM International’s chief representative in China, spoke at a celebration of World Standards Day on Oct. 10, 2008, in Guangzhou, China. The event was organized by the Guangzhou Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau. Liu Fei touched on the following points during his presentation:

  • An overview of ASTM International;
  • Trends in world standardization activities, particularly in North America and Europe;
  • The diversity of international standards developers; and
  • Benefits of standardization to enterprises in their product life cycles.

On Nov. 11-12, 2008, Liu Fei attended the 2008 annual working meeting of SAC/TC56 on Nondestructive Testing, held in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. Here, he presented information about ASTM standards development and the U.S. standardization system to more than 30 groups at the beginning of their meetings.

Award Nominations Sought

William T. Cavanaugh Award

Nominations are being sought for the William T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award. Established in 1987, this award is granted to a person of widely recognized eminence in the voluntary standards system who may or may not be a member of ASTM International. The title of honorary member is bestowed upon recipients of this award.

Nominations should contain a citation of 25 words or less, career background and details on the candidate’s outstanding contributions within ASTM at the society level as well as to other standards organizations or professional societies. All offices and special positions held in each organization should be identified, and accomplishments to advance the efforts of the global standards community specifically noted.

Nominations must be received by April 1. Send nominations to the Executive Committee, c/o the President’s Office, ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, P.O. Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428. Contact Maureen Houck for a copy of the award criteria if you need additional information (phone: 610-832-9594).

President’s Leadership Award

The ASTM International President’s Leadership Award salutes the inspiration and positive contributions of individuals early in their ASTM career who have significantly advanced the Society’s mission through extraordinary accomplishment, example and vision. The award was established by the ASTM Board of Directors in 2007 to recognize outstanding leadership within the first five years of an individual’s association with ASTM International.

The deadline for applications for the President’s Leadership Award is Feb. 1. For more information, visit the society awards section of the ASTM Web site.

coordinated programs in the Middle East

ASTM staff James Olshefsky (left) and James S. Thomas (right) present “ASTM Standards for Sustainability in Building” to Mohammad Saif Al Kuwari (center), QS general director, during the coordinated program in Doha, Qatar.

ASTM International Staff Visits Middle East

Coordinated Programs Held in Saudi Arabia and Qatar

On Nov. 18, 2008, ASTM International held a coordinated program in cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council Standardization Organization (GSO) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and with the Qatar General Organization for Standards and Metrology (QS) on Nov. 19, 2008, in Doha, Qatar. Both programs focused on products and advances to standards in the cement and concrete sector.

GSO has been active in promoting ASTM International standards in the Gulf Cooperation Council region since signing an MOU with ASTM in February 2006. QS is a more recent MOU signatory, having initiated its agreement in September 2007. ASTM staff members James S. Thomas and James Olshefsky were joined by stakeholders from industry, government and academia in the two cities to make presentations at the events.

coordinated programs in the Middle East

Shown from left to right: Thomas; Anwar Yusuf Al Abdullah, secretary general, GSO; Sirag M. Massode, deputy director general, SASO; and Olshefsky.

These coordinated programs were the fourth and fifth events held in 2008. Three previous programs were held with China, Russia and Ecuador.

For more information on ASTM coordinated programs, contact James Olshefsky, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9714).








ASTM Staff Meet with Students in Three Countries

Kansai University, Osaka, Japan

Kansai University, Osaka, Japan

ASTM International staff had an opportunity to meet with future engineers and leaders in three countries during the month of November. The meetings were part of ASTM’s ongoing academic outreach efforts to teach students about the importance of standardization and the voluntary consensus process.

Jeff Adkins, ASTM staff manager, and John Bates, ASTM member, spoke to a group of about 35 students at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan, during a recent trip. Professor Takashi Sugimoto, who hosted the visit, expressed a new-found interest in using ASTM International standards in his classroom.

Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

During their recent visit to the Middle East, ASTM staff members James S. Thomas and James Olshefsky had the opportunity to speak to engineering students at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar University in Doha, Qatar. Students in both cities recognized ASTM International as a trusted source for standards of high technical quality and market relevancy.

For more information about ASTM’s academic outreach, contact James Olshefsky, ASTM director of external relations (phone: 610-832-0714) or visit the ASTM campus.

King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia