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Word from the Chairman
The following is adapted from a speech delivered by ASTM Chairman Donald M. Marlowe at the ASTM Annual Business Meeting held in Phoenix, Ariz., on May 9.

Each year about this time, ASTM gives an overview of the state of the Society. I’d like to share a progress report on some recent developments in ASTM, where staff and members are working to develop and deliver first-rate standards to a growing and global marketplace.

A New Committee and Fresh Approaches

We are pleased that for the second year in a row, a new industry area has joined the ranks of our technical committees. While the formation of any new technical committee in ASTM is an indicator of health and growth, the case of the new Committee E53 on Property Management Systems is especially worth noting.

ASTM stepped up to the plate when the National Property Management Association identified the Society as a source for its standards. In the course of one year’s time, E53 was initiated, structured, and organized. By the end of 2000, three standards were written, circulated, balloted, and approved. The development of these three new standards in record time was possible through the use of ASTM’s Web-based Interactive Standards Development Forums.

The ASTM Web Site—Ever Growing in Utility

The use of the Forums is increasing overall, particularly for accomplishing committee work between meetings. Using technology such as this improves the efficiency of ASTM committee operations.

With that in mind, several new electronic tools have been added to the ASTM Web site.

Electronic balloting is an exciting new addition. With e-balloting, members are able to:

• View ballot items online;

• Download them if necessary; and

• Submit their comments and votes over the Web.

In mid-April, ASTM completed the pilot stage of electronic balloting. Now, it is live—meaning any committee can now participate. Thus far, 28 committees and subcommittees have done their ballots electronically and we encourage all committees to participate in this new convenience.

The electronic ballot is just one of the many things that committee members can now handle via the ASTM Web site. Today you can also view:

• Meetings information;

• Rosters;

• Broadcast e-mail; and

• Minutes.

Access to many of these functions is through the “Members Only” section (the “Members Enter Here” link on technical committee homepages) for each ASTM technical committee. This section has been created to provide easy access to certain administrative functions. Starting last year, members were able to renew their memberships for this year online. In addition to selecting their free volume, members can also update address and e-mail information online.

ASTM journal papers are now available online. ASTM publishes five journals:

Cement, Concrete and Aggregates

Geotechnical Testing Journal

Journal of Composites Technology and Research

Journal of Forensic Sciences

Journal of Testing and Evaluation

Subscribers to the printed journals also have Web access to the articles. Benefits to online journal papers include the ability to:

• Search papers and authors;

• View abstracts;

• View the table of contents; and

• Download individual papers.

Another new feature is the online availability of the technical papers of ASTM symposia. As soon as the papers have been reviewed and approved, they are posted on the Web site. To date, several papers from an E08 symposium (on Fatigue and Fracture), which was held this past November, are already online. These papers have been peer-reviewed, contain reference information, and can be ordered from ASTM, all online. These electronic papers are available in advance of the printed Special Technical Publication.

Anyone using the ASTM Web site to search for a standard will eventually come to a screen that provides the title and scope of the standard. Just recently, Section 2 of standards—the “Referenced Documents” section—has been added to that screen. Identical to its printed counterpart, Referenced Documents online offer valuable information to users, who can easily see which standards are related to the document they need. ASTM standards—as well as others, such as federal standards and MILSpecs—are included. In addition, the referenced ASTM standards are linked to the document summaries for those standards.

This useful tool allows committee members to see where and how their committee’s standards are implemented.

Our Greatest Asset—ASTM Members

With regard to membership, as of Dec. 31, 2000, there were:

• 29,007 ASTM members;

• 20,813 main committee members;

• 128 technical committees;

• 1,889 subcommittees; and

• 98,093 units of participation in the standards development process.

A brochure outlining the benefits of membership in ASTM is now available. For a free copy, contact Lisa Wellington, ASTM (phone: 610/832-9691). We encourage you to obtain a copy and share it with colleagues who could become future contributing members of ASTM.

Beginning this month, a new member benefit involving career services will be available. Called ResumeMatch and JobMatch, these services are confidential and free to ASTM members through the ASTM Web site. By clicking on Career Resources on the Technical Committees/Membership page, members can upload their resumes to prospective employers as well as view employment openings seeking unique skills and apply online.

To determine if the Society is providing its members and customers with what they need, ASTM has contracted with the Gallup Organization to conduct a survey. The survey will involve telephone interviews with ASTM members, customers, and engineers who work with standards, and should be completed by early fall. Results of the findings will be reported in Standardization News later this year.

ASTM—Global Reach

The global use of ASTM standards continued at a healthy pace again this past year. Almost 40 percent of ASTM standards are distributed outside the United States, as the Society continues its efforts to deliver technical information with ease and convenience to those around the world using the ASTM product.

To reflect this international reality, the Board of Directors recommended at its last meeting that ASTM identify itself as “ASTM International” with an accompanying tag line. This reaffirms the fact that ASTM has always been, and will continue to be, an international organization whose standards are developed and used globally. Therefore, this not a new name, nor does it change ASTM’s mode of

operation. Moving to “ASTM International” is a clarification of ASTM’s mission and purpose. ASTM’s charter name will not change; however, this new identity will better explain what we are and what we do.

Look for the updated logo by the beginning of 2002.

Several ASTM committees have been working toward expanding their international participation. Most notable are the efforts of Committee D30 on Composite Materials. Although D30 has been developing international standards since 1964, the committee recently instituted a program to ensure the greatest international participation possible. With electronic tools such as the Forums and electronic balloting, D30 is better able to create international standards easily and efficiently with input from the world’s top composites experts.

As a result of this committee-driven initiative, today D30 has new members from Switzerland, India, the United States, Finland, Spain, Germany, Japan, Canada, and Belgium.

As part of international promotion, ASTM has once again published Standards International in 2000. This international newsletter is released yearly in English as well as in Spanish and is distributed to approximately 20,000 non-ASTM members around the world.

With a view to global competitiveness, a U.S. National Standards Strategy was issued in September of last year. ASTM President Jim Thomas was a member of a task force of the national issues committee of ANSI charged with developing the strategy. You can view the text on the ASTM Web site, in the News and Information section.

More Efficient Use of Technology

Last year, ASTM released its first-ever computer-based training product. This multi-media training covers ASTM’s widely-used environmental site assessment standards and offers interactive instruction, saving the cost of travel to live courses and allowing users to work at their own pace. The product contains case studies with video clips and digital photos of real-life environmental examples.

Another product development involves individual volumes of the Book of Standards, which are available now on CD-ROM. Since launching the individual volume CDs last year, a substantial percentage of orders for separate volumes have been for the CD format. Also on the rise are collections of standards on CD-ROM. These customized compilations are practical options for those requiring a variety of standards.

State of the Society

The year 2000 was a strong one for ASTM. The society continues to derive most of its income, 74 percent, from the sale of publications. Demand for the ASTM standard remains strong, as customers shift from preferring the traditional print copy to electronic delivery.

As of Dec. 31, 2000, our members’ diligence resulted in:

• 315 new standards;

• 1,689 revised standards; and

• 2,882 total standards actions.

As you can see, ASTM is working hard to preserve our heritage of excellence and provide for our future by using technology to improve service to our members and increase efficiency, by thinking and acting strategically on matters of importance to the national and international standards scene, and by promoting the ASTM consensus process worldwide.

Donald E. Marlowe
ASTM Chairman of the Board

Copyright 2001, ASTM

Donald E. Marlowe

ASTM Chairman of the Board