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NIST: 100 Years Old and Looking Great

Congratulations to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which is 100 years old this month. Founded on March 3, 1901, as the National Bureau of Standards, NIST was the federal government’s first physical science research laboratory. For 100 years, the Institute has helped to keep U.S. technology at the leading edge. Over the years, NIST has made solid contributions to image processing, DNA diagnostic “chips,” smoke detectors, and automated error-correcting software for machine tools. Other areas in which NIST has had major impact include atomic clocks, x-ray standards for mammography, scanning tunneling microscopy, pollution-control technology, and high-speed dental drills. NIST has an ongoing commitment to standardization, and has worked diligently through joint programs with ASTM and participation on ASTM technical committees to develop voluntary consensus standards. NIST has a Web site devoted to its 100-year history, and has published NIST at 100: Foundations for Progress (available at the Web site).

Essentials of Standardization

Standardization Essentials: Principles and Practice, written by ASTM member Steven M. Spivak with F. Cecil Brenner, is now available for purchase. Published by Dekker, the 320-page illustrated text surveys the discipline of standards and standardization, defining common terms, clarifying descriptions, describing how standards could be used to restrain trade, and explaining how international trade is stimulated by the due process provisions of standards writing organizations. ASTM President Jim Thomas has written the foreword to the book.

ASME Codes and Standards on Web

ASME International (the American Society of Mechanical Engineers) will make many of its codes and standards available for purchase and secure download on its Web site beginning in the first quarter of this year.

Where There’s Smoke and Fire, There’s AFSCC

After two years of informal collaboration, the members of the Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment and Control (AFSCC) have incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. AFSCC members are companies, organizations and individuals within the construction industry who share the common goal of promoting passive fire protection as part of a balanced design approach to fire protection in the built environment. The AFSCC intends to focus its initial outreach efforts on programs and publications that will educate and inform building code officials and project designers on passive fire protection issues and the value of balanced fire protection design. Contact: AFSCC (phone: 301/369-1233).

Grant Competitions Open

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced that fiscal year 2001 laboratory competitions are open for funding under the grant programs of the following laboratories: Chemical Science and Technology, Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Fire Research, Manufacturing Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Physics. Applications are due by Sept. 30. For details, go to the online Federal Register and enter “01/11/2001” and “National Institute of Standards and Technology” as search keywords to reach the Jan. 11 notice.

Australia Hosts 9th International Durability Conference

“Better Buildings for Tomorrow” is the theme of the 9th Durability of Building Materials and Components Conference to be held in Brisbane, Australia, in March 2002. This international event will highlight ways in which research into the durability of building materials and components can be undertaken and used to improve the performance of the building of the 21st century. The conference will examine the major changes that have taken place in what we are thinking when we discuss the meaning of “durability” in building materials. Contact: Stewart Burn, Chairman 9DMBC (phone: 61 3 9252 6000 (Australia)).

Composites Search Engine

The Worldwide Composites Search Engine has recently been refreshed with over 50,000 pages of composite-related sites. In addition, WWC has a series of discussion groups that exchange information via e-mail about various subjects concerning the composite industry. A site newsletter is also available to which you may subscribe through the site. //

Copyright 2001, ASTM