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March/April 2011

Maryann Gorman,  Standardization News' Editor in ChiefIt’s All About You

In a sense, every issue of Standardization News is all about you, if you are a volunteer member of ASTM International. You are ASTM’s most important asset. You set all of ASTM’s standards development priorities; the staff who manage the process do so in response to the needs expressed by technical committee members. Without the enthusiastic, conscientious and energetic professionals who develop its standards, ASTM would not even exist.

ASTM International was founded in 1898 when engineers from competing metals manufacturers agreed to come together to address problems with the safety of railroad steel. From then until today, the deliberations of competing but cooperative interests at the standards development table make ASTM’s work possible.

So behind every sentence we publish in this magazine — whether it is news of a member’s promotion in the Community section or part of a feature article on the successful use of ASTM standards in a given field — there you are.

In this issue, two articles look closely at the unique phenomenon that is membership in a standards development organization such as ASTM International. Because standards have for so long formed the building blocks of products and technologies, it can be difficult to articulate the bottom-line advantages to a company of expending resources for standards development — although the benefits of participation are undeniable. This issue’s EnRoute column discusses the overall business case for participating in the creation and maintenance of standards. We invite you to save the article for future reference, or to download a PDF file to share with others.

If you would like to see how your experience as a standards volunteer compares to that of your colleagues, see the graphic feature. The statistics in this piece, taken from a recent survey commissioned by ASTM International and other codes and standards developers, provide a snapshot of who is participating in this important work today, their levels of experience, support from their employers and more. The article includes a link to download the full survey.

As you’ll see in these two articles, the success of your company and even your career is enhanced by your participation on technical committees whose work positively impacts industry, global trade and public health and safety. It really is all about you.

Maryann Gorman
Editor in Chief