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May/June 2011

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ASTM Manager of Member Promotion Visits Montgomery County Community College

ASTM meet with South Korean standards experts

Ileane Smith, ASTM (top row, third from left) was given a tour of the Montgomery County Community College engineering laboratory by Professor William Brownlowe (top row, fourth from left).

On Feb. 24, Ileane Smith, manager of ASTM’s member promotion and academic outreach, visited the campus of Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pa.

Smith was invited by Scott Burman, vice president of the student’s engineering group. During the visit Smith spoke to the group about their educational plans and career goals. Many of the students intend to take further classes in the areas of mechanical, chemical, architectural and automotive engineering in addition to various other STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) related disciplines.

The students learned about ASTM’s Jumpstart Your Career campaign and how they can take advantage of ASTM’s free student membership and scholarship opportunities. The group discussion also focused on networking, promoting their work with social media and identifying additional speakers from other local organizations focused on supporting the engineering community.

Professor William Brownlowe, department head of engineering and design technology at MC3, and the students agreed that the presentation was beneficial in helping them understand the real-world applications of ASTM standards. The group has plans to enter an upcoming robotics competition and may submit a video to ASTM’s Jumpstart Your Career video contest. For more information on Jumpstart Your Career and the video contest, click here.


ASTM Sponsors University of Idaho Student in WISE Program

Ashley Vincent Will Join Other WISE Interns in Washington, D.C.

Ashley VincentASTM International will sponsor Ashley Vincent, a junior at the University of Idaho, in the 2011 Washington Internships for Students of Engineering program.

Ranked as one of the best internship opportunities in the United States by the Princeton Review, the WISE program is a paid 10-week summer internship in Washington, D.C. During the program, interns learn about the public policy process, including how government officials make decisions on complex technological issues and how engineers can contribute to legislative and regulatory public policy decisions.

Vincent is a civil engineering major and a business minor at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. In summer 2010, she was one of five American students selected by the United States/United Kingdom Fulbright Commission to attend a special program at the Newcastle University International Summer School in the United Kingdom to study international politics.
A dean’s list student and National Merit Scholar, Vincent is the Idaho state representative for the University of Idaho’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders, and she is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and the University of Idaho Davis Student Investment Group.

Vincent hopes that the WISE internship will give her some insight into sustainable development and contract law, areas in which she intends to pursue a career. “The study of engineering develops in a person a unique way of thinking. Engineering is the science of problem-solving, and that talent is incredibly valuable in the world of governance and diplomacy,” says Vincent.

For further information on ASTM’s academic outreach activities, click here or contact James Olshefsky, director of external relations, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9714).

ASTM Participates in Drexel Career Fair

ASTM International staff members James Olshefsky and Ileane Smith attended the Drexel University Engineering Career Fair in Philadelphia, Pa., on Feb. 22 as part of ASTM’s 2011 Jumpstart Your Career campaign. The fair provided an opportunity for students investigating career possibilities to interact with representatives from local associations and companies.
During the fair, Olshefsky and Smith met one-on-one with several students interested in developing marketable new skills through exposure to the field of standards.

For more information about ASTM’s student outreach activities and the Jumpstart Your Career campaign, please contact James Olshefsky, director of external relations (phone: 610-832-9714;, or visit “ASTM Campus.”


Brunei Ministry and ASTM International Sign Memorandum of Understanding

National Standards Bodies also Report on MOU Activities

ASTM International has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Development Brunei Darussalam. The MOU was signed by James A. Thomas, ASTM president, and Hj Abidin Hj Saidin, head, Authority for Building Control and Construction Industry, Ministry of Development, on Feb. 22. This is the 74th MOU that ASTM has signed with a national standards organization.

Initiated in 2001, ASTM International’s MOU program promotes communication between ASTM International and national standards bodies worldwide, fostering awareness of the standardization systems of all parties involved. The purpose of the program is to increase greater worldwide participation in the ASTM standards development process and facilitate the development of national standards that will aid health, safety, and environmental and economic conditions.

The following national standard organizations have provided reports detailing their MOU relationships with ASTM.


Established in 2004, the Afghanistan National Standards Authority signed an MOU with ASTM the following year. ANSA develops and maintains Afghan national standards and technical regulations, the testing and certification of products, metrology function, promotion of technical progress and facilitation of trade through standardization.

In the past year, ANSA has referenced 72 ASTM standards in Afghan national standards. The majority of these standards are from ASTM Committees D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants and D04 on Road and Paving Materials. In addition, professionals and students in Afghanistan have participated as ASTM members.


The Bureau of Product Standards under the Department of Trade and Industry develops, implements and coordinates all standardization activities in the Philippines. BPS signed an MOU with ASTM in 2003. Since then, BPS has used hundreds of ASTM International standards for the development of Philippine national standards. This includes standards for adhesives, cement and concrete, building construction, consumer products, steel, glass ceramics, adhesives and more. This year, 61 ASTM International standards were adopted as identical Philippine national standards.

Currently, more than 250 Filipino technical experts serve on of ASTM's standards development committees.

South Africa

The South African Bureau of Standards is the national institution for the promotion and maintenance of standardization and quality in connection with commodities and the rendering of services in South Africa. Like ASTM, SABS publishes national standards developed through a consensus process in technical committees.

SABS has referenced hundreds of ASTM International standards in South African national standards since 2003. More than 250 ASTM standards were referenced in the preparation of South African national standards in the last year. In addition, one ASTM standard was adopted as an identical South African standard, while another ASTM standard was referenced in South African regulations.

Close to 150 South Africans take serve on ASTM0 technical committees. SABS has also taken part in ASTM technical assistance programs on textiles and gasoline held in South Africa.
In 2010, SABS took part in another benefit offered to MOU signatories, the ASTM Standards Expert Program. Every year, ASTM International invites standards experts to ASTM headquarters for a one-month period as part of the SEP program. During the stay, the expert learns about ASTM International and its operations, ASTM technical committees and ASTM’s virtual tools. Percy Malatsi, a project leader in the chemical and mining department at SABS, participated in the 2010 program.


The Turkish Standards Institution, established in 1954, is the national standards body of Turkey. TSE oversees quality and system certification, product and service site certification, personnel certification, laboratories, calibration, standard preparation, legal issues and research planning. ASTM and TSE signed an MOU in 2003.

There are more than 8,000 Turkish national standards. Since 2003, Turkey has adapted, adopted or referenced thousands of ASTM standards in the development of Turkish standards. More than 1,000 ASTM standards were consulted by TSE for Turkish national standards in 2010. Currently, more than 160 professionals from Turkey participate on ASTM International technical committees.

Virtual Training

Concrete and Mortars

On March 3-4, the Asociación Colombiana de Productores de Concreto (ASOCRETO) held a two-day workshop, Concrete and Mortars from the Last Generation. Toy Poole, Ph.D., senior principal scientist, CTLGroup, Austin, Texas, an ASTM International member currently serving on ASTM’s board of directors, made a presentation, “Advances in Concrete Technology,” which was based in Bogotá, Colombia.

ASTM International invited its Spanish speaking members from Committees C01 on Cement and C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates to join the session virtually; more than 100 participants from 28 cities in 16 countries connected remotely to the presentation.


On March 21, ASTM International held a one-hour session covering ASTM International standards on textiles for 40 textile students from the Los Angeles Trade Technical College.
Adi B. Chehna, owner of Textile Tech Services in Marlborough, Mass., who serves on Committee D13 on Textiles, delivered the presentation on ASTM International’s standards D6193, Practice for Stitches and Seams, and D5646, Terminology of Basic Sewing Machine Stitches for Home Use. Chehna made the presentation from his office in Massachusetts to the students in California.


ASTM Board of Directors

The 2011 ASTM International board of directors met at ASTM International heaquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa., in April. For information about the meeting, click here. Seated, from left: Mary H. Saunders, Ronald J. Ebelhar, Toy S. Poole, Dennis D. Rounds, Marilyn L. Baker; second row, from left: Randy Jennings, Paul K. Whitcraft (past chairman), Mary C. McKiel (vice chairman), James A. Thomas (president), Catherine H. Pilarz (chairman), Kenneth F. Yarosh (vice chairman), D. Thomas Marsh, Thomas A. Schwartz, S. Shyam Sunder; top row, from left: Michael R. Withers, Robert D. Thomas, Shaun E. Donnelly, Warren O. Haggard, Ricky W. Magee, Ralph M. Paroli, Carroll D. Davis, Anthony W. Thornton, Roger E. Stoller (past chairman). Not shown: Torsten Bahke, Masami Tanaka.


ASTM Participates in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference

Conference on Green Buldings and Growth Emphasizes Use of Standards
in Reducing Trade Barriers

ASTM meet with South Korean standards experts

James A. Thomas (left), ASTM president, meets with Gary Locke, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference on Green Buildings and Green Growth.

Minimizing barriers to trade for green building products, materials and services in the Asia Pacific region through cooperation on standards and conformity assessment took significant steps forward at the March 3-4 Conference on Green Buildings and Green Growth, which focused on the enabling role of standards and trade.

The U.S. government partnered with ASTM International and approximately 20 other trade associations, standards development organizations and conformity assessment bodies to plan and host the conference, which attracted 150 participants from all of the 21 APEC member economies. The two-day conference was one event in a series leading up to the first Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation senior officials meetings in 2011 hosted in Washington, D.C.

The conference featured keynote addresses by Ronald Sims, undersecretary for housing and urban development, and Frank O’Brien-Bernini, vice president and chief sustainability officer of Owens Corning.

The building products sector is one of the highest performing manufacturing export sectors for the United States, with exports of $30 billion (2009) supporting an estimated 153,000 jobs. Key topics of the conference included a discussion of a recently completed APEC survey of its members’ policies on green buildings and both voluntary and mandatory requirements for market entry. Business representatives discussed their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of trading green building products in the Asia-Pacific market.

APEC is a 21-member intergovernmental forum that works through private sector input to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers across the Asia-Pacific region. APEC represents 60 percent of global production, 47 percent of world trade and one-third of the earth’s population.

ASTM meet with South Korean standards experts

James Thomas, ASTM president, speaks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference on Green Buildings and Green Growth.

Increasing economic engagement in the Asia-Pacific region reflects President Obama’s priorities for the United States as the APEC host for 2011, which included strengthening regional economic integration and expanding trade, promoting green growth and advancing regulatory cooperation and convergence.

The Conference Program

Six conference sessions covered a broad range of sustainable building topics from the manufacture to the export of green products and materials. Ten economies sent speakers: Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States.

In his opening remarks, James A. Thomas, president of ASTM International, paved the way for meaningful dialogue during the two-day program. “As in the standards development work taking place in ASTM and in the standardization system in the United States, this conference is a demonstration of the benefits and value of the public-private partnership,” said Thomas. “From the development of the proposal to the delivery of this conference, the collaboration of public and private stakeholders has been a fundamental component of the effort and keystone to its success.”

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, in his remarks on the second day of the conference, said, “At [the U.S. Department of] Commerce, we are working closely with the U.S. Trade Representative and our counterparts in Asia to ensure the Trans-Pacific Partnership makes important headway in standards development. As always, APEC will be central to this effort, and I want to thank the several APEC economies and private sector organizations that are co-sponsoring this green growth conference.”

United States government agencies presenting at the program were the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Private sector representation included associations representing the building industry and codes and standards developing organizations such as ASTM International, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, the American Wood Council, the Construction Specifications Institute, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, the International Code Council, the National Fenestration Rating Council, and UL Environment.

The conference was part of the project, “Sustainability in Building Construction (Commercial Buildings) – Efficiency and Conservation,” overseen by the U.S. Department of Commerce and ASTM International to build awareness and promote participation in developing technical requirements that will facilitate trade in the sustainable construction of commercial buildings. A further aspect of the project concerns uniformity in measuring claims regarding sustainable products and systems. Other project plans include case studies and a second conference later in the year.

Survey on Sustainability in Building Construction

The sustainability project began with a survey of the APEC member economies to establish a baseline of information on the regulation, standards and trade of sustainable commercial construction today. The survey was co-sponsored by the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute; the Aluminum Association; the International Code Council; and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials. In addition, support from NFRC helped to realize the event. Results of the survey were presented at the workshop and will be posted online.

Future Green Growth in the Asia-Pacific Region

The Green Buildings and Growth workshop provided a practical landscape for all stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific region to be in communication. Creating an early dialogue on standards under development before governments proceed in adopting codes and regulations reduces the potential for technical barriers to trade in the green building construction arena.
Outcomes of the project on building construction sustainability will serve to encourage investment in environmental goods and services, foster good regulatory practices and maximize the region’s economic and social well-being.

For more information on APEC 2011, click here.


ASTM Makes Donation to Japan Relief Work

ASTM International has contributed $25,000 to the American Red Cross in support of the relief and recovery efforts in Japan following the March earthquake and tsunami. The American Red Cross offers assistance to the Japanese Red Cross in helping the many thousands of people affected by the natural disaster.

ASTM International has close ties to Japan’s national standards body, the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee, as well as to the Japanese Standards Association, one of the largest and most important distributors of ASTM standards in the world.

“ASTM International is pleased to support the relief efforts of the Red Cross,” said James A. Thomas, president, ASTM International. “For many decades, ASTM has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with the Japanese standards community. And, ASTM has members throughout Japan who participate in developing ASTM standards. Our thoughts are with our Japanese friends, colleagues and with all the people of Japan at this difficult time.”

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