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Magazines & Newsletters / ASTM Standardization News


November/December 2008

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biofuel videoconference

Side-by-side screens show petroleum industry representatives in Peru (left) and ASTM staff and members at ASTM headquarters (right) taking part in the videoconference follow-up to an Aug. 12 meeting in Lima.

ASTM Staff, Members of Peru’s Petroleum
Industry, Discuss Biodiesel

Videoconference Follows Up Event in Lima, Peru

Seventy members of Peru’s petroleum industry, including key players on the Peruvian Technical Committee on Biofuel Standards, attended ASTM International — Present and Future of Biofuels for Use in Engines. The Aug. 12 event was hosted at the Lima, Peru, office of PetroPeru, a major petroleum company in the region. Represented stakeholders included the Ministry of Energy and Mines, biodiesel processors, fuel commercialization and retail concerns, regulators, laboratories and universities.

James Olshefsky, director of external relations, ASTM International, made a presentation about ASTM and its standards related to ethanol and biodiesel, and other related programs. Peru has referenced several ASTM standards on petroleum in their national standard on biodiesel. As a result of Olshefsky’s visit, more than 30 technical experts from Peru have joined ASTM International Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants.

A new Peruvian regulation will require a 2% blend in all diesel by the beginning of 2009. Peru also recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States to cooperate bilaterally on renewable and clean energy matters (for more information about the agreement, click here).

As a follow-up to the Aug. 12 event, Peruvian petroleum industry representatives took part in a Sept. 23 videoconference with ASTM staff and an expert from Committee D02. Paul Wells, an engineer from the fuel products section of ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co., answered technical questions related to ASTM biodiesel specifications and test methods.

Afterward, Ricardo A. Diaz, technical coordinator of the Peru biofuels committee, expressed his appreciation for the discussion and was optimistic about future cooperation between ASTM International and standards committees in Peru.

For more information on ASTM International standards for biodiesel fuel, click here.

ASTM Staff Meet with Delegation from Afghanistan in Washington, D.C.

Kevin Cummins, director, public policy and international trade, ASTM International, and Teresa Cendrowska, vice president, global cooperation, ASTM, participated in a U.S. Trade and Development Agency orientation visit for a delegation of experts from several industries in Afghanistan conducted at the ASTM Washington, D.C., office on Aug. 5.

Popal Popalzai, CEO of the Afghanistan National Standardization Authority, led the Afghan delegation. ASTM International and ANSA signed a memorandum of understanding in 2005. The group also included three experts in food safety, one in metrology, two in petroleum and lubricants, and two in pharmaceuticals.  

Cummins and Cendrowska presented information about ASTM International, the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act and the use of ASTM standards in U.S. federal regulation, the benefits of the ASTM–ANSA MOU, and highlights of the standards development work of Committees D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants and E55 on Manufacture of Pharmaceutical Products.

China-US-EU delegation

The delegation from the China-U.S.-European Union initiative visited the JEDDA Co. in Guangzhou, China, following the event.

ASTM Chief Representative in China Discusses Standards at Joint Initiative

Standards for Textiles and Toys Described

On Sept. 19 and 22, Liu Fei, ASTM’s chief representative in China, joined the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in presenting at the Joint China–U.S.–European Union Initiative on Consumer Product Safety Compliance in Beijing and Guangzhou, respectively. The initiative was undertaken to clarify safety requirements for consumer products in the U.S. and Europe in order to enhance safety in the product supply chain. The audience comprised regulators as well as business, laboratory and manufacturing representatives.

Mr. Liu made separate presentations about Committees D13 on Textiles and F15 on Consumer Products, and their respective standards on textiles and toys. His message to the audience described the inclusive nature of ASTM International’s standards development process, the ability of stakeholders to influence the standards developed and the benefits to Chinese industry of participating in ASTM International.

While speaking about F15, Mr. Liu focused on the use of ASTM standards by the U.S. government, with a particular emphasis on the citation of ASTM F963, Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, as a mandatory requirement for toys sold in the U.S. Key revisions to F963 were also addressed.

During his D13 presentation, Mr. Liu discussed the adoption of 12 items of D13 standards into the Chinese GB language coding system, key issues addressed by D13 and training courses on flammability testing for clothes.

Lucio Donadi, Karthik Obla, Jose Fernando Arce, Edson Alcocer, Maria Eugenia and Vania Cadima (clockwise from left) discuss pervious concrete at a C09.49 task group meeting.

ASTM Technical Committee Members and Staff Attend Concrete Industry Event in Colombia

Conference Attracts Global Participation

ASTM International board member Manuel Lascarro, director of special projects, Asociación Colombiana de Productores de Concreto (ASOCRETO), invited ASTM members and staff to participate in the biannual RC (Reunión del Concreto) concrete and construction technical conference Sept. 16-19 in Cartagena, Colombia. The conference brought together representatives from throughout the concrete industry in the global arena.

Karthik Obla, chair, Subcommittee C09.49 on Pervious Concrete, and César Constantino, member, Committees C01 on Cement and C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates, participated in the series of meetings, educational seminars and trade shows that comprised RC2008.

ASTM staff members James Olshefsky, director, external relations, Scott Orthey, staff manager, Committees C01 and C09, and Jessica Hychalk, manager, global cooperation, accompanied Obla and Constantino. Obla, Constantino, Orthey and Olshefsky all made presentations on a variety of topics related to ASTM C09 concrete standards. In addition, Obla, Orthey and Olshefsky held a C09.49 task group meeting to share experiences related to pervious concrete.

During the event, ASTM staff met and had discussions with Online Center representatives, allowing for a brief presentation as well as an open forum for suggestions and future collaboration. ASTM International Online Centers, in cooperation with nine national concrete trade associations, provide ASTM standards to individual users throughout Latin America. Each trade association hosts an Information Center that provides electronic access to published ASTM standards as well as content from ASTM’s Digital Library.

Delegation in U.S. from Vietnam Meets with ASTM Staff to Discuss Nuclear Technology Standards

ASTM staff members Teresa Cendrowska, vice president, global cooperation, and Joe Koury, manager, technical committee operations, recently met with a delegation of Vietnamese government and industry representatives. The delegation was in the United States on a 12-day U.S. Trade and Development Agency orientation. While in the U.S., delegates studied best practices in the design, construction, operations and regulations of the civilian nuclear energy industry. Key objectives of the visit were to highlight U.S. technology services and operational best practices related to this sector as well as to increase the level of collaboration between the U.S. government and Vietnam.

During the delegation’s meeting, Cendrowska and Koury presented information on ASTM International, the memorandum of understanding between ASTM and the Vietnamese national standards body, the Directorate for Standards and Quality (STAMEQ), and ASTM Committees E10 on Nuclear Technology and Applications and C26 on Nuclear Fuel Cycle. ASTM standards, including several developed by E10, are used in Vietnam as informational resources, reference documents and as the basis of Vietnamese national standards.

The Vietnamese delegation was comprised of senior leaders from Vietnam’s Office of the Government, National Assembly, Ministry of International Trade, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ninh Thuan Province People’s Committee, and Electricity of Vietnam.

meeting at ASTM

Shown from left to right: Kathie Morgan, vice president, technical committee operations, ASTM; Ramani Narayan, Committee D20 on Plastics member, former ASTM board member and professor, University of Michigan; James Thomas, president, ASTM; V.S. Sampath, secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Indian Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers; Brynn Murphy, manager, Committee D20; and Teresa Cendrowska, vice president, global cooperation, ASTM.

Indian Official Meets with ASTM Staff and Past Board Member to Discuss Plastics

In September, several ASTM staff members met with V.S. Sampath, secretary of the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India, and Ramani Narayan, past ASTM board member and professor, University of Michigan, at ASTM International headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa. The focus of discussion was how to best facilitate the education and engagement of several high level researchers at India’s Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology in ASTM International Committee D20 on Plastics, of which Narayan is a member.  

CIPET is a leading academic and research institution for plastics technology based in Chennai, India. Through its 15 campuses across India, CIPET interacts with the Indian plastics industry on matters of testing, quality assurance, and research and design.

Coordinated Program in Ecuador Focuses on Cement and Concrete

Next Program to Be Held in the Middle East

On Sept. 15, ASTM International held a coordinated program focusing on products and advances to standards in the cement and concrete sector in Quito, Ecuador. The program was held at the Cámara de la Construcción de Quito in cooperation with the Instituto Ecuatoriano del Cemento y el Concreto (INECYC) and Asociación de Productores de Hormigón Premezclado del Ecuador (APRHOPEC).

José Fernando Arce, president, APRHOPEC, invited ASTM staff and members to make presentations to about 50 stakeholders from industry and government. Martin Farrell, director, international sales (Australia/Asia and Western U.S.), ASTM, and James Olshefsky, director, external relations, ASTM, each made presentations. In addition, ASTM member César Constantino and Ecuadorian engineer Raúl Camianiero spoke. APRHOPEC has been active in hosting one of ASTM’s nine Online Centers since June 2007.

The coordinated program in Ecuador is the third of four such events to occur in 2008. Two previous programs were held with China and Russia, while a program will focus on the Middle East in November.

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

ASTM Now Accepting Applications for 2009 Mather Scholarship and WISE Intern Program

ASTM International is currently seeking nominees for the 2009 ASTM International Katharine and Bryant Mather Scholarship and for the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering program.

Administered by ASTM International Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates, the Mather scholarship applies to students pursuing degrees specializing in cement or concrete materials technology or concrete construction. Full-time undergraduate students completing at least their second/sophomore year of college or graduate students specializing in cement or concrete materials technology are eligible to apply for this award, which consists of $7,500 in tuition assistance. Applications are due April 30, 2009.

ASTM is also currently accepting applications from students for a 10-week paid internship in the 2009 Washington Internships for Students of Engineering program. The 10-week summer program consists of 12-15 engineering students who are entering their final year of undergraduate study. WISE students live in Washington, D.C., and learn how government decisions are made on technological issues and how engineers can contribute to legislative/public policy decisions. The deadline for applications for the 2009 summer WISE program is Dec. 31.

For more information on the Mather scholarship, please click here, or contact Scott Orthey, manager, technical committee operations, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9730).

For more information on the WISE program, please click here, or contact James Olshefsky, director, external relations, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9714).

Technical Assistance Training

Statistics and Concrete Standards Featured

As part of its memorandum of understanding program, ASTM International provides technical and professional training courses that cover many different standardization fields to national standards bodies throughout the world. Recent technical assistance training has taken place in Colombia, Mexico and Jamaica.

Committee E11 in Columbia

Participants in the Statistics and Standard Development session in Bogotá, Colombia

Committee E11 in Colombia

Frank Sinibaldi, vice chair, ASTM International Committee E11 on Quality and Statistics, conducted “Statistics and Standards Development: Test Method Development and Validation” at the Jefe Normalización ICONTEC facilities in Bogotá, Colombia, on Sept. 16-17. ICONTEC is the national standards body of Colombia. The approximately 30 attendees were professionals from ICONTEC and other organizations, companies and educational institutions in Colombia.

In addition to a brief overview of ASTM International, Sinibaldi’s formal presentation covered the basic development of test methods from their conception through method validation along with training in understanding the basic statistics involved throughout all phases of test method development. Sinibaldi says that the participation of the attendees and their diverse questions as well as the sharing of their experiences helped to develop a better understanding and appreciation of the development of ASTM test methods.

Committee C09 in Jamaica and Mexico

Committee C09 in Jamaica

Participants in the cement and concrete standards training program in Kingston, Jamaica, gather with instructors Nicholas J. Carino (left) and Anthony E. Fiorato (right of center).

During 2008, members of ASTM Committee C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates have presented three technical assistance progams. All three sessions dealt with ASTM standards on concrete, cement and reinforcing steel that are referenced in ACI 318-05, the American Concrete Institute design standard for structural concrete. The ACI design standard is widely used throughout Latin America and the Caribbean in the design of concrete structures.

Nicholas J. Carino, past chair of Committee C09, and Anthony E. Fiorato, former ASTM board chair and current chair of C09, presented the first of the training sessions in Kingston, Jamaica, in January. This session, co-sponsored by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, was prompted by the recent adaptation of the International Building Code, which references ACI 318-05, as the local building code for Jamaica.

Committee C09 in Mexico

Participants in the ASTM technical and professional training course on cement and concrete standards gather with instructor Carino (second from right) and ASTM Mexico Office Contact Administrator Vanessa Corona (far left, front row).

In July, Carino presented a train-the-trainer program coordinated by ASTM/Mexico and the Instituto Mexicano del Cemento y del Concreto in Mexico City, Mexico. ASTM and IMCYC entered into an agreement through which the course materials developed by ASTM would be translated into Spanish by IMCYC and would be incorporated into IMCYC’s certification program for field and laboratory concrete testing technicians.

Finally, in September Carino presented a three-day course in Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico, that was co-sponsored by IMCYC and the Asociación Nacional de Compañias de Supervisión. The training, held at the facilities of Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles de la Laguna, was the first part of a weeklong training program on certification of concrete construction inspectors administered by IMCYC.

For more information on the technical assistance program, contact Jessica Hychalk, manager, global cooperation (phone: 610-832-9693), or click here.