ASTM International was a participant in the 2nd Latin American and Caribbean Seminar on Biofuels held Sept. 26-28 in San Salvador, El Salvador. The seminar was organized by the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE - Organización Latino americana de Energía) with coordination from the Inter-American Institute for Agriculture Cooperation and the support of the Salvadoran Ministry of the Economy and the Ministry of Agriculture, the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy, United Nations Organization for Agriculture and Food and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration.
Presenters and participants had the opportunity to:
- Share experiences and highlight progress made in the development of national biofuels programs;
- Analyze regulatory frameworks;
- Present technological advances for biofuels production;
- Analyze existing agricultural potential for biofuels production in the region;
- Debate the issue of food security vs. agro-fuels; and
- Foster investments and project financing.
Teresa Cendrowska, vice president of global cooperation, ASTM International, presented information as a member of the panel on “Standards for Biofuels Quality Control.” Her presentation outlined information about:
- ASTM International and its international standards;
- The memorandum of understanding program (all five Central American Free Trade Agreement signatories have MOUs with ASTM); and
- Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants, the committee’s work on bioethanol and biodiesel standards, and its collaborative role on the task groups working to develop global biofuel standards.
Cendrowska also participated in a forum on biofuels sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador. The forum brought together 40 stakeholders, including representatives of sugar growers and millers, environmental groups, ministries of the economy, agriculture and environment, fuel distributors, and members of legislative committees who are currently considering biofuels laws. The objective of the forum was to discuss the issues related to and implications of utilization of biofuels in El Salvador. //
ASTM Establishes Online Centers at Latin American Concrete Trade Associations
ASTM International, in cooperation with seven separate national concrete trade associations, is making ASTM standards more accessible to individual users in Latin America. Each trade association will provide instantaneous, electronic access to published ASTM standards (historical and redline), research reports and the Digital Library content through an Online Center. This includes:
- Free “view-only” access in the respective country;
- The ability to reproduce and sell PDF versions of those same standards at rates discounted from established ASTM pricing; and
- The ability to demonstrate ASTM standards and publication products at various trade shows, exhibits and/or meetings.
Online Centers have been launched in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Bogotá, Colombia; Quito, Ecuador; Guatemala City, Guatemala; El Dorado, Panama and Caracas, Venezuela. A center is also scheduled to be launched in San José, Costa Rica, in early November. In addition, a promotional video featuring ASTM President James Thomas has been developed and will be used by the Trade Associations to introduce the new centers. //
The new ASTM Online Center at ASOCRETO, Bogota, Colombia.
ASTM International Conducts Technical and Professional Training Workshop in Zambia
ASTM International, in cooperation with the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) and Zambia’s National Council for Construction, conducted a training workshop on standards for building construction July 23–25 in Lusaka, Zambia. The workshop, which was held at the headquarters of the National Council for Construction, was attended by 35 participants from public and private organizations as well as academia.
Participants at the technical assistance training workshop in Zambia pause to pose for a photo.
Participants and special guests were welcomed by Mataa Mukelabai, director of ZABS, and Nkole Bwalya, Zambia Institute of Architects and a member of the NCC board of directors. Mukelabai described the recently executed memorandum of understanding between ZABS and ASTM International, noted that the workshop was an outgrowth of the MOU program, and encouraged participants to leverage the information provided through participation in the ASTM standards development process. Mr. Bwalya, who had earlier led a tour of the NCC Construction Materials Testing Laboratory, emphasized the opportunities for improved construction testing and inspection through NCC leadership, and the need for resources to support training of testing and inspection personnel.
Mr. Bwalya also recognized and introduced two special guests, the Honorable B. Tetamashimba, MP, deputy minister, Ministry of Works and Supply; and the Honorable Carmen Martinez, United States ambassador to Zambia, and thanked them for their participation.
Deputy Minister Tetamashimba gave a special opening address that emphasized the importance of the country’s infrastructure to economic growth, and the essential roles of ZABS and the NCC. Ambassador Martinez gave a keynote speech that highlighted the critical nature of construction standards and building codes in the development of a safe, functional, economical and environmentally sound infrastructure. Ambassador Martinez commented on the long history of ASTM International standards, their role in construction and their global relevance. She also provided an overview of the goals of the workshop and recognized the instructors.
The workshop was conducted by Jon S. Traw, president and CEO of Traw Associates Consulting in Whittier, Calif., and Anthony E. Fiorato, senior consultant, CTLGroup, in Skokie, Ill. Traw and Fiorato are both active ASTM International members. Traw served as a member of the ASTM board of directors from 2002 to 2005. He is a member of ASTM Committee E05 on Fire Standards and serves as chairman of its Task Group on Smoke Barriers and Partitions. Fiorato has been a member of the ASTM board of directors since 2001 and served as chairman of the board in 2006. He currently serves on ASTM Committees C01 on Cement and C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates. He is chairman of Subcommittee C09.61 on Testing for Strength, as well as chairman of the Executive Committee of the Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory (ASTM C01.96/C09.96).
Also lecturing at the workshop was Lemba D. Nyirenda, chief technology advisor of the UNIDO Renewable Energy and ICT Services Project and chairman of the Engineering Institution of Zambia Transformation. Dr. Nyirenda spoke on the need to develop an institutional infrastructure to implement codes, standards, lab accreditation and certification programs. He also highlighted efforts to develop a Zambian Integrated Lifelines Building Code incorporating design standards, structural systems, electrical and telecommunication systems, water and waste systems, HVAC systems, fire prevention, and emergency and disaster protection.
Traw and Fiorato covered a range of topics including an overview of ASTM International; types of ASTM standards and how standards are developed; information related to the construction standards process; concrete construction; and types of building codes, their implementation and enforcement.
Participants closed the workshop with a lively open discussion on application of the training materials to local conditions, and means to ensure the follow-up so what was learned can be moved into practice.
For more information on the technical assistance training program, contact Jessica Hychalk, manager, global cooperation, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9693). //
Standard Experts to Spend Time at ASTM Headquarters
Two standards experts, Mohammed A. Al-Dablan from Saudi Arabia and Daniel Trillos from Colombia, will be visiting ASTM International Headquarters during October and November.
Al-Dablan is a construction and buildings materials standards researcher at the Standardization Organization for the Gulf Cooperation Council, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Among his responsibilities at GSO are performing research studies to assist GSO’s Construction and Building Materials technical committee, representing GSO in national and international meetings of construction committees, and assessing the needs of the construction industry and incorporating these needs into the technical committee’s plans.
Al-Dablan received a B.S. in civil engineering with a sub-major in structural and geotechnical engineering from King Saud University, Riyadh.
While he is at ASTM, Al-Dablan says he looks forward to learning how standardization work is planned and organized, especially standards developing activities within the construction and building materials realm.
Daniel Trillos is a standardization professional at ICONTEC (Instituto Colombiano de Normas Técnicas y Certificación), the national standards body of Colombia. Trillos is responsible for the management and coordination of 16 national technical committees related to civil engineering and the environment. He also participates in regional and international standardization activities.
Trillos has a B.S. in civil engineering from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia, and a master’s degree in environmental management from the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
During his visit, Trillos plans to learn how the standardization process works at ASTM International, from initial planning to distribution of standards. In addition, Trillos is interested in how voluntary standards are used in U.S. laws and regulations and how participation among different interests in the standardization process can be increased. //
Botswana and Ghana Standards Bodies Sign Memorandums of Understanding with ASTM
Botswana and Ghana are the latest countries whose national standards bodies have signed memorandums of understanding with ASTM International. In August, Adu Gyamfi Darkwa, executive director, Ghana Standards Bureau, and James Thomas, president of ASTM, signed an MOU, while Thomas and Elsie Meintjies, managing director, Botswana Bureau of Standards, signed an MOU in Geneva, Switzerland, in September.
Elsie Meintjies, managing director, Botswana Bureau of Standards and James Thomas, president, ASTM International, sign the MOU in Geneva. Sitting next to Thomas is Thembo Lebang, chairperson, standards council,Botswana Bureau of Standards.
ASTM International has now signed 52 memorandums of understanding with national standards bodies and one with a regional standards body. The purpose of the MOU program is to promote communication between ASTM International and national standards bodies; to promote knowledge of each other’s standards development activities; facilitate greater worldwide participation in the ASTM standards development process; and facilitate the development of national standards that will aid health, safety, environmental and economic conditions. //
Trade Association Members Receive Virtual Training
In September, James Olshefsky, ASTM director of external relations, and Jessica Hychalk, manager of global cooperation, hosted a virtual training session for six Latin American trade associations. The training provided trade association members in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Panama with an overview of ASTM International, along with specific information on ASTM International Committees C01 on Cement and C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates. Cesar Constantino, a C09 member, provided translations for the training session. //
ASTM Staff Manager Makes Presentations at Thailand Workshop
Joe Koury, staff manager, ASTM International, traveled to Thailand in August to attend the Workshop on Standards and Conformity Assessment Activities held in Bangkok on Aug. 27-31. The Thailand Industrial Standards Institute, Thailand’s national standards body, sponsored the workshop, which was hosted by the Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Koury made the first of his four presentations to staff at TISI headquarters. During this overview of ASTM International, Koury focused on electronic tools that can be used to participate in the standards developing process.
In addition to the general overview, Koury made three other industry-specific presentations during the workshop, focusing on the rubber, tire and furniture industries. The presentations generated many questions from audience members about balloting, handling negative votes, how to become a member of ASTM and other issues. //
Consortium Manager Visits ASTM Headquarters
ASTM International, in cooperationwith the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Petroleum Institute and CSA America, formed the Consortium on Standards and Conformity Assessment and established an office in Beijing in early 2005. CSCA continues to form relationships with peer agencies in China, monitor standards development, and promote acceptance of its members’ standards and conformity assessment systems. As part of a visit to the cooperating organizations in the United States, Leona Fu, manager of CSCA Operations, visited ASTM International headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa., Aug. 23-24. During her visit, Leona met with key ASTM staff to cover specific initiatives aimed at improving the application and use of ASTM International standards in China, as well as growing Chinese membership on technical committees. //
On Sept. 21, a delegation of standards executives from the People’s Republic of China gathered at ASTM International Headquarters for a meeting that was facilitated by the China Association for Standardization. ASTM staff members provided an overview of ASTM and the United State’ standardization system. The formal program was followed by a question and answer session that included discussions of stakeholder participation, the adoption and reference of ASTM standards to facilitate trade and the ASTM business model. The workshop also included a demonstration of ASTM’s online standards
Conshohocken Library Receives Computer Workstations from ASTM International
ASTM International recently donated two complete computer workstations to the Conshohocken Free Library, a branch of the Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library. The addition of these computers now allows the library to provide eight public access Internet computers to patrons. ASTM International has regularly supported the library, often focusing on the children’s section.
Shown at one of the new workstations are (seated, left to right): Jane Cole, branch manager, Conshohocken Free Library; and Elizabeth Webber, treasurer/trustee, Conshohocken Free Library; (standing, left to right): David von Glahn, director, product development and promotion, ASTM International; and Brian Coll, trustee, Conshohocken Free Library.
ASTM International sponsored a field trip for 80 fourth grade students from Whitehall Elementary School to Riverbend Environmental Education Center in Gladwyne, Pa., on Oct. 10. While at Riverbend, the students rotated among four different learning stations: Birds in the Forest Ecosystem, the Importance of Decomposers, Insects in the Meadow Ecosystem and Animals Niche: Focus on Pollination. The trip offered students a preview of what they’ll be learning when they study ecosystems in their classrooms next spring. In the photo, Stacy Carr-Poole, director of education, Riverbend, shows a section of a beehive to Whitehall students Oscar Garcia, Peter Eldredge and Rebecca Stemple, along with Katharine Morgan, vice president, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International.