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ASTM Open House Scheduled for Latin American, Caribbean, and Canadian Standards Leaders
ASTM has scheduled an open house for invited leaders of the National Member Bodies of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada on Nov. 29 and 30 at ASTM’s International Headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa. The purpose of the open house is to provide guests with information about ASTM, to open lines of communication, and to find new ways to work together. The concept of the ASTM open house had been discussed and endorsed by the COPANT (Pan American Standards Commission) board of directors during its August meeting in Mexico City.

New Alliance for Building Regulatory Reform
The National Alliance for Building and Regulatory Reform has been launched with the participation of representatives from 25 national organizations and governmental agencies involved in the construction process. With concerns that the regulation of the design and construction of buildings in the United States today leads to “unnecessary added costs to construction,” the alliance intends to use information technology to transform the nation’s building regulatory process to enable the construction industry to build faster, better, safer, and at less cost. Immediate objectives of this reform project include the development and dissemination of uniform technical requirements for procurement of hardware and software used in the regulation of the design, construction, and operation of buildings, a clearinghouse for all levels of government on available hardware and software used in building regulation, and more. Contact Carolyn Fitch or Barbara Divver, NCSBCS (703/437-0100).

New Resources from ASME
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers has launched two new initiatives: the ASME Continuing Education Institute and the Nanotechnology Institute. The Continuing Education Institute is an expansion of ASME’s career development programs for engineers and other technical professionals. CEI will utilize the Internet and other communication methods to broaden ASME’s educational programs. CEI will offer a variety of public short courses, in-company training, technology seminars, educational products, distance learning, and online courses. The Nanotechnology Institute is dedicated to furthering the art, science, and practice of nanotechnology as a clearinghouse and focal point for ASME activities in nanotechnology. It provides interdisciplinary programs for researchers and practitioners and promotes activities that bridge science, engineering, governmental, and educational applications.

Scholarship Established in Memory of ASTM Member
A scholarship fund has been established in memory of E. George Stern, an ASTM Fellow who died earlier this year. The scholarship has been established in the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech. It is designed to assist students studying wood science and in particular, pallets, fasteners, or construction. Awards will be based on academic excellence and need. Stern was the Earle B. Norris research professor emeritus of wood construction in the above-mentioned department, as well as creator of the Stern Fastener and Pallet Research Laboratory and the inventor of a particleboard for the furniture industry. Contact: Stephanie Gomon, College of Natural Resources (phone: 540/231-8859).

Chemistry of Cement
The 11th International Congress on the Chemistry of Cement will be held in South Africa on May 11-16, 2003. The main theme of the congress is Cement’s Contribution to the 21st Century. Technical tours are planned and will include tours of local cement production facilities, a visit to a synthetic gypsum factory, and a durability case study. Contact: John Sheath, Cement and Concrete Institute, South Africa (phone: 44 11 315 0300).

NIST and the Smithsonian
To honor 100 years of service by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History has opened an exhibit titled “Striving for Standards.” The exhibit takes a close look at three NIST “standards challenges”: defining length; describing color; and encouraging America to convert to the metric system. For example, NIST work on color has impacts ranging from child’s play to traffic safety. The makers of Crayola crayons used NIST’s 1955 publication Color: Universal Language and Dictionary of Names to help select names for their crayons. The standard colors used by the railroad, shipping, and aerospace industries are based on NIST work, as are the familiar red, yellow and green of traffic lights, and school bus yellow. The exhibit also includes the solid platinum alloy meter bar and krypton lamp that served as the official U.S. standard of length from 1893 to 1960 and 1960 to 1983, respectively. Click here for a detailed look at NIST’s first century. //

Copyright 2001, ASTM