News from the ASTM International Board of Directors Meeting



ASTM's board met Oct. 16-19 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Here is a summary of reports made and actions taken at those meetings.

Finances

The board approved all proposed budgets, the appointment of auditors, and the annual reaffirmation of resolutions pertaining to financial matters.

The board also approved the appointment of Andrew Kireta Jr. to serve as chairman of the 2017 Finance and Audit Committee. Kireta is vice president of market development at the Copper Development Association, New York City, and is active on the copper committee (B05). Kireta has served on the board since 2014.

Certification

The board approved the dissolution of the ASTM International Committee on Certification Programs, a standing committee that oversaw certification activities prior to the Safety Equipment Institute becoming a subsidiary of ASTM. The dissolution was a planned part of the reorganization around SEI’s new role as the home of all ASTM certification activities. SEI is now overseen by its own six-member board of directors. Revisions to SEI’s bylaws were also approved.

Technical Committee Operations

The board approved a new procedure for removing an elected officer, which will soon appear as an appendix to the bylaws of the Committee on Technical Committee Operations.

Another motion involved the placement of a caveat in all ASTM standards to clarify that our standards are developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles. The board approved that the following language would be included in the manual, Form and Style for ASTM Standards: This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides, and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

Committee on Publications

On recommendation from the ASTM Committee on Publications, the board awarded the Charles B. Dudley Award to Ted Steinberg, Ph.D., for his numerous outstanding contributions in publishing and supporting publications about the compatibility and sensitivity of materials in oxygen-enriched atmospheres (the focus of Committee G04).

Steinberg has published a large body of work within ASTM, including being lead (or co-) editor of seven STPs. He served as an assistant editor on the Journal of ASTM International. Steinberg, a professor at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, received the ASTM Professor of the Year award
in 2011.

Reports

Publications and Marketing

John Pace, vice president of publications and marketing, reported on how the product development, marketing, and sales teams are working to ensure the discoverability and interoperability of ASTM content through initiatives involving search engine optimization, taxonomy development, transclusion, “standards as data,” and an integrative approach to providing ASTM’s products and services to customers.

Government and Industry Relations

Jeffrey Grove, vice president of government and industry relations, reported on Washington, D.C., office activities involving federal regulation, agency outreach, international trade issues, and corporate outreach, including:

  • The U.S. Congress is considering the “Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth Act” (the “STURDY Act”), which would require the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to create a consumer product safety rule for free-standing clothing storage units. If the CPSC decides that an existing voluntary ASTM standard both adequately protects children from certain conditions and is likely to be substantially complied with by furniture manufacturers, then the requirements of the ASTM standard would be treated as a consumer product safety rule. The ASTM subcommittee on furniture safety (F15.42) has been working with the CPSC to address these issues, and congressional staffers are closely tracking their efforts.
  • ASTM staff members have been actively engaged in outreach with U.S. federal agencies, including the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • A task force of the National Association of Manufacturers sent a letter to Ambassador Michael Punke, deputy U.S. trade representative and U.S. Ambassador to the World Trade Organization, stating that the U.S. business committee rejects the suggestion from the EU that greater regulatory alignment must be achieved through greater mutual recognition of standards from ISO and IEC (International Organization for Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission, respectively). The ASTM Washington staff is actively engaged in the NAM task force on U.S.-EU Conformity Assessment and Standards.
  • The Washington, D.C., office often meets with companies and trade associations to build awareness and support for ASTM initiatives. Recent meetings and presentations include those with the Minnesota Center for Energy and the Environment, St. Jude Medical Systems, the Target Corp., and Flint Hill Resources.

Global Outreach

Teresa Cendrowska, vice president of global cooperation, reported on her group’s work. Some highlights follow.

  • During the board meetings, President James Thomas signed our 100th memorandum of understanding. This milestone agreement was signed with Montserrat (see page 34). The MOU program enhances communication and exchange of information between ASTM and its MOU partners. The global cooperation staff has gathered 7,075 citations of ASTM standards from 110 technical committees by both MOU and non-MOU nations.
  • One of the benefits of the MOU program is participation in our Standards Expert Program, which brings national standards body representatives to ASTM for a program that encourages global participation in ASTM standards development and supports the use of ASTM standards. For 2016, the three experts are from the Dominican Republic’s Instituto Dominicano para la Calidad, the Kazakhstan Institute for Standardization and Certification, and the Mauritius Standards Bureau.
  • Another benefit of the MOU program is the competitive MOU Technical Visitor Grant Program; this year’s participants are from Vietnam and Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Cendrowska reported on outreach in various regions of the world, including Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Satellite Office Reports

Brussels— The EU Affairs Office in Brussels works with other staff and ASTM members to build greater support and awareness of ASTM with European policymakers, companies and associations, and stakeholder groups. Recently, this included:

  • Participation in a media event in Brussels hosted by the U.S. Mission to the EU on international standards and trade with the influential European news agency “Politico.eu”;
  • A panel discussion on referencing standards in regulation during a World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade Committee meeting in Geneva, Switzerland; and
  • A panel on standards and trade issues at the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership discussion hosted by the Italian Confederation of Industry in Rome.

Canada

Recent outreach efforts to government and industry in Canada have resulted in greater awareness of ASTM standards and recent outcomes such as a proposed Memorandum of Cooperation with Engineers Canada and the development of a portal product to support the Alberta Safety Codes Council’s review of ASTM amusement ride standards for provincial adoption. ASTM serves as a member of the National Public Safety Advisory Committee and is participating in committee efforts focused on the needs of regulators and standards developers.

China

The China office staff continues to focus on promoting ASTM standards for aerospace and aviation, smart manufacturing, energy, environment, consumer products, and textiles. They also continue to track updates to China’s foreign nongovernment organization management law and standardization reform efforts. Executive Vice President Katharine Morgan and Teresa Cendrowska visited the area in the summer to conduct several outreach visits and attend the ISO General Assembly.

Latin America 

Connections made during ASTM’s Latin American Road Show in May have resulted in several opportunities for partnership in nations such as Chile and Colombia.

Laboratory Services

Timothy Brooke, vice president of laboratory services, reported on developments in his area.

  • A new learning management system will debut in 2017 that will enhance how students of ASTM’s training program access their course portfolio. New classes are in development on soil compaction, asphalt, and petroleum, along with programs for masonry and asphalt lab technicians.
  • The Proficiency Testing Programs are transitioning to “PTP 2.0,” which will reduce the complexity of managing programs and administrative burdens, eliminate manual processes, provide automatic notifications and improve report generation and notifications. In addition, ASTM staff have applied to have our PTP program accredited to ISO 17043.

Business Development

Brian Meincke, assistant vice president of business development, talked to the board about initiatives in his area.

  • New standards development activities have been created on recovered carbon black and commercial spaceflight (new Committee F47). Potential activities on standards for medical cannabis, container ports, food safety, and crowdfunding platforms are in the exploratory phase.
  • MOUs and liaison agreements with the Society for Human Resource Management, 3MF, and Johns Hopkins University are in various phases of completion. The agreement with 3MF, a 3D printing consortium, was signed in June.

Corporate Communications

Nathan Osburn, director of corporate communications, reported to the board on developments in public and media relations, digital engagement, and Standardization News magazine.

  • Stories that mentioned ASTM standards for personal protective equipment, amusement rides, furniture tipovers, fitness equipment, hoverboards, and more were featured in media outlets such as 60 Minutes, National Public Radio, ABC World News Tonight, The Atlantic, and Telemundo.
  • Standardization News’ online site has experienced a 140 percent increase in traffic in 2016 over 2015.
  • Guest editorials written by ASTM executive leadership have appeared in The National (UAE), USA Today, Noticreto (Colombia), and the San Antonio Business Journal.
  • Videos have been developed on standards for petroleum, amusement rides, and sports and leisure. Another is being developed on ASTM’s leadership in the concrete industry.

A Fond Farewell

This board meeting marked President James A. Thomas’ last, as he will be retiring at the end of January 2017. (See his final Plain Talk for more.) Thomas was honored with a resolution, read into the meeting minutes, that highlighted his forward-looking career at ASTM, his compassionate care for the ASTM staff, his impact on international standardization, and through that, the health and safety of global citizens. The resolution concluded with the board and staff’s pledge “to work each day to build on [his] immense and unparalleled legacy.”

 

November/December
2016
Industry Sectors: 
Construction
Consumer Products
Metals & Materials
Safety
Environment
Transportation
Chemicals
Energy
Medical
Quality