News from the ASTM International Board of Directors Meeting



The board of directors met Oct. 13-16 in Boston, Massachusetts. Here is a summary of reports made and actions taken at those meetings.
David Walsh

Board Actions

The board approved the following actions:

  • The appointment of Oliver Delery as chair of the 2020 Finance and Audit Committee. Delery is vice president of government affairs with Forterra Inc., Lakeview, Louisiana. He is a former chair of the committee on concrete pipe (C13) and is also active on the committee on plastic piping systems (F17). He has served on the board since 2017.
  • The establishment of the Werner H. Gumpertz Award, to be presented annually to an engineer, scientist, or architect who has made significant professional contributions to the field of building technology and/or to multidisciplinary technical problem solving in the construction industry.
  • Enhanced outreach and awareness in Singapore.
  • Changing “chairman” to “chair” in all ASTM International communications to reflect gender neutral language usage.
  • The board also approved budgets (including support for new staff positions), the appointment of new auditors, and other actions.

Global Cooperation and Satellite Offices

To date, the total number of memorandums of understanding between ASTM International and national standards bodies is 113. New MOU partners in 2019 include the State Committee for Standardization of the Republic of Belarus.

In 2019, standards experts are visiting ASTM International headquarters from the standards development organizations of Guyana (GNBS), Nigeria (SON), and Taiwan (BSMI) as part of the Standards Expert Program, established in 2005 as a unique benefit offered only to MOU signatories. 

As part of ASTM International’s Technical Visitor Grant Program (TVGP), a standards expert from PetroEcuador will be also be visiting ASTM for a period of two to four weeks.

Teresa Cendrowska, vice president, global cooperation, and Weiwei Swei, manager, global cooperation, participated as United States observers in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Developing Country Meeting and General Assembly, which took place Sept. 17-20 in Cape Town, South Africa. More than 20 bilateral meetings with current and potential MOU partners (national and regional standards bodies) were conducted. 

As part of the assembly, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) conducted a workshop to continue advancing the Declaration on Gender Responsive Standards and Standards Development, and Cendrowska attended.

Africa

In November 2019, the Standards Alliance is planning to host a five-day training on a collection of petroleum fuel standards (API, ASME, ASTM) in Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire. ASTM was invited to conduct two days of training on diesel and gasoline standards. The overall purpose of this workshop is to trigger adoption of standards in French-speaking countries and eventually at a regional level [Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)]. 

Asia

ASTM International was invited by the U.S. Department of Commerce to address the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality (ACCSQ) in July to present information about ASTM International and additive manufacturing technologies. Pat Picariello, technical committee operations director, and Teresa Cendrowska provided a primer on the topic and explained how the work of the committee on additive manufacturing technologies (E54) and the ASTM memorandums of understanding offer a framework for the regional application and benefits of the technology. 

Brussels

The Washington, D.C., and Brussels, Belgium, offices met with the U.S. Trade Representative team in charge for the U.S.–EU trade negotiations that are currently underway.

On Sept. 27, ASTM International president Katherine Morgan and staff visited Brussels to meet with CEN-CENELEC Director General Elena Santiago Cid and to sign a Technical Cooperation Agreement. The agreement establishes a framework for technical cooperation and information exchange; facilitates dialogue and convergence on the technical requirements and related attributes of standards development; and should promote better coherence. The agreement will launch this fall with a pilot phase of two years in the technical areas of biobased plastic and end-of-life tires.

Middle East

On Sept. 23, ASTM launched its first chapter, located in the UAE. The event, sponsored by Knauf Middle East, brought together key leaders and engineers focused on the built environment under the ASTM umbrella. The UAE Chapter will provide a forum for technical experts and others to network and participate in standards-related activities. 

Rashid bin Fahad, Ph.D., president of the new ASTM International UAE Chapter and former ASTM board member, along with president Katharine Morgan, board chair Taco van der Maten, and board members R. Christopher Mathis and Amer Bin Ahmed, as well as staff members, participated in the chapter launch event. 

Washington, D.C., Office

ASTM International’s Washington Office is engaged in several activities involving federal legislation and regulations, international trade issues, and outreach to other organizations, agencies, and associations:

U.S. Congress 

ASTM is cooperating with congressional committees on issues such as consumer safety.

ASTM International continues to work as part of a coalition of standards and code development bodies to raise awareness of the importance of standards.  

Federal Agencies

Due in part to a law passed by Congress in 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce is preparing federal regulations to set limits on emerging technologies to keep them out of the hands of competing countries and industries abroad. ASTM International is monitoring this situation and analyzing its possible impact on developing international standards.

Outreach to Federal Agencies

ASTM International staff continue to work with standards executives from several federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

Corporate Outreach

Staff met with the executive director of the Build Strong Coalition and the Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) Council.

Business Development

Proposals for ASTM International’s Exo Technologies Center of Excellence have been reviewed, and the winning proposal has been announced. 

After hosting a successful series of workshops in 2019, ASTM International’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence will host the first International Conference on Additive Manufacturing in 2020. 

Certification and the Safety Equipment Institute 

Tim Brooke was appointed president of SEI, and SEI’s 2020 board of directors ware approved. 

Communications

The department announced new videos including “Women in Standards,” which went viral with over 20,000 views. Social media impressions also grew with continued strength on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Average time on page for Standardization News’ content pages topped a two-minute average for the first time. New online-only content has been introduced in 2019, on hot topics such as 3D printing, water, roads, and wildfires.

The SmartBrief weekly newsletter launch was successful with a high open rate and 2,000 new, nonmember subscribers in the initial launch.

The public/media relations team continues to manage several issues, ensuring that journalists understand ASTM International’s role as a voluntary standards developer.

The communications department co-led a successful effort to closely integrate the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals with standardization and other activities.

Laboratory Services

Six virtual “Lab Basics” courses will be launched in early 2020 as part of a curriculum to educate lab technicians. A virtual petroleum sampling course that utilizes 2D and 3D simulations will be launched in 2020 as well.

In the area of Proficiency Testing, improvements to the PTP2 System in 2019 included providing timely and relevant data to committee officers; a data confirmation email system; and tracking of sample shipments. Additional enhancements, including test method performance reports, are planned for 2020. New programs for liquid petroleum gas and natural and synthetic esters will also be launched in 2020.

Students and Emerging Professionals

Graduate scholarship requirements have been updated to prevent two candidates from the same department of the same college or university from receiving awards.

Marketing and Sales

Sales of Integrated services is strong, up 35% YTD. Growth is also strong in Europe, the Middle East, and China, where sales are up 13% YTD.

New hires have been made recently, as leadership seeks to grow the sales team.

Membership 

ASTM International membership is up 0.5% to 24,670 participating members YTD. This number includes an international membership that has now topped 6,000 (6,041) for the first time, rising 4% YTD. The international membership number includes 14% growth in the Gulf region and 8.5% growth in Europe.

ASTM has also recorded growth in organizational members, which have risen to 1,226, a 2.5% growth rate YTD.

Membership growth has been driven in part by additive manufacturing and 3D printing, UAS/drones, exoskeletons, and cannabis, among other industries.

A new meetings app will launch in time for the June 2020 committee weeks and will include networking capabilities on site as well as information-sharing and a polling feature. It will also provide alerts for meeting room changes and map routes to meeting locations. 

November/December
2019