Standardization News

News from the ASTM International Board of Directors Meeting

The board of directors returned to in-person meetings April 12-14. Here is a summary of reports made and actions taken at those meetings.
By: 
David Walsh

Board Actions

The board approved the following actions:

  • The Minutes of the October 2021 board meeting.
  • The consolidated financial statements and report of the independent accountants, and the annual review of the finance and audit committee charter, as presented.

GLOBAL COOPERATION AND SATELLITE OFFICES

Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) increased to 121 with the signing of an agreement with the Instituto Argentino de Normalización y Certificación (IRAM) in Argentina. Citations of ASTM standards by both MoU and non-MoU nations rose to 8,880 with international participation in almost all ASTM technical committees. 

Four procedural training sessions have been held this year, including two that targeted the Jordanian Standards and Metrology Organization (JSMO) staff as part of an MoU on PPE signed in March 2021.

In support of ASTM’s mission and strategic objectives, Global Policy team members also engaged in a number of collaborative activities involving other international organizations:

ASTM staff invited WHO staff to present at a meeting of the ASTM Global Collaboration Forum for PPE in late 2021.

ASTM, the U.S. EPA, and the Africa regional office of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) began organizing a capacity-building webinar on voluntary consensus standards.

ASTM staff worked with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) staff to provide a tabular accounting of over 1,000 ASTM standards and their relevance for the U.N.’s Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs).

ASTM’s director of EU affairs Sara Gobbi and director of international sales Nick Ecart presented to the Standardization Office Staff Group Meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in January.

ASTM is now represented in technical cooperation initiatives of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a U.N. agency covering aviation safety.

Europe

Brussels Office

The ASTM Brussels Office continues to monitor European policy and legislative developments that may have an impact on ASTM standardization work.

Comments were submitted where appropriate and relevant on numerous EU initiatives.

An agreement with CEN was renewed for two more years, and experts from CEN and ASTM were appointed.

Discussion and coordination have continued with ASD-STAN, (UAVs), EUROCAE (general aviation), and more recently with EOTA (construction products and materials) to open further pathways for ASTM standards and content to be utilized in Europe.

The Brussels Office recently had discussions with several organizations including UL, ASME, CECIMO (additive manufacturing), DIGITALEUROPE (information technology trade federation), EOTA, GUTMA (UAVs), as well as representatives of the EC and relevant agencies.

ASTM, GAMA, and FuelsEurope jointly host a Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) technical workshop for European institutions and governmental stakeholders in March. 

Sara Gobbi and committee on unmanned aircraft systems (F38) chair Phil Kenul hosted the 18th meeting of the European UAS Standardization Coordination Group (EUSCG) at the ASTM Brussels office in March. 

ASTM Board Chair Cesar
Constantino and staff from the Brussels Office held an introductory meeting with the UK Mineral Product Association (MPA) aimed at exploring possible synergies.

Staff from the ASTM Brussels office met with representatives of METSTA, the Finnish standardization organization, at the end of March.

Canada

In March, ASTM’s Ottawa staff participated in a virtual workshop as a member of the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) Standards Development Organizations Advisory Committee (SDOAC). Staff also attended the 65th SDOAC meeting that month. 

Africa

ASTM staff held a joint webinar with the Africa Standardization Organization (ARSO) in February on standards for the cannabis and hemp Industries.

Asia

Korea

Multiple ASTM representatives spoke at the International Technical Meeting on Advanced Aviation Mobility in February, hosted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Technology (MOLIT).

Japan

With Japan’s adoption of ASTM’s remote identification of unmanned aircraft systems (F3411), F38 chair Phil Kenul is planning promotional interviews with content outlets.

ASEAN

Singapore

A virtual meeting was conducted with MoU partner Enterprise Singapore (ESG). During the session, ESG shared their five-year plan as well as upcoming key priorities.

An introductory conversation with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) also included Phil Kenul and UAS. 

ASTM joined the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Singapore, creating an opportunity for consultant Elvin Chia to engage and network with members, officers, and staff.

An in-person introductory meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore between ASTM staff and U.S. Commercial Service staff included the Senior Commercial Officer and Commercial Specialists. Discussion focused on priorities and future collaboration.

Indonesia

ASTM hosted a virtual workshop on biofuels in March, which was open to all ASTM members and the staff and stakeholders of national standards bodies in Southeast Asia.

Brunei

A virtual meeting was recently conducted with the National Standards Center of Brunei Darussalam’s
Ministry of Finance and Economy to share concerns.

Malaysia

ASTM staff met virtually with the Department of Standards Malaysia, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, to discuss draft MoU and procedures related to referencing and adopting ASTM Standards. 

Philippines

Recent virtual discussions with the Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) staff covered updates to the MoU, capacity building on procedural and technical topics, and areas of collaboration. 

Thailand

The Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI) recently shared Thailand’s APEC priorities, Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) model, and their twelve target industries for 2022 with ASTM staff.

Vietnam

ASTM staff met with participants from leading Vietnamese universities to discuss a consortium trial program featuring ASTM’s Compass and
Digital Library. 

Latin America

Peru Office

In February, the office hosted a webinar on soil standards with over 60 attendees from 10 countries. Future topics include Circular Economy of Cement and Amusement Rides,
among others.

Middle East

U.A.E. Chapter

In February, the Chapter hosted a webinar related to fire testing of building facades, attracting over 90 participants from 13 countries. 

AIDSMO

The Arab Industrial Development, Standardization and Mining Organization (AIDSMO) invited ASTM to present virtually in conjunction with the March celebration of Arab Standardization Day. 

Organizational Outreach

The Institute of Clean Air Companies (ICAC) and the Washington Office met virtually in March for an introductory meeting.

The Washington Office represented ASTM at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Commercial Spaceflight annual conference in February, hosted by the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

In March, ASTM staff held an outreach meeting with a new counterpart at the American Chemistry Council to brief them on the breadth and engagement of ASTM activities in support of the chemical sector.

The Washington Internship for Students of Engineering (WISE) Program will return in-person during the summer of 2022. The Washington Office and TCO work closely to identify qualified applicants who are in DC for the summer for the program.

COMMUNICATIONS

Public/Media Relations

To date, the department has issued 37 press releases, a total that includes significant technical committee news as well as organizational announcements about new board members, an MoU, and a new student chapter.

In 2022, the department successfully fielded media inquiries and opportunities from Reuters, a CBS affiliate TV station in Nashville, Coatings World, and more.

Internal Communications

The department continues to publish the monthly staff newsletter, “In the Square.” The newsletter provides insight on key events, new hires, retirements, IT Tips, HR updates, and relevant DE&I efforts. The department is also responsible for a general “news” channel on Yammer, ASTM’s internal social site.

Standardization News

Traffic to SN Online increased 30% over 2020, an upward revision of 33% since the October board meeting. Content on standards related to PPE continues to lead the way, with SN Online content on ASTM’s revised environmental assessment standard performing well toward the end of the year. Coordinated dissemination efforts involving ASTM’s social media followers, combined with 30,000+ SmartBrief subscribers, continue to be the key factors in driving these numbers.

Print editions of SN generated popular content in late 2021 and early 2022, with features on 3D printing construction in the Nov/Dec issue and coverage of standards for recycled copper in the Jan/Feb issue doing well and demonstrating the effectiveness of SN’s strategic editorial calendar. Issues for the remainder of 2022 will cover agriculture and big data, and more.

SmartBrief Newsletter

The open rate for ASTM SmartBrief remains steadily above industry average at 24%, providing broad, continued engagement with SN content. 

Video

Impressions of videos on ASTM’s YouTube channel rose over 125% in 2021, to ~400,000, primarily due to improved hashtags, titles, and descriptions.

Social Media

Total social media followers across all channels topped 100,000. LinkedIn followers make up more than half of that number (52K). ASTM’s Facebook account rose to nearly 30,000 followers.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Brian Meincke, ASTM’s vice president of business development, discussed ASTM’s Innovation Agenda, along with a new system for prioritizing opportunities. The potential addition of several new subcommittees to the committee on robotics, automation,
and autonomous systems (F45) was also discussed. 

The Exo Technology Center of Excellence (ET CoE) and Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE) continue to work to accelerate standards development, with the International Conference on Additive Manufacturing (ICAM 2022) planned
for October.

Following the recent acquisition of the Wohlers Report, powered by ASTM International, the 27th annual edition of the Wohlers Report was published in March.

IT OPERATIONS

ASTM 2.0 continues its rollout, with security on the site improving to ~93% based on a Security Scorecard, which is above industry average.

Next steps in 2022 include continued evaluation of systems and remediation of existing issues.

LABORATORY SERVICES

The ASTM Lab Directory initiative continues to grow. Powered by Global Data Vision, the directory meets WTO TBT transparency initiatives while providing users with company and product information and an up-to-date platform of domestic and international regulations.

SALES AND MARKETING

Stuart Radcliffe was promoted to Vice President, Sales and Marketing, and will lead ASTM’s sales effort going forward.

WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE

In support of ASTM’s mission and strategic objectives, the Washington D.C. office engages in a number of activities involving Federal legislation and regulations, international trade issues, and corporate outreach to industry and trade associations. 

U.S. Congress

The Washington Office continues to monitor proposed legislation, pending nominations, and hearings on Capitol Hill. Proposed legislation on furniture tip-over, coin batteries, UAS, cannabis, advanced manufacturing, sustainable aviation fuel, PFAS, water and sanitation, climate change, and more are monitored and information shared with technical committees.

On March 17, the U.S. House Science Committee Subcommittee on Research and Technology held a hearing on “Setting the Standards: Strengthening U.S. Leadership in Technical Standards.” ASTM was invited to provide a written statement for the hearing record.

U.S. Federal Agencies

In January, the Washington Office developed and submitted comments to NIST to inform its Congressionally mandated study on advancing a more productive technology economy in
the U.S.

In February, the office developed and submitted comments to the Advanced Manufacturing Office of the U.S. Department of Energy to inform its activities in industrial decarbonization. Dan Smith, ASTM vice president of technical committee operations, and Jeff Grove, ASTM vice president of global policy and communications, were interviewed by researchers. 

The Washington Office continues to work with TCO to develop a tailored Emerging Professionals session for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

In March, the Washington Office met with the Public Building Service of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to learn about GSA development of procurement specifications for lower-emissions concrete and asphalt.

The Washington Office participated in two dialogues in March with the White House National Security Council to inform interagency deliberations related to international standardization and U.S. competitiveness. ■ 

Industry Sectors:

Issue Month: 
May/June
Issue Year: 
2022