News from the ASTM International Board of Directors

The board of directors met in-person April 15-17 in West Conshohocken, PA. Here is a summary of reports made and actions taken at those meetings.
David Walsh

Global Business Development and Innovation

Standardization Impact Report

The Global Business Development Team continues work on the ASTM Standardization Impact Report, which highlights five key subject areas being worked on by ASTM stakeholders. The report will highlight standards that are contributing to each area; focus on key standards currently in development; and highlight case studies that showcase the impact ASTM has had in these key areas.

Exo Technology Center of Excellence (ET COE)

The 2024 ASTM Exo Games, an initiative to improve student involvement and education in the exo technologies industry, will be held August 5–8 at ASTM Headquarters in West Conshohocken, PA.

In February, the ET COE was awarded a grant from the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) to produce a new podcast series titled “The Following Seas.” 

Administrative Collaboration AC377 on Autonomy (AC377)

The Fifth Annual ASTM Autonomy in Aviation Symposium Administrative Collaboration 377 (AC377) on Autonomy will be held in Fall 2024 and promotes collaboration among aviation autonomy stakeholders to improve safety and efficiency in aviation. 

ASTM continues to facilitate discussions with experts interested in developing guidance around physiological biomarker-related data collection and interoperation standards, with the last meeting taking place in December. 

Laboratory Services

Tim Brooke, ASTM vice president, laboratory services and certification, discussed future plans for the Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory (CCRL) headquarters, currently located in Frederick County, MD. AASHTO Resource has agreed to co-locate, and several options are being explored for the future.

Jeff Clark, director of the Test Monitoring Center (TMC), presented on the capabilities of the center and the vital role it plays in ensuring automotive lubricant quality.

Committee Operations

Dan Smith, ASTM vice president, technical committee operations (TCO), and Jen Rodgers, director, TCO, presented on a range of TCO-related topics. These included the Committee on Standards (COS) and their focus on internal processes, as well as the Committee on Publications (COP), which is working on revisions to its open-access policies for journals.

Finally, a membership update was provided, during which digital capabilities were discussed, including a new document management system; a new collaboration area for members; a modernization of the balloting process; and ways to increase student participation in technical committees.

Washington, D.C. 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 DC Office continues to monitor legislative developments related to public access to voluntary standards referenced in laws and regulations. The DC Office is also monitoring legislative proposals in aviation, commercial spaceflight, trade, and sustainability, among others.
U.S. Federal Agencies

In January, the DC Office met with Standard Executive Representatives at the General Services Administration (GSA) for an introductory meeting, as well as two U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) employees regarding their involvement in the committee on cannabis (D37).

In February, the DC Office also joined multiple meetings of subcommittees of the consumer products committee (F15) located at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

In March, the DC Office briefed the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) staff responsible for paving materials, plastics, mining equipment, and industrial automation. Staff also met with the Senior Climate Adaptation Coordinator in the Office of the Chief Economist at the Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

Organizational Outreach

Clean Fuels Alliance America named ASTM International as their 2024 Partner of the Year for ongoing work in the area of biodiesel blends and for ASTM’s historic and ongoing role in advancing the Alliance’s mission of developing better performing fuels. Jeff Grove, vice president of global policy, cooperation, and communications made remarks and accepted the award.

The DC Office and Phil Kenul, vice chair of the unmanned aircraft systems committee (F38) met with the president and CEO of RTCA to discuss collaboration areas. The team then met with U.S. counterparts of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The meeting centered on a mutual exchange of information and plans for future work.

Brussels Office

In January, the ASTM Brussels Office coordinated ASTM’s participation in the pan-African rPET dialogue convened through the EU’s flagship ‘SWITCH to Circular Economy Value Chains’ initiative. D20 staff manager Alyson Fick presented on ASTM’s footprint in the region.

In January, Sara Gobbi, director of European affairs, attended the General Assembly meeting of the Alliance for Zero Emission Aviation (AZEA). Throughout the spring, she also attended the OECD Global Forum on PFAS; the MoU signing between ASTM and the Federation of International Hemp Organizations (FIHO); and an EASA meeting in Cologne on aviation fuels standards.

The ASTM Brussels and Washington offices continue to support transatlantic efforts for standards alignment under the US-EU Trade and Technology Council, which met April 4-5 in Belgium.

In January, Craig Updyke, ASTM’s director of global policy and international trade, represented ASTM at the US-EU Transatlantic Initiative on Sustainable Trade (TIST) in Washington.

In February and March, the ASTM Brussels office participated in the European Defense Agency (EDA) preparatory meetings for the Additive Manufacturing (AM) Village event, scheduled to take place in Belgium.

The Brussels Office continues to monitor European policy and legislation that may impact ASTM’s work and global footprint.

Global Cooperation and Satellite Offices

ASTM’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) program has now expanded to include 125 signatories, 118 national standardization bodies, and seven regional standardization bodies. Over 9,265 citations of ASTM standards have been made to date.

The first 2024 MoU partner procedural training session was held March 13, and in the first three months of 2024, seven virtual programs on technical and procedural topics were held.

The 2024 Standards Expert Program will take place April 29-May 14 and will be comprised of four candidates, who will take part in numerous ASTM-related activities, including the May Committee Week in Philadelphia, PA.

Two technical visitors have also been selected for the 2024 Technical Visitor Grant Program (TVGP). The Global Cooperation team is preparing to welcome several international visitors as attached staff throughout April. 

Regional Updates


Nora Nimmerichter, staff manager of the committee on textiles (F13) met with African Regional Standardization Organization (ARSO) technical committees to encourage the adoption and reference of more ASTM standards.


Elvin Chia, global policy consultant, conducted an introductory virtual meeting with Pertamina, Indonesia’s state-owned energy company.


A successful introduction session was held with the leadership of the Japan Unmanned Aircraft Systems Industrial Drone Association (JUIDA) in early February. Joining ASTM for the virtual session was the CEO of the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).


Phil Kenul and Elvin Chia conducted outreach to raise awareness and engage stakeholders on ASTM’s standards for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and advanced air mobility (AAM).

South Korea

ASTM staff from sales and marketing and global cooperation met virtually with senior leaders from the Korean Drone Industry Promotion Association (KODIPA) to gain an understanding of KODIPA’s plan to utilize ASTM.

Peru Office

María Isabel Barrios, based in Lima, Peru, has served as ASTM’s contracted Latin American Representative since 2015. In late January, the Peru Office hosted a training webinar in Spanish for the MoU contacts in six partner countries. In February, staff worked with the Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE) to organize a webinar for 20 experts in seven countries.

ASTM staff will also participate in the April 2023 meetings of the Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT) in Brazil.

Middle East

In 2024, global cooperation staff will seek to secure a part-time consultant to represent ASTM in the Middle East and provide on-the-ground support for outreach efforts. In late February, ASTM delivered the second workshop of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Subcommittee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) Project.

The two-day virtual workshop garnered 152 registrants from 27 economies. Currently Global Policy, Cooperation and TCO staff are securing opportunities to broadly promote the project’s findings.

15 engineers from Nepal received funding approval to participate in the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) training program.

United Nations

ASTM International received consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2021. Between January and March 2024, ASTM participated in numerous UN events such as: the First Preparatory Committee Meeting for the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS); the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) program; and staff will participate in the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4).

Last July, ASTM submitted a comprehensive application for observer status within the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC). If successful, ASTM International will be eligible to participate as an observer in the Conference of Parties (COP) in 2024. 


Public/Media Relations

The department has issued 52 releases to date, heavily targeting industry and trade press outlets. This total includes technical committee news, member awards, product news, and general ASTM announcements.

Media inquiries continue at a steady rate, mostly from trade publications interested in a wide variety of topics including unleaded fuels, microplastics, water beads, cannabis, toys, and more.

Internal Communications

“In the Square” provides insight on key events, new hires, retirements, IT Tips, HR updates, 125th related activities, staff activities like “Cornhole for Cancer,” and relevant DE&I efforts. The department is also responsible for a general “news” channel on Viva Engage, ASTM’s new internal social site.

Standards Impact Podcast

“Standards Impact” continues to engage audiences, with recent episodes featuring issue-oriented discussions with members covering standards for forensic science; roads and bridges; and air quality. Upcoming episodes will cover amusement rides and feature a discussion with incoming president Andy Kireta.

Standardization News

2024 print issues of SN have featured an interview with incoming board chair Bill Griese and a medical devices-themed issue covering advances in 3D-printed human tissue. Upcoming issues will cover net-zero standards for concrete, as well as standards used in the Olympics.

SN Online continues to generate an additional stream of more timely, web-friendly digital content, with a recent feature, “4 Standards for an Aging Population” covering standards that help keep older adults safer. It is the top-ranked page on the website since it was published.

ASTM’s social media followers now exceed 140,000, with LinkedIn and Instagram continuing to see the most substantial growth. This audience continues to expand the reach of not only SN content by driving traffic to SN Online and ASTM’s main website, but has been a major driver in promoting Standards Impact and beginning to create a following.

SmartBrief Newsletter

ASTM SmartBrief saw a jump in open rate to 23% to begin 2024, demonstrating the long-term popularity of this news and information delivery vehicle.


The effectiveness of reels in 2023 has been carried over to 2024 as short clips that can form the basis of campaigns and also complement longer-form videos. There were ~9,000 views for all short videos in both campaigns across all channels. 

Social Media

Social media metrics are trending higher, including impressions at 50% more year to date compared to the same period in 2023. ASTM’s LinkedIn followers have reached a milestone of 80,000, and new followers across all channels are up a record 31% since the first of the year.

Sales and Marketing

Overall revenue increased by 8% in 2023 over 2022, with significant developments in the areas of ASTM Compass and SpecBuilder; lab services; the digital library; and training and eLearning. Enhancements in SEO and microsite improvements were also factors.

The Voice of the Customer (VOC) project continues, with the goal of gathering marketing intelligence. 150 constituents of various industry roles have been interviewed in the last 6 months in over 200 total hours of conversations.

Digital Services

Progress continues with the modernization of ASTM’s web operations, with priority placed on content management systems, product information management, financial systems, and the internal MCS platform. ■

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