Next Gen: Mentoring Future Members

ASTM International Student Grant Recipients Aim to Clean Waterways with MANTA

A team of Drexel University students built MANTA—the Multipurpose Aquatic Navigator and Trash Annihilator— with help from ASTM International standards on unmanned vehicle systems. The team also received an ASTM International student project grant for the MANTA project.

Eliminating water debris poses enormous technical challenges for environmentalists. However, a team of five Drexel University students, funded in part by an ASTM International Student Project Grant, are tackling this challenge head-on with MANTA.

The prototype for MANTA — which stands for “Multipurpose Aquatic Navigator and Trash Annihilator” — was designed by Daniel Diazdelcastillo, Aryaman Sinha, Alexander Ly, Elisabeth Wagner, and Nicholas Philips. Equipped with two propeller thrusters, MANTA uses GPS and object detection to move through a body of water chewing up and shredding the trash it encounters along its way. MANTA even compacts the debris and stores it in a removable bin so that it can be brought back to land for proper disposal.

The MANTA team consulted the following ASTM International standards, developed by the committee on unmanned maritime vehicle systems (F41), for the project:

  • Guide for unmanned undersea vehicles (UUV) autonomy and control (F2541);
  • Guide for unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) physical payload (F2545);
  • Guide for unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) communications (F2594); and
  • Guide for unmanned undersea vehicle(UUV) sensor data formats (F2595).

The team was advised by Drexel professors Tein-Min Tan, Ph.D., and M. Ani Hsieh. In his letter regarding the assessment of the MANTA project, Tan noted that he would rank the MANTA team among the top five senior project teams he has advised during his more than 20 years at Drexel.

ASTM International offers a limited number of $500 grants to university student design projects that contain an ASTM International standards component. For more information on project grants and to view the Drexel team’s paper, go to

ASTM Staffer Speaks on Standards Education and Sustainability


In May, Travis Murdock, a manager in ASTM International’s Technical Committee Operations division, spoke on standards education and sustainability at Michigan State University in May. ASTM International had been invited to participate in the program by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. The event was attended by representatives from government, business, standards development organizations, trade associations, professors, and students with interests in sustainability and standards education.

ASTM International’s committee on sustainability (E60) is focused on environmental, social, economic, and other issues relating to sustainability and sustainable development within the areas of buildings and construction, water use and conservation, manufacturing, and more.

In response to the growing amount of work in E60 as well as all other technical committees, ASTM is ramping up existing academic outreach and standards education programs. The aim is to address current member needs and to help prepare and involve the next generation of subject matter experts.

Earlier this year, responsibility for ASTM’s academic outreach and Emerging Professionals Program moved to Technical Committee Operations to bring it closer to the work of standards development. The goal of the transition is to build on the existing foundation and help provide both committee officers and leaders with tools to help them engage and attract new members while also working with educators to help them incorporate standards education into their curricula.

Murdock is now the primary contact for ASTM International student outreach activities.

Project Grants Available

Recognizing that students sometimes need financial assistance in completing graduate or senior capstone design projects, ASTM International annually offers a limited number of $500 grants to university students to help with projects that feature an ASTM component. The deadline for submitting applications is Oct. 31.

New 2017 SES Student Scholarship Program

SES: The Society for Standard Professionals has established a scholarship program to support students involved in the use of standards in their academic curriculum. Individual or organization members can support the SES Scholarship Program.
For more information about the SES scholarship or inquiries on scholarship funding opportunities email SES.

Nominations Sought for ASTM International Professor of the Year

ASTM International is accepting nominations for its 2017 Professor of the Year Award. The award recognizes and rewards the contributions of educators in developing students’ understanding of standards. Both the winning professor and their university will receive a $2,000 honorarium. Interested parties are requested to submit nominations by Aug. 31. Three independent references are also required.

Understanding that engaging and providing tools for university professors has been the most effective way to reach the next generation of technical experts enrolled in universities worldwide, ASTM continues to develop new resources to integrate information on technical standards into existing engineering curricula. Educators can use the resources available on ASTM’s Students and Professors pages to expose students to the dynamic field of standardization.

Second Annual Standards Simulation Competition

The American National Standards Institute, in collaboration with John Deere, will hold its second standards simulation competition on Friday, Oct. 27, hosted by San Jose State University in Santa Clara, California. This competition will bring together university teams – each made up of five students and one professor – who will represent stakeholders in the development of an international standard.

Judges from ANSI’s standards community will observe each team’s strategies, tactics, and interactions, and make recommendations for scores based on how well each team has met its objectives in the development of the standard. Participation is open to university teams only, and space is limited to no more than six teams. Multi-disciplinary teams of undergraduate or graduate students are highly encouraged. To be considered, universities, professors, and/or students should contact Lisa Rajchel as soon as possible. If individual students or small groups are interested, please also contact Rajchel, and ANSI will consider forming a team unaffiliated with a university if space allows.


James Olshefsky (fourth from left), ASTM director of external relations presented “International Standards for Emerging Professionals” to graduate students and professors on April 27 at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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