NextGen: New Student Chapter, Students Learn Standards Process, and More

First ASTM International Student Chapter Launches at Florida International University

ASTM International launched its first student chapter at Florida International University (FIU) during a virtual ceremony on Sept. 18. The FIU chapter will include a scholarship program, project grants, awards, and research and publication opportunities. 

“We are thrilled to be launching this chapter at FIU,” said Katharine Morgan, ASTM International president. “Connecting with academia has always been a priority for ASTM, and now we are able to invest in a program that strengthens our relationship with students who are the future of the standards industry.”

Joseph Sinicrope, FIU faculty adviser and chair of the E10.03 subcommittee on radiological protection for decontamination and decommissioning of nuclear facilities and components (E10.33), added, “We are honored and privileged to be the first student chapter of ASTM International. This will allow our students to help get game-changing technologies out of the lab and into the operational environment, truly adhering to our combined vision of making the world a better place.”

Sponsored by ASTM International’s nuclear technology and applications committee (E10), chapter members will also assist in the development of relevant standard specifications, testing protocols, testing practices and participate in ASTM committee meetings and committee weeks.

ASTM International Business Development Program Manager Lissy Velez and inaugural FIU Chapter President Mellissa Komninakis also provided welcome remarks during the virtual launch.

Members of the FIU student chapter represent highly recognized workforce development programs, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Department of Energy fellows.

FIU, a public research university based in Miami, Florida, is classified as an R1 – very high research activity in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. 

University of Utah Class Experiences Standards Process in Action

A product-safety engineering and engineering ethics class at the University of Utah received an education on the standards development process during the week of Sept. 14. 

Molly Lynyak, a staff manager at ASTM International, made a virtual presentation on product safety to 42 students in a product-safety engineering and engineering ethics class at the University of Utah. The class, which is in the university’s department of mechanical engineering, is taught by Kenneth d’Entremont, Ph.D., an ASTM International member and University of Utah associate professor/lecturer.

After providing general background on ASTM, Lynyak discussed the standards development process, the difference between voluntary and mandatory standards, and how new standards development activities are initiated. Lynyak used a new activity on adult e-scooters (WK70724) to illustrate how new standards are developed. WK70724 is underway in the consumer products committee (F15).

The next day, the students followed up the presentation by participating in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Micromobility Forum to learn how regulators such as CPSC collect information on product hazards and risk and can use that information to improve the safety of consumer products. During the CPSC forum, ASTM member Robert Whittlesey, chair of the e-scooter task group, made a presentation
on WK70724. 

The Utah students closed the week by observing the WK70724 task group meeting. During this meeting, CPSC staff presented incident data and about the group that is drafting the new standard. 

“The students get to see full circle how the hazard/risk data was shared with the standard development group to work toward developing a standard that effectively addresses the known hazards of the product,” says Lynyak.

ANSI Announces Student Paper Competition Winners

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and its Committee on Education (CoE) have announced the winners of the 2020 Student Paper Competition. The theme for the competition was “Standards Supporting U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.” 

Praneetha Pratapa of the University of Texas Dallas is the first-place winner of the annual paper competition. Pratapa’s paper is “Role of Standards in Designing Circular Economy and their Effect on United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.” 

Esther Oh of the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the second-place winner with the paper “Road Traffic Safety Management Standard: Progress Towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 3.6.” 

The winning papers are accessible online at the ANSI website.

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