NextGen: Competitions, Project Grants, and More

Standardization News

NextGen: Competitions, Project Grants, and More

Exo Technology Center of Excellence Announces Student Paper Competition, Hosts Advisory Board Meeting

ASTM International’s Exo Technology Center of Excellence (ET CoE) announced a student paper competition on designing safe exoskeletons and exosuits. The paper competition encourages students to develop, present, and publish high-quality research papers in the area of exo technologies, including exoskeletons, exosuits, and related wearable technology.

Co-sponsored by ASTM International’s exoskeleton and exosuits committee (F48), the paper competition is open to all students currently enrolled (full or part-time) in associate, undergraduate, or graduate programs in higher education institutions. 

Ideas for the paper competition include, but are not limited to:

Existing exoskeleton systems require a period of adaptation by the end-user. For a new user, task performance is not likely to be uniform immediately. How do we account for familiarization and learning effects, and hence, what are acceptable test durations?

  • How do we better understand and quantify the cognitive demands involved with using exoskeletons? 
  • How does fit affect performance?
  • What are the potential positive and/or adverse consequences of prolonged use of exoskeletons?
  • How do we characterize the critical dimensions of adjustability in exoskeleton designs to allow them to be applicable to and effective for use in a range of tasks, and to ensure fit, comfort, and usability for a broad set of users?
  • What are the important factors driving the adoption and use of exoskeletons in diverse sectors, in particular, to identify key facilitators and barriers?
  • What are some innovative designs that accommodate safe use?
  • How can exoskeletons be integrated into an automated facility or environment such as one that has co-bots?

Applicants are requested to submit their papers to with the subject header of “ASTM ET CoE Student Paper Competition: name of applicant” no later than 5 p.m. (EST) on June 19.

Read information on application and submission requirements

The ET CoE also held its first advisory board meeting virtually. The board includes representatives from the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Toyota Motor, Harvard University, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Sarcos Robotics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command.

Staffer Presents Virtually to Cooper Union Classes

Travis Murdock, an ASTM technical committee manager, presented a virtual overview of ASTM International and an introduction to standards to two merged classes, “OSHA for Construction” and “Green Building Guidelines, Environmental Safety,” at New York City’s Cooper Union on April 6. The courses are taught by ASTM International member Mark Drozdov and are part of the Cooper Union Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers.

Around 60 attendees watched the program, which also included presentations by Thomas Abdallah, deputy vice president and chief environmental engineer, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and LaToya Stevenson, manager, occupational safety and  environmental management, Tiffany & Co. 

ASTM International Offers Project Grants

Recognizing that students sometimes need financial assistance to complete graduate or senior capstone projects, ASTM International annually offers a limited number of $500 grants to university students to help with projects that feature an ASTM standards component. 

Students who want to apply for a 2020 project grant should submit an abstract describing their project as well as a:

  • Summary of the project goal,
  • List of ASTM standards that are being considered to achieve that goal,
  • Declaration of intent to submit an application paper for publication by ASTM on the completion of the project, and
  • Statement of endorsement by a faculty member.

The deadline for submissions is Oct. 31. LEARN MORE.

ASTM International Honors Margaret Wilson with Mary R. Norton Scholarship

ASTM International’s metallography committee (E04) has honored Margaret Wilson, a graduate student at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada, with the Mary R. Norton Scholarship Award for Women.

The $1,000 scholarship encourages women undergraduate seniors or first-year graduate students to pursue the study of physical metallurgy or materials science with an emphasis on the relationship of microstructure to material properties.

Wilson holds a bachelor’s degree in materials engineering from Dalhousie University, where she is currently a first-year graduate student studying materials engineering.

Wilson became interested in materials science after experiencing the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. She wanted to understand how to make buildings resistant to the damage that earthquakes can cause.


Graduate Student Awarded Project Grant at UAE Chapter Event

Siham Al Shanti (left) received a project grant from James Olshefsky, ASTM International director of external relations.

A UAE Chapter event was held in late January for students and faculty at UAE University in Al Ain. Chapter members from the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) and Knauf joined staff from ASTM in making presentations. During the event, an ASTM project grant was awarded to Siham Al Shanti, a civil and environmental engineering graduate student. In addition, a student poster contest was announced with sponsorship from three chapter members.

A planned April UAE Chapter meeting, to be held in conjunction with a workshop organized by ASTM International’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence, was postponed until the fall. 

Graduate Scholarships

The ASTM International Graduate Scholarship is presented each year to as many as four high potential graduate students, contingent on merit and available funds. The scholarship rewards graduate students who have demonstrated high levels of interest in or involvement with ASTM standards. Each scholarship winner receives $10,000 for education expenses. Applications are now due June 30. 

Read more about the Graduate Scholarship in the students section of ASTM’s website or contact Travis Murdock (tel +1.610.832.9826; Learn more.

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