Developing Standards in Many Environments

The past few years have shown us that almost nothing can stop the great work of our members around the world. Even with the lack of in-person standards-development meetings over the past two years, ASTM International members have continued developing and revising the key safety and performance standards that truly help our world work better. 

Through extensive and robust virtual committee weeks and independent meetings, our members developed more than 350 new standards and revised over 3,800 standards in 2020 and 2021. Given the need to adapt and the challenges faced, I’m amazed and inspired by their dedication and commitment to ASTM International and our consensus process.

I’m also amazed by the wide variety of industries covered by the standards developed by our members, as well as the important role they continue to play in society. One example is standards for the spraying of pesticides.

The standards our members have developed also serve as the foundation for key programs, such as ASTM’s new proficiency testing program for distillers grains – often used to make feedstock, biofuels, and more.

Even a lack of gravity can’t get in the way of standards development. Last month, astronaut and chair of ASTM’s commercial spaceflight committee (F47) Michael López-Alegría, took part in an executive committee meeting from the International Space StationI wonder if this makes us an intergalactic organization now.

Despite all I’ve seen our members accomplish virtually, I’m also thrilled that ASTM has recently been able to return to the business of in-person and hybrid meetings. ASTM’s Board of Directors met in April with many directors and staff attending in person for the first time since 2019. 

We also wrapped up very successful April standards-development meetings in Seattle, Washington (USA), where over 700 hundred members attended in-person meetings while hundreds of others took part virtually. And we’re on pace for another successful set of hybrid meetings in May and June.

We’ve found that some committees prefer to meet in person and others work best in a virtual format. We’ll continue to listen to our members and the committees they make up to determine the best path forward for future meetings.

Regardless of how our members prefer to meet, we are committed to supporting their continued efforts to develop renowned international safety and performance standards.

Katharine E. Morgan
President, ASTM International

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