The 2019 ASTM International Board of Directors Meeting
Above: The 2019 ASTM International board of directors, from left: (front row, seated) Irving S. Scher, Amer Bin Ahmed, Rebecca S. McDaniel, Rina Singh, David W. Parsonage, Klas M. Boivie, Terry O. Woods; (middle row) John Fletcher, John T. Germaine, D. Thomas Marsh, Dale F. Bohn, Katharine E. Morgan, Taco van der Maten, Andrew G. Kireta Jr., John R. Logar, Vicky J. Taylor, William A. Ells; (back row) Alan P. Kaufman, Joannie Chin, Oliver S. Delery Jr., Bill Griese, Jeff Weiss, R. Christopher Mathis
The board approved the following actions:
- The consolidated financial statements and report of the independent accountants, and the annual review of the finance and audit committee charter as presented.
- The awarding of the 2019 William T. Cavanaugh Award to Harvey Hack, Ph.D., senior advisory engineer at Northrop Grumman Corp. in Annapolis, Maryland. Hack currently chairs the Joint ASTM/NACE Committee on Corrosion and its subcommittees on laboratory immersion tests and terminology. He will receive the award at the October board of directors meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.
Global Cooperation and Satellite Offices
The number of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) between ASTM International and national and regional standards bodies has now reached 112, with 8,142 citations of standards worldwide. New MOU partners thus far in 2019 include the Metrology and Certification Agency of Uzbekistan.
The 2019 Standards Expert Program will develop relationships with active MOU partners. Candidates have been competitively selected from invited nationl standards bodies to participate in the three-week program, which offers training on our organization, tools, procedures, and technical interests. 2019 SEP candidates come from MOU partners in Chinese Taipei, Guyana, Uganda and United Arab Emirates and
As part of the ongoing series of long-term staff attachments from the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS), Jaeuk Ahn will begin an 11-month attachment at ASTM International’s global headquarters in June.
The 2019 Pacific Area Standards Congress offered the opportunity for bilateral meetings with nations of focused interest in the region: Indonesia, The Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam. The event also afforded the opportunity to meet with Chinese representatives to discuss standardization reform.
In March, the establishment of a United Arab Emirates chapter of ASTM International was announced. Launching in September 2019, the chapter will provide the region with:
- A direct link to staff and information from ASTM headquarters;
- A mechanism to provide consistent continuing education and training; and
- Networking, mentorship, and leadership development.
The Brussels office continues to work with business, trade associations, regulatory agencies, and others in the European region.
Sara Gobbi, director of European affairs, traveled to Rome, Italy, in February to support ASTM International’s cannabis committee (D37) with European outreach efforts. In April, she joined ASTM’s committee on manufacture of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products (E55) in Göttingen, Germany, for their meetings and a workshop. Finally, she attended the “Roundtable on Global Standards Development” in London, U.K., on behalf of the committee on petroleum products, liquid fuels, and lubricants (D02).
Discussions between ASTM and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) are ongoing. The objective is to support cooperation between ASTM/CEN technical committees in the future as needed.
Washington, D.C., Office
The ASTM Washington office is engaged in several activities. These include:
- Monitoring legislation in the 116th U.S. Congress and participating in educational meetings to raise greater awareness about the significance of voluntary consensus standards.
- Assisting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards executive as the agency undertakes a strategic review of its engagement in private sector standards development initiatives.
- Assisting both the Office of U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. International Trade Commission in their ongoing efforts to prepare for negotiations.
- Recent activities include meetings with the National Association of Manufacturers to learn more about their partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy; the American Chemistry Council to learn more about their newly launched sustainability principles; and the Advanced Medical Technology Association to discuss the changing global regulatory landscape for medical devices.
An update on the Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AMCOE) was provided and included a strategic R&D roadmap, which comprised a number of potential research and development projects and a selection process.
An AM certification program is being explored, along with the creation of an education and workforce development roadmap and business plan. The first AMCOE workshop took place in Auburn, Alabama, in March and included 240 attendees from 10 different countries. Exo-technologies initiatives were discussed, and industry analysis and expert interviews have been conducted to better understand the state of the industry. Innovation initiatives include Research to Standards (R2S). In addition, new activity support and growth can be seen in the areas of consumer safety, commercial spaceflight, and cannabis.
The Third Annual Symposium for Structural Integrity will be held in Washington, D.C., in October and will take place under the auspices of the AMCOE for the first time. The symposium will be a platform to bring all ASTM technical committees addressing AM together.
IT Operations and Content Curation
The formation of a project advisory board to organize the prioritization of IT projects was introduced, as was the need for shared services.
The implementation of an application and data health assessment program was also introduced in order to enhance ASTM’s ability to address changing customer and member needs and deliver new services.
New ASTM International programs and partnerships in Proficiency Testing include a new cannabis program, the launch of custom company reports, and a partnership with the Gulf Cooperation Council’s 5th Conference on Proficiency Testing held in Muscat, Oman, in February.
In the area of training and e-learning, ASTM will incorporate new videos on the Compass platform and expand hands-on training.
In the area of personnel certification, ASTM is piloting a program with Saudi Aramco to expand proficiency testing and e-learning, and a program with Dubai’s Public Works Authority that will expand face-to-face training.
Certification and SEI
The Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) board of governors met in April and reviewed finances and the work of the committee on certification programs, and discussed accreditation according to ISO 17065 (International Organization for Standardization 17065, conformity assessment — requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services).
Existing program initiatives include efforts in the areas of recreation standards, industrial safety standards, and fire service and law enforcement standards. In the last four years, SEI has added 23 new participating companies and 11 new standards/programs.
Potential new programs for ASTM standards include:
- Short-term certification program implementation (1-2 years) in the area of less lethal aerosol devices, tourniquets, and hand-held and hand-worn metal detectors;
- Long-term certification program implementation (3-4 years) in the areas of exoskeletons and civil disturbance unit personal protective equipment.
SEI president Pat Gleason announced her retirement at the end of January 2020. She and Timothy Brooke, vice president of laboratory services and certification, are collaborating on a transition plan and will seek board approval for the appointment of Brooke as SEI president, effective Nov. 1.
Traffic to Standardization News online in 2018 was up 25% over 2017. Time on page increased 40%.
The annual media report saw ASTM international mentioned in over 5,000 articles in 2019, an increase of nearly 1,000 over 2017. The total reach of these articles was 2 billion readers.
Overall social media followings have increased significantly: YouTube subscribers doubled, LinkedIn followers grew by 6,000, and impressions across all channels reached 3 million.
A weekly digital news digest will be launched later in 2019, delivering standards-related news, industry news, and Standardization News content to members and subscribers.
Sales, Marketing, and Business
ASTM’s brand and products are strong worldwide. Three areas of significant growth were cited: royalties, integrated services, and web subscriptions.
The Compass platform continues to grow steadily, and one area for future growth includes on-site training.
Staff have forecast strong growth overall for 2019, particularly in the area of publications. Discussion focused on the integration of technology services as being a key to future growth. Streamlined content development, sales and support, a custom subscription platform based on Compass, and a new webstore were identified as key elements moving forward.
Product Development and Management
New processes, products, and tools were discussed, including the development of the “Virtual SDO” offering, which is designed to provide a full range of services, including member and committee management, voting, document collaboration, notifications, reporting, and training/support.
New tools under development include PDF change management; coming products include Member and Committee Services 2.0, machine-readable standards, and a publications roadmap.