Board Report from April 2017 Meeting

ASTM International’s board of directors met April 24-26 at the organization’s global headquarters near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Following is a summary of reports made and actions taken.

Actions of the Board

The board approved all motions related to financial matters, including the 2016 audit.

Technical Committees
The formation of the new committee on cannabis (D37) was approved by the board. The committee will address a number of standardization needs that have arisen in the cannabis industry. Stakeholders have determined that initial subcommittees will focus on creating test methods, practices, and guides for horticulture and agriculture, quality management, laboratory considerations, processing, security, and personnel training. (Click here for more.)

The board approved a motion to include the word “environmental” in the generic caveat on safety hazards found in Form and Style for ASTM Standards. The full new wording of the caveat is: “This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.”

The board voted to grant the William T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award to Kaphong Choi, a professor at the Graduate School of Management of Technology, Sungkyunkwan University, in Korea. Choi, a former member of the ASTM International board of directors and former president of Korea Testing Certification, specializes in issues such as standards and technological innovation, conformity assessment, trade, intellectual property rights, law, and economic policies. Biographical information about Choi will appear in the next issue of this magazine.

Legal Brief

Vice president and legal counsel, Thomas O’Brien, reported that a federal judge’s recent ruling means that the organization will be able to continue developing standards at the highest level of excellence that may be used by, and at minimal cost to, government. The ruling is being appealed by the other party.

Business Development

Brian Meincke, assistant vice president of business development, discussed how new committees for recovered carbon black (D24), commercial spaceflight (F47), and cannabis (D37) are attracting participation and partnerships. ASTM International is being positioned as a leader in additive manufacturing standards activities internationally, with new partnerships on the horizon.

Laboratory Services and Certification

Lab Services
Timothy Brooke, vice president of laboratory services, reported that ASTM International’s Proficiency Testing Program received accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation for six petroleum programs. Proficiency testing helps labs evaluate, improve, and document performance in conducting test methods.

In the training program area, Brooke’s group is implementing a new learning management system that will be more intuitive and allow course delivery on mobile devices.

In addition to Brooke’s report, leaders from the Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory and the Test Monitoring Center — ASTM International affiliates that provide in-demand services for the construction and automotive industries — gave overviews of their history, revenue, and partnerships.

The Safety Equipment Institute, also part of the ASTM International family, continues to develop new programs and partnerships, leveraging its shared-resources agreement with ASTM International. The organization is also working to overhaul its website and align it with ASTM International branding. ASTM International board member Irving Scher, Ph.D., P.E., has been added to the SEI board of directors.

Global Cooperation

Teresa Cendrowska, vice president of global cooperation, reported on activities in her division. Highlights include:

  • The 102nd and 103rd memorandums of understanding were signed with Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire, respectively. The MOU program establishes formal relationships between ASTM International and national/regional standards bodies in developing economies. Many staff from those bodies have taken advantage of training at ASTM International’s headquarters. This year, these trainees include representatives from Bhutan, Ecuador, Ghana, Israel, Korea, and Saudi Arabia.
  • In the Middle East, ASTM International’s efforts are in part supported by a U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration grant through this year. The funding allows coordinated training and exchange programs focused on sustainable construction.
  • The European Aviation Safety Agency recently shifted to rely more heavily on standards from the ASTM International committee on general aviation (F44) when certifying small planes.

Satellite Offices


  • Leonard Morrissey reported on how ASTM International submitted its first Notice of Intent to the Standards Council of Canada for the development of a new Canadian standard: Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Self-Balancing Scooters (Hoverboards).
  • ASTM International sponsored the 2017 annual meetings of the Pan American Standards Commission and the Pacific Area Standards Congress in Vancouver, British Columbia from April 30 to May 5. Hosted by Standards Council of Canada, the theme for the meetings was “Regional Collaboration in a Global Environment.”
  • ASTM International was recently reaccredited by the Standards Council of Canada.


  • A Road Show to Korea and China will take place the week of June 19, with an emphasis on promoting ASTM International’s laboratory services, certification, and petroleum standards.
  • For the first quarter of 2017, the China office staff focused on activities related to areas of interest in Asia that correspond with the technical committee interest areas such as aviation, smart manufacturing, and consumer products. In addition, the China office continues tracking developments in China’s law on nongovernmental organizations and standardization reform.


  • After several years of constructive dialogue on standards for biobased products and materials, technical experts from ASTM International’s committee on plastics (D20) and the plastics committee of the European Commission on Standardization held a joint workshop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in April on ways of testing and specifying biobased, biodegradable, and degradable materials and products.
  • At the request of the trade counsel for regulatory issues with the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, ASTM International was invited to a one-on-one meeting with Ignacio Garcia Bercero, the director at the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission. Becero serves as the EU chief negotiator for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and other trade issues with the United States, and is looking for creative ways to approach EU-U.S. standards and trade issues.

Latin America

  • The Latin American office recently provided feedback and aided translation work for ASTM International’s newest microsite for potential customers in Latin America.
  • The office has been coordinating with the Proficiency Testing Program to improve our service levels for laboratories in the region.

Washington, D.C.

  • The Washington office is tracking White House and congressional activities that are of interest to ASTM International and its members, including: changing approaches to environmental regulations, some of which cite ASTM International standards; new approaches to regulatory reform, such as in the manufacturing sector; budget cuts that could impact agency staff that are active members, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Commerce;  and legislation involving consumer safety, additive manufacturing, unmanned aviation, and commercial spaceflight, all of which are areas covered by technical committees.
  • Within the private sector, ASTM International continues to engage company executives, trade associations, and other stakeholders to seek opportunities to work together on standards, policy, and trade issues.

Corporate Communications

Nathan Osburn, director of corporate communications, highlighted key efforts:

  • ASTM International was well-positioned in recent Wall Street Journal and Kansas City Star articles.  Staff also fielded inquiries from CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, the Washington Post, National Public Radio, and other press outlets.
  • The new president and chairman were promoted, gaining significant mainstream and trade press coverage. The chairman’s priority of emerging professionals is also being supported.
  • Social media followership grew 20-30 percent across all channels last year.  YouTube views more than doubled due to new video content highlighting key strengths and leadership.
  • The 2016 annual report emphasizes ASTM International’s global leadership and engagement.  It is being mailed to all Standardization News subscribers.
  • The corporate communications team is adjusting strategies in response to the member survey results, which included communications-related questions for the first time.

Academic Outreach

To advance our technical committees’ connection with industry innovation and to educate students about standards, academic outreach efforts have been transferred to the Technical Committee Operations division. As part of this, the Emerging Professionals program has been expanded and several related events will be held at committee weeks this year (click here for more). In addition, a quarterly newsletter was developed for students, and the first was sent in April.

President’s Report and Next Meeting

President Katharine Morgan announced two winners of the James A. Thomas President’s Leadership Award, which recognizes new members who are making extraordinary contributions. The winners are Ian Mylrea of Stanhope-Seta in the United Kingdom and Bhyrav Mutnuri of Bedford Reinforced Plastics in Pennsylvania (U.S.). Biographical information on both winners will appear in the next issue of Standardization News.

The board will next meet in Houston, Texas, Oct. 15-18. Several outreach visits to local organizations have already been confirmed.

For more details on any of these topics, contact ASTM President Katharine Morgan (tel +1.610.832.9721).


The 2017 board of directors (photo above). Front row, left to right: Vicky J. Taylor, R. James Galipeau, Christina A. Lomasney, James J. Simnick, James A. Tann, Laurie E. Locascio, Cesar A. Constantino; second row: Jun Sasaki, Oliver S. Delery Jr., Ronald J. Ebelhar, Ralph M. Paroli, Katharine Morgan (president), D. Thomas Marsh (chairman), Dale F. Bohn (vice chairman), Taco van der Maten (vice chairman), Irving S. Scher, Deryck M.S. Omar; third row: Lawrence D. Carbary, Ferdinando E. Aspesi, Andrew G. Kireta Jr. (chairman, Finance and Audit Committee), Arman Shakkaliyev, Brent Stucker, John R. Logar, John Fletcher, Jeff Weiss.

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