We’ve seen it play out in different ways all around us: globalization. The breaking of geographic borders is impacting how we work, how we lead our lives, and how we think.
At ASME we’ve been tracking this amazing transformation — which reached the tipping point with the proliferation of the Internet — and we are leveraging the global relationships we’ve forged in the past, as we engage new markets and develop new alliances. We look to gain traction with those organizations that we know, and we look toward engaging organizations who believe that aligning with ASME and doing business with us in the future makes sense.
A prime example is the agreements between ASME and the China Machinery Industry Federation, the PetroChina Pipeline Co., and the Petroleum Storage & Transportation Committee of the Chinese Petroleum Society. These agreements are intended to ease the information exchange between ASME and each organization and create a framework for the Society to support the needs of China in standards development, conformity assessment, training, and other areas such as conferences and technical publishing.
ASME’s Bejing office has been a growing presence in China, especially in the area of codes, standards and certification, and has been a catalyst in securing these agreements. We want to ensure that Chinese organizations are engaged in the development of both standards and certification.
Another recent example is the renewal of an agreement between ASME and the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering (Associação Brasileira de Engenharia e Ciencias Mecánicas, or ABCM). This formal agreement of cooperation calls for joint activities and cross-promotions in the areas of membership, conferences and publications, professional development, codes and standards, and student programs.
In this particular case, ASME gains depth and reach in an important developing market in South America. ABCM benefits by gaining access to the broad scope of programs that ASME manages.
A different sort of agreement was reached last month between Engineering for Change (LINK TO www.engineeringforchange.org) (E4C) and four leading technology organizations—the American Society of Civil Engineers, the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, the Society of Women Engineers, and The Optical Society. E4C was founded by an alliance of global engineering organizations including ASME, Engineers Without Borders-USA, and IEEE, and this agreement focuses on expanding the E4C network by establishing a long-term cooperative framework. The goal remains to address the challenges faced by the billions of people living in poverty throughout the world. We are delighted that these influential organizations are joining the E4C initiative.
Over the years, ASME has used Agreements of Cooperation, or Memorandums of Understanding to build an extensive grid of Societies and partner organizations around the world to help ASME further the global nature of its mission and growth strategies. To date, we have more than 200 signed agreements of various kinds. The general rule is to use these documents to build and strengthen relationships between ASME and these other organizations.
There are a number of areas we specifically look at in determining potential affiliations. Specifically, we look to enhance ASME’s ability to support specific local needs; help the development and use of international best practices; support development and use of standards and conformity assessment for health, safety, and protection of the environment; enable the dissemination of technical information and publications and ASME position papers; sponsor conferences and other technology exchanges; promote membership and joint membership; coordinate training and development; celebrate engineering achievements and landmarks.
Some MOUs are agreements for specific projects or objectives, others are general in nature, and encompass a full suite of joint benefits.
One recent interesting project came as a result of an existing agreement between ASME and Verein Deutscher Ingenieure, or VDI, the Association of German Engineers. ASME and VDI collaborated on an initiative called Leadership in Sustainability. It is a way to identify how the U.S. and Germany can be supplied completely by sustainable energy sources by 2050.
The ASME/VDI collaboration resulted in a joint presentation at the World Engineering Convention in Geneva in September. One of the young members of the Leadership in Sustainability Project, Charlene Tung, who works at GE Water Systems and was the project leader on the ASME side, noted that the significance of this project was to represent the voice of the younger generation. “Driving the purpose for this research question around sustainable energy is that the younger generation is in a position to be much more futuristic on this subject matter, since it will inherit the leadership on these decisions.”
Our ongoing global agreements, and the new ones we are forging, aim to support the future of our profession. We want to sustain the present state and grow to meet the needs of emerging markets and of young professionals all over the world.
— Thomas G. Loughlin, ASME Executive Director