The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is a professional association that, in its own words, "promotes the art, science, and practice of multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences around the globe" via "continuing education, training and professional development, codes and standards, research, conferences and publications, government relations, and other forms of outreach." ASME is thus an engineering society, a standards organization, a research and development organization, a lobbying organization, a provider of training and education, and a nonprofit organization. Founded as an engineering society focused on mechanical engineering in North America, ASME is today multidisciplinary and global.
ASME has over 130,000 members in 158 countries worldwide.
ASME was founded in 1880 by Alexander Lyman Holley, Henry Rossiter Worthington, John Edison Sweet and Matthias N. Forney in response to numerous steam boiler pressure vessel failures. Known for setting codes and standards for mechanical devices, ASME conducts one of the world's largest technical publishing operations, holds numerous technical conferences and hundreds of professional development courses each year, and sponsors numerous outreach and educational programs.
ASME is one of the oldest standards-developing organizations in America. It produces approximately 600 codes and standards covering many technical areas, such as fasteners, plumbing fixtures, elevators, pipelines, and power plant systems and components. ASME's standards are developed by committees of subject matter experts using an open, consensus-based process. Many ASME standards are cited by government agencies as tools to meet their regulatory objectives. ASME standards are therefore voluntary, unless the standards have been incorporated into a legally binding business contract or incorporated into regulations enforced by an authority having jurisdiction, such as a federal, state, or local government agency. ASME's standards are used in more than 100 countries and have been translated into numerous languages.
The largest ASME standard, both in size and in the number of volunteers involved in its preparation, is the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC). The BPVC provides rules for the design, fabrication, installation, inspection, care, and use of boilers, pressure vessels, and nuclear components. The code also includes standards on materials, welding and brazing procedures and qualifications, nondestructive examination, and nuclear in-service inspection.
Other Notable Standardization Areas include but not limited to are; Elevators and Escalators (A17 Series), Overhead and Mobile Cranes and related lifting and rigging equipment (B30 Series), Piping and Pipelines (B31 Series), Bioprocessing Equipment (BPE), Valves Flanges, Fittings and Gaskets (B16), Nuclear Components and Processes Performance Test Codes.
ASME Fellow is a Membership Grade of Distinction conferred by The ASME Committee of Past Presidents to an ASME member with significant publications or innovations and distinguished scientific and engineering background. Over 3,000 members have attained the grade of Fellow. The ASME Fellow membership grade is the highest elected grade in ASME.
ASME runs the Student Professional Development Conference (SPDC), which allows students to network with working engineers, host contests, and promote ASME's benefits to students as well as professionals. SPDC conferences are held in North America and internationally. The location for each district changes every year.
ASME holds a variety of competitions every year for engineering students from around the world.
ASME has five key offices in the United States, including its headquarters operation in New York, N.Y., and three international offices in Beijing, China; Brussels, Belgium, and New Delhi, India. ASME has two institutes and 32 technical divisions within its organizational structure. Volunteer activity is organized into four sectors: Technical Events and Content, Public Affairs and Outreach, Standards and Certification, and Student and Early Career Development.
ASME became the first non-profit organization to be guilty of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1982. The Supreme Court found the organization liable for more than $6 million in American Society of Mechanical Engineers v. Hydrolevel Corp.
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