A major purpose of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is to:
"Promote the art, science and practice of mechanical and multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences to diverse communities throughout the world" (Constitution Article C2.1.1).
In pursuit of this purpose, the Society shall:
"Offer awards and other honors to encourage contributions to engineering; confer awards and other honors in recognition of meritorious contributions to engineering" (B2.1.).
Committee on Honors
The program of honors and awards is administered by the Board of Governors, by a Committee on Honors, by a General Awards Committee, and by several Special Award Committees, as authorized by B188.8.131.52 and by Society Policies P-3.1 and P-3.2. The Committee on Honors consists of nine Members or Fellows, preferably including a Past President and two Honorary Members or ASME Medalists. The General Awards Committee screens nominations and makes recommendations to the Committee on Honors. It consists of Members or Fellows representing the Districts. Special Award Committees are usually associated with a particular honor or award. They screen nominations and make recommendations to the other two committees.
At the discretion of the Committee on Honors, a nominee may be awarded an honor other than that for which nominated. A person shall not be considered for any honor or award during the term of office to which that person has been elected or appointed (or is entitled to ex officio) as a voting member of any Board, Committee, Sector or other unit of the Society which has the assigned duty to take a voted action on either one of these steps in the award selection process:
(a) to choose one or more nominees whose names will be sent to the unit which is charged with selecting the recipient of that award; or
(b) to make the final selection of the recipient of that award.
The restriction described in this Committee on Honors policy may not be circumvented by abstention from voting, by absence from a meeting, or by resignation from the unit. The Committee on Constitution and By-Laws noted that since the delegation by the Board of Governors to the Committee on Honors to select award recipients could be removed by the Board of Governors, in effect the Board of Governors still retains ultimate authority for approval of all recipients of Society awards. Consequently, it was agreed that the exclusion does apply to the Board of Governors (February 23, 1981).
Except for the Melville Medal, an individual will receive only one honor in recognition of the same achievement. The receipt of one ASME honor shall not bar the recipient from another ASME honor provided it is for different accomplishments. Careful consideration should be given when nominating an individual for Honorary Membership as this honor recognizes a lifetime of service to engineering or related fields. Thus, the awarding of Honorary Membership may preclude receipt of another ASME honor at a later time.
Honors are not awarded posthumously except if a nominee's death occurs after the nomination has been received at ASME Headquarters. The policy is also recommended as applicable to ASME nominations for joint awards.