Volunteers Are the Heart of ASME

Volunteers Are the Heart of ASME

Our volunteers are why, after more than 140 years, this organization is as vibrant as the young engineering students who join us as they embark on new careers.

From developing life-saving codes and standards, to sharing expertise to advance public policy, to engaging in K-12 outreach that will inspire the next generation of engineers, our volunteers proudly contribute to ASME in a variety of ways and for many different reasons.

ASME’s mission – “to advance engineering for the benefit of humanity” – simply could not be accomplished without the dedicated efforts and participation of ASME volunteers around the globe. But it’s not just the Society and the broader global engineering community who benefit. ASME volunteers themselves enjoy unequalled opportunities for professional and personal growth, for building their skills and their networks, and to giving back to the noble profession we all serve.

Volunteering at ASME offers a wide spectrum of opportunities for personal and professional growth.

"I always push engineers to participate with ASME, because active participation can make your career so much more rewarding. I was able to use ASME as a practice-ground for leading meetings, giving presentations, and I refined my presentation skills this way. I got to be a symposium speaker, a symposium moderator, and I got to testify before Congress! I have always been passionate about STEM education and policy, and I’ve used ASME as the vehicle to work in that area. Lastly, you cannot find a better place to network with others in your field. When I look at my career as a whole – I know I’m better because of my involvement in ASME," said Monica Moman-Saunders, P.E., who currently serves on the ASME Board of Governors.

For the Society and its membership to achieve its full potential and realize the benefits of the diversity of its members, you must be well prepared to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the positions or offices you hold, and to understand the strategic relevance of your work in the context of ASME's mission and vision.

ASME’s Volunteer Orientation and Leadership Training (VOLT) Academy offers volunteers the opportunity to learn about training and leadership development within the Society and prepares them for leadership positions. As VOLT interns you volunteer your time and services to ASME for a variety of personal and professional reasons, while coming to ASME with varied backgrounds and a diverse array of skills.

As a member of ASME you’re not just joining an organization dedicated to devoting the vital role of engineers in our society, you are engaging with a global community passionate about solving today’s greatest challenges, like climate change, new energy technology, and the application of biomechanical engineering knowledge, just to name a few.   

One of the topics that is near and dear to my heart is ASME volunteers, which I see as the lifeblood of our Society. 

My own experience as a volunteer makes it easy for me to understand the enthusiasm of ASME volunteers everywhere, and it’s why focusing on them has been of such paramount importance to me. Our volunteers embody dedication and public-mindedness as well as professional expertise and excellence, traits that all of us at ASME aim to emulate. 

Further Reading: 5 Reasons for Engineers to Give Back

ASME volunteer Dilshad Sulaiman of Manosque, France said that one important aspect of volunteering with ASME is that you are able to take on leadership roles well before you can in an actual job setting. “At ASME you can be the chair of a committee or division. ASME provided me the opportunity to learn leadership earlier than I would have otherwise. To summarize why I recommend volunteering with ASME, I can say it in three words: network, learn, enjoy.”

Our volunteers give back to the community and the profession through a host of programs, from global development to mentoring to K-12 outreach. The Community Engagement Center is a new online destination for you to explore contributor and volunteer opportunities with ASME.    

Essentially, my rooted desire is to incrementally increase efficiency, reduce waste, and increase stakeholder satisfaction. What I’m finding even in my volunteer roles is that an awful lot of well-meaning but disjointed efforts are being put forward, all attempting to reach the same result. I would like to increase communication and collaboration so that we can start breaking down some of these communication barriers, so that volunteers, ASME staff, and committee members can work more collaboratively.

Tom Costabile is Executive Director/CEO of ASME. This column was adapted from a recent podcast. 

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