ASME Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code

May 29, 2014

ASME President Madiha El Mehelmy Kotb called the ASME Boiler Code "a testament to the engineer's role in ensuring a safety culture" during her remarks earlier this month at a banquet celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Boiler Code. Photos by Mike Nakamura.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first edition of what has evolved into the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, ASME and the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors (NBBI) held a special banquet on May 14 recognizing the collective efforts of the many volunteers and staff members from both organizations who have been instrumental in enabling the safe and efficient deployment of boilers, pressure vessels, and related technologies around the world.

Nearly 800 guests attended the banquet, which was organized in conjunction with meetings of ASME's Boiler and Pressure Vessel (BPV) Code Committees and the NBBI being held in Bellevue, Wash. Speakers at the celebration, which also featured a special performance of the show “Cirque Dreams,” included ASME President Madiha El Mehelmy Kotb, ASME President-Elect J. Robert Sims, Executive Director Thomas Loughlin, and Deputy Executive Director June Ling. Kenneth Balkey, senior vice president for Standards and Certification, served as master of ceremonies for the evening.

During her remarks at the banquet, President Kotb noted the critical public safety role the Boiler Code has played during the past century. “When the ASME Boiler Code was introduced in 1914, there was no system in place to manage the uniform application of the new code,” Kotb said. “It needed to be built. In partnership first with the state jurisdictional authorities and after 1919 with the National Board, the ASME certification system for manufacturers of pressure equipment was created, and this became the model for other similar programs around the world. The ASME system has performed so well that today it is recognized in over 100 countries around the world by government authorities charged with ensuring public safety. The Boiler Code stands as a testament to the engineer’s role in ensuring a safety culture and providing the public with the sense of trust in technology that they deserve.”

During his remarks at the banquet, Kenneth Balkey, senior vice president for Standards and Certification, recognized all the volunteers and staff, past and present, who helped contribute to the body of knowledge contained in the Boiler Cod during the past 100 years. Here, he is shown holding a reproduction of “The ASME Report of the Committee to Formulate Standard Specifications for the Construction of Steam Boilers and Other Pressure Vessels and for Their Care in Service.” Copies of the report were distributed at a reception earlier that evening.

In a special "Leaders and Legends" ceremony held on May 13, ASME recognized current and past officers of BPV Standards Committees as well as members who have participated for 35 years or more. During the ceremony, ASME President Kotb and Executive Director Tom Loughlin were joined by June Ling, Bob Sims and Ken Balkey in presenting special recognition to three organizations: Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co., Babcock & Wilcox, and the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, as well as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for their prominent roles in forming the foundations of the first edition of the Code.

Receiving awards on behalf of their respective organizations were Fred Bull, president and chief executive officer of HSB Global Standards; Ronald Pulliam, director of group quality for the Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group; David Douin, executive director of the National Board of Boiler & Pressure Vessel Inspectors; and Henry Geryk Jr., district engineering inspector for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. During this ceremony, ASME President Kotb also presented the National Board with the 2014 ASME President's Award.

In addition to the banquet and award ceremony, ASME recognized the contributions of international subject matter experts and organizations, including participants of ASME's various International Working Groups, hailing from Canada, China, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea and Scotland.