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J. Robert Sims Becomes 133rd ASME President

ASME's new President J. Robert Sims (left) accepts the presidential gavel from immediate Past President Madiha El Mehelmy Kotb at the President's Dinner during the ASME Annual Meeting in Portland, Ore.

Much as an athlete who uses a cross-training approach to develop strength and stamina and improve performance, ASME must embrace an interdisciplinary approach in order to grow and thrive in the coming years, ASME’s new president, J. Robert Sims, observed during his inaugural address at the ASME Annual Meeting in Portland, Ore., earlier this week.

“Cross-training advances an athlete’s workout regimen by varying the exercises to use muscles in different ways — it energizes the whole body and keeps the mind engaged,” said Sims, who became ASME’s 133rd president at the President’s Dinner on June 10. “You build flexibility, power and speed through an interdisciplinary approach. ASME members can benefit from an intellectual interdisciplinary approach, while pursuing of common goals.”

Because mechanical engineering is a wide-reaching and diverse discipline that plays a role in virtually every technology and industry, “successful engineers must have a strong professional network,” said Sims, a senior engineering fellow with Becht Engineering Co. Inc. “Because of this breadth and the multidisciplinary demands that we face, ASME is well positioned to be at the center of that network. As we grow, that will offer us greater opportunities. This year, we will focus on building our diverse interests into a unified whole.”

To that end, Sims intends to focus on four areas during his yearlong term as president, including ONE ASME, a new Society structure that aims to strengthen the Society's role in the global engineering landscape. With the ONE ASME Society model, which was recently endorsed and approved by the Board of Governors, ASME will establish a new Technical Events and Content Sector, as well as a new Group Pathways and Support system to encourage ASME members to become more active in Society activities.

During his inaugural address, ASME President J. Robert Sims said he would focus on four areas during his term: the introduction of the new One ASME organizational structure and the Society's continued commitment to energy, ethical standards and diversity.

“The new structure includes improved gateways for more meaningful involvement in the Society,” Sims said. “These changes will help ensure that ASME remains a vital and relevant Society for decades to come — and they have the full support of ASME’s Board of Governors.

Energy is another area Sims plans to concentrate on over the next year. “ASME’s vision is to be the essential resource for data and information on energy, and we need to aggressively pursue this focus more than ever,” he said. “ASME should be, needs to be, and in fact must be at the core of the global energy conversation.”  

Other objectives for the coming year, Sims said, include focusing on ASME’s commitment to ethical standards, “by staying true to our mission, to our commitment to standardization, and to our professional obligations and responsibilities as a not-for-profit,” and to diversity, by encouraging “an environment of inclusion and the boldness to work through differing opinions and experiences.”  

Sims, an ASME Fellow and member of the Industry Advisory Board, has been extremely active as an ASME volunteer during his 35 years as a member. He has served in a variety of leadership positions, including Board of Governors member, senior vice president for Standards and Certification, vice president for the Council on Codes and Standards, chair of the Board on Pressure Technology, and a host of ASME Codes and Standards boards, groups, committees and sub-committees. Sims was the recipient of the Melvin R. Green Codes and Standards Medal in 2006, the J. Hall Taylor Medal in 2004, and the ASME Dedicated Service Medal in 1995.

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