WiSC Members Discuss How the Engineering Community Adapted to COVID-19

Nov 19, 2020

In a recent virtual event held on October 6, 2020, hosted by Women in Standards and Certification (WiSC), speakers shared how ASME has helped the engineering community rapidly adapt to new workplaces amid COVID-19 through a variety of efforts, including remote audits and inspections, virtual events and increased access to content and online learning.
Titled “ASME Adapting to a COVID World,” the event drew more than 130 participants and featured three speakers: Christine Reilley, ASME senior director of strategy and innovation; Claire Ramspeck, ASME managing director of standards; and Kimberly Gates, operations manager for TüV Rheinland AIA Services, LLC.
Reilley spoke about how ASME is working with industry to survey over 1,500 engineers to gather intelligence on how COVID is impacting the engineering industry. From that intelligence, ASME has developed asme.org/delivered-to-your-home, as well as made journal articles and proceedings relevant to COVID-19 available online at no cost. ASME Government Relations has also held virtual congressional briefings and townhalls related to the pandemic response, and released white papers related to the global supply chain and robotics technologies.
Ramspeck spoke to ASME’s internal response to COVID, and its early decision to close ASME offices and move all meetings and conferences to a virtual platform. She highlighted successes of the virtual pivot, including holding many virtual standards development meetings including two successful virtual Boiler Code Weeks (BCW) with over 150+ meetings executed. Unencumbered by travel costs, attendance at BCW was also more diverse, with a larger number of younger and more international participants able to attend. ASME has announced its ASME Anywhere initiative to continue with virtual meetings until at the least the end of calendar year 2021 for the safety of our volunteers and staff.
Working at an ASME Accredited Authorized inspection Agency, Gates spoke to the changes implemented for ASME certification in response to the pandemic. With COVID-19 travel restrictions and safety concerns, some surveys and audits have taken place virtually. Gates praised both Standards & Certification volunteers and staff for coming together in a swift manner to allow for remote audits, surveys and inspections, while ensuring the integrity of the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code remains in place.
All panelists provided their perspective on remote work, and audience participation and feedback were encouraged throughout the active discussion through polls. Many attendees felt one of the benefits of remote work was reduced commuting time and more flexibility in setting their own schedules. They also acknowledged the challenges of working from home with children doing virtual school. When polled about traveling, many attendees replied that they were not comfortable traveling yet and many companies still had travel restrictions.
If you missed the event, it is still available for viewing. For connection details to the recording and for more information about WiSC and future events, please visit: https://www.asme.org/about-asme/diversity-and-inclusion/women-in-standards-certification

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