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Top Ten Engineering Achievements of the Century

NEW YORK, Jan. 17, 1999 - Standards, the tens of thousands of rules and specifications which aided the industrial development of nations, bringing essential order to product development and use, have been included among the greatest mechanical engineering achievements of the 20th century.

In a survey conducted in 1999 by ASME International (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), codes and standards was voted one of 10 engineering feats that advanced the quality of life over the last 100 years. It ranked #10 in the survey of 1400 engineers.

An article in the February 2000 issue of Mechanical Engineering magazine commemorates codes and standards, which are generally defined as technical guidelines that establish a criteria of quality and safety in manufactured products and systems. At the time of rapid industrialization and commercialization in the United States and other nations, standards not only prescribed a level of quality, but also ensured product interchangeability, specifying the characteristics of parts that must fit together.

"The demand for compatibility stemmed from an understanding of the importance of safety," says Mechanical Engineering in chronicling the historical development of standards in the United States. Mechanical Engineering is the award-winning flagship publication of ASME.

ASME has approximately 600 codes and standards, including the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. Conceived in 1911 out of the need to protect the safety of the public and provide uniformity in the manufacture of boilers, the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code today carries the force of law in many parts of the world.

Other ASME codes and standards cover pipe fittings, industrial jacks, hand tools, pumps, fasteners, and numerous other engineered products.

According to Mechanical Engineering, codes and standards are "important contributions that will dominate life in the 21st century."

In addition to codes and standards, the other nine engineering achievements of ASME are the automobile, Apollo spacecraft, power generation technology, agricultural mechanization, the airplane, integrated circuit mass production, air conditioning and refrigeration, computer-aided engineering, and bioengineering technology.

ASME International is a 125,000-member organization focused on technological, educational and research issues. In addition to its internationally recognized standards activity, ASME conducts one of the world's largest technical publishing operations and holds some 30 technical conferences and 200 professional development courses each year.

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