The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is a professional body, specifically an engineering society, focused on mechanical engineering. The ASME was founded in 1880 by Alexander Lyman Holley, Henry Rossiter Worthington, John Edison Sweet and Matthias N. Forney in response to numerous steam boiler pressure vessel failures. The organization is known for setting codes and standards for mechanical devices. The ASME conducts one of the world's largest technical publishing operations through its ASME Press, holds numerous technical conferences and hundreds of professional development courses each year, and sponsors numerous outreach and educational programs.
The organization's stated vision is to be the premier organization for promoting the art, science and practice of mechanical and multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences to the diverse communities throughout the world. Its stated mission is to promote and enhance the technical competency and professional well-being of its members, and through quality programs and activities in mechanical engineering, better enable its practitioners to contribute to the well-being of humankind. As of 2006, the ASME has 120,000 members.
Core values include:
ASME is one of the oldest and most respected standards-developing organizations in the world. It produces approximately 600 codes and standards, covering many technical areas, such as boiler components, elevators, measurement of fluid flow in closed conduits, cranes, hand tools, fasteners, and machine tools.
The largest ASME standard, both in size and in the number of volunteers involved in its preparation, is the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC). BPVC is a standard that provides rules for the design, fabrication, and inspection of boilers and pressure vessels. It is reviewed every three years. The BPVC consists of twelve volumes as follows:
The Student Professional Development Conference or SPDC is a conference that is run and maintained by ASME. The purpose for the conference is to allow students to network with other students from different colleges and engineers that are out in the work field, host competitive student contests, and gives them the opportunity to see what ASME can do for them professionally. Conferences are held in ten different districts with each district representing a certain section. Districts A-F are held in North America, District G is in Asia and Australia, District H includes most of Europe, District I is in Central and South America, and District J covers the MIddle East and parts of Africa. The location for each district changes every year and colleges attend the conference that is closest to them.
Without a doubt, students attend the conference for the competitions. There are four competitions held at each conference and they are:
Each competition has its own set of rules and prizes. The most prestigious out of the four is the Student Design Competition as it allows engineering students to showcase their abilities, engineering knowledge, and creativity. Every year a problem statement is put up on the ASME SDC website which states the problem that must be solved and the various constraints that go along with it. The first-place team at each district is then invited to compete in an international competition held at ASME's International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE).