History and Heritage Committee Operation Guide

1. Purpose

This Operation Guide shall define the organization and activities required to fulfill the responsibilities of the History and Heritage Committee (HHC) as defined by the ASME By-Laws.

1.1 Authority

Article C5.1.2 of the ASME Constitution states, “The provisions of the Constitution and By-Laws and Society Policies established by the Board of Governors of the Society shall govern the procedure of all units of the Society but no action or obligation of such units shall be considered an action or obligation of the Society as a whole.”

ASME By-Law B2.1, Fulfillment of Purpose, states that to promote the art, science and practice of mechanical and multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences to diverse communities throughout the world, the Society shall engage in the dissemination of (among other things) the usefulness of the profession. (To accomplish this), “the Society shall publicize the engineering profession through the achievements of engineers.”

The Society’s Mission, Vision and Strategic Priorities state that in performing its mission, ASME adheres to (certain) Core Values, (including to) “respect and document engineering history while continually embracing change.”

1.2 Responsibilities

The HHC fosters the dissemination of materials and information about the history of mechanical engineering by:

  • supervising the conduct of the Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark program,
  • encouraging the formation of history and heritage committees by ASME groups as defined in By-Law B5.1.9,
  • encouraging the preparation and maintenance of oral and written records of notable mechanical engineering achievements and personalities,
  • bestowing the annual Engineer-Historian award to recognize outstanding published work or works by an engineer dealing with the history of mechanical engineering,
  • provide training and guidance to ASME Groups to support the society-wide HHC activities
  • encouraging the preparation and maintenance of records of Society activities to preserve the Society’s history,
  • cooperating with other organizations which have interests in the history and heritage of engineering, and
  • pursuing other related activities which the HHC determines is in keeping with its purpose.

Specific policy responsibilities for the HHC are contained in Society Policy P-15.6. These responsibilities shall be reviewed every three years and any changes to Society Policy P-15.6 deemed necessary or desirable shall be recommended to the Committee on Organization and Rules for appropriate action, as is the case for any Society Policy change.

2. Structure

The HHC shall consist of seven voting members, an indeterminate number of emeritus members and up to eight corresponding members. Appointments of new voting and non-voting members may be made by a simple majority vote of the existing HHC voting members and recorded in the meeting minutes.

2.1 Leadership Team

The Leadership Team of the HHC shall consist of a Chair, the Immediate Past Chair of the committee, and a Secretary. It may also appoint a Vice Chair.

Selections to the HHC Leadership Team may be made by a simple majority vote of the HHC voting members and recorded in the HHC meeting minutes.

The Chair must be a member of ASME.

2.2 Expertise

In selecting the nominees for HHC, the committee will seek the following collective competencies:

  1. An active interest in the history of mechanical engineering.
  2. A background in writing, publishing, preservation or other active involvement in this field.
  3. Willingness to commit time and other resources needed to fully participate in the committee.

To ensure the committee has the range of expertise required for its activities, its ranks may include one or more non-ASME members who provide special competence in support of the committee’s key issues.

It is desirable, although not mandatory, for a past president of ASME to serve as a member.

Committee members shall comply with all society policies including but not limited to: P-15.7, Ethics; P-15.8, Conflicts of Interest; P-14.6, Society Name, Seal, Emblem, Initials, Titles, Identification, and Certificates; and P-15.9, Policy Against Discrimination.

2.3 Member Terms

The term of each voting member shall be five years, with the terms of not more than two of these members ending at the close of each June Annual Meeting. The term of each Corresponding member shall be three years.

Members customarily serve no more than two consecutive terms, but may be nominated for additional term(s) by the HHC if that individual's continued service is thought to be critical to the continued work of the Committee.

If a member leaves the HHC before his/her term is complete, a new member may be appointed by the Committee to complete the unexpired term after which this member would be eligible to serve for a maximum of two additional consecutive 5-year terms.

Outgoing members will be offered an opportunity to participate as a corresponding member for a minimum of two years, to allow completion of any activities for which the member continues to be responsible.

2.4 Leadership Team Terms

Each position on the Leadership Team shall be nominated for a one-year term, with a maximum of three consecutive years of service in a particular position (e.g., Chair, or Secretary) for any given volunteer. If a Leadership Team member leaves office before the end of his/her term, a member may be elected to serve the remainder of the one-year term (Terry) by a simple majority vote of the HHC voting members.

2.5 Leadership Team Responsibilities

The Chair must be knowledgeable of the various aspects of the HHC policies and other policies and procedures. The responsibilities of the Chair are to support, coordinate, and facilitate the work of HHC and to guide the committee to achieve the objectives established by the Society. The Chair shall schedule and establish the agenda for HHC meetings, preside over HHC meetings, appoint subcommittees, assign duties to members and sub-committees, maintain continuity of HHC activity, and correspond on behalf of HHC.

The responsibilities of the Vice-Chair, if one is appointed, are to understand the responsibilities of the Chair, preside in the Chair’s absence, provide support and guidance to the Chair and carry out work and special assignments requested by the Chair.

The responsibilities of the Secretary are to record the proceedings of the HHC, distribute minutes of these proceedings to the HHC members, and coordinate the maintenance of HHC records with the Staff Liaison.

2.6. Corresponding Members

Corresponding members generally fall into two categories: (1) Individuals who have previously served on the HHC and have a continuing interest in ASME history and heritage activities, and (2) Individuals who have been active in ASME history and heritage and are thus potential candidates for membership on the HHC.

Corresponding members may serve as Alternates to current voting committee members and, in the absence of a voting member at a meeting, may substitute as a voting member for that meeting.

Corresponding members may participate in all activities that are open to voting members but do so without vote or travel reimbursement, unless serving as an Alternate at a meeting, or approved by the chair because of a need for the individual to be present at a meeting.

2.7 Emeritus Members

Certain former members of the HHC who have distinguished themselves through service and/or expertise may be designated by the Committee as ‘emeritus members.’ Emeritus membership is perpetual. Such members may elect to receive HHC correspondence and to participate in activities of the Committee but do so without vote or travel reimbursement. Emeritus members may also serve as Alternates, in the absence of a voting member at a meeting.

2.8 Sub and Ad-Hoc Committees

Standing sub-committees of HHC shall be established by the committee as a whole, with a committee member designated as chair. Sub-committees may consist of only HHC members and/or corresponding members. The Brochure/Plaque sub-committee shall be a permanent standing sub-committee. (Terry)

Ad hoc sub-committees may be appointed to assist the HHC by handling a specifically defined single project or task. Ad hoc sub-committees automatically dissolve upon completion of a task or submittal of a final report, and may be dissolved earlier for lack of progress or changes in HHC needs. HHC ad hoc committees shall be defined by the Leadership Team. Ad hoc committee member appointments shall be made by the Chair after consultation with the other members of the Leadership Team.

2.9 Support Staff

ASME staff support shall be provided to the HHC.

3. Meetings

The HHC generally holds two business meetings a year at a location and duration determined by the Chair, subject to budgetary considerations. Typically, these meetings are held at the November ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE) and at the June Annual Meeting. However, other venues may be selected to best meet the needs and objectives of the HHC.

Additionally, teleconference/video meetings will be held as needed.

3.1 Conduct of Meetings

Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern the conduct of meetings of the HHC, unless the committee adopts special rules and procedures to govern deliberations on particular items of business. The meetings shall be conducted in a manner to preclude conflict with the Constitution, By-Laws, and Policies of ASME and be open to all members of the Society.

3.1.1 A meeting quorum may consist of a simple majority of the voting members of the HHC, at least one of whom should be the Chair or his/her appointee. In the absence of a quorum, those members present may adjourn the meeting to a later time or another date.
3.1.2 Major decisions, such as approval of landmarks, selection of Leadership Team positions, naming of members to the HHC and decisions relating to the Engineer-Historian Award, can only be made at a business meeting with a quorum present (Terry).
3.1.3 Voting Members may conduct routine affairs of the HHC in the absence of a quorum.
3.1.4 Meeting minutes/notes shall be posted on the HHC’s page on ASME.org.

3.2 Funding

HHC activities will be funded through ASME’s Strategic Communications department. The HHC Chair shall work with the staff liaison to provide any required budgetary information for preparation of the department’s annual budget.

The HHC will not maintain a segregated account.

3.2.1 Each voting member of the HHC is eligible for travel expense contribution in accordance with Society Policy P-4.5 for attendance at business meetings of the committee.
3.2.2 A member representing the HHC at a landmark ceremony or on other HHC business is eligible for travel expense contribution in accordance with Society Policy P-4.5 for attendance at business meetings of the Committee.

4. Adoption and Amendments

This Operation Guide shall become effective following initial adoption by HHC with approval by a majority of voting members. Amendments to the Operation Guide shall require the acceptance of a majority of HHC voting members.

Adopted by the History and Heritage Committee: 25-Sep-17
Minor updates adopted by the Committee on: 8-Oct-18
Adopted by the History and Heritage Committee: 14- Nov-20

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