How to Nominate
The Basic Importance of ASME Honors
Recognition of outstanding achievement in engineering is one of the major objectives of ASME which it seeks to attain through its programs of honors and awards. Such programs provide necessary and desirable recognition for outstanding contributions to the art and science of engineering. They give opportunity for personalized presentations to honor recipients which dramatize to the public the achievements of the engineering profession. They provide inspiring examples to all engineers, and they identify ASME with excellence in engineering.
The Society honors and awards fall into two main categories, those for achievement and those for contributions to engineering literature. Achievement awards may in turn be grouped into those available to all in the profession and those restricted to some special field within the profession. Similarly, literature awards may be considered in two groups, those available to all in the profession and those restricted to a specialized field.
Several ASME honors and awards have been conferred for more than half a century. These include the achievement awards of Honorary Membership (1880), the Charles T. Main Award (1919), the ASME Medal (1920), and the Holley Medal (1924). The oldest literature awards are the Henry Hess Award (1914), the Melville Medal (1927), and the Worcester Reed Warner Medal (1930). Since 1930, seventy-seven additional awards have been established.
Who May Nominate?
Any individual Member or committee may nominate candidates for any Society honor and award or for any Joint Award as listed in the Honors Manual, except individual voting members of the Board of Governors, Committee on Honors, General Awards Committee, Staff, and other committees which sit in judgment on the nominations unless it is the committee's responsibility to develop honors material. A nomination by a non-member is referred to the proper ASME body for action.
The Importance of the Nomination in Form and Content
Each recipient of an honor or award must be an eminently worthy candidate. It is therefore the duty and responsibility of each Member to bring forward outstanding candidates of whose work and accomplishments he or she has personal knowledge. It is a serious mistake to assume that "they" - meaning the honor or award committees or the ASME leadership in general - "know all about the nominee." The enormous scope of ASME activities and its large membership make it essential that award selection boards be provided the necessary complete information for judging the nominations. Thus the judges must have thorough and well-prepared NOMINATIONS. Remember also that "they" may be, in most cases, ineligible to make NOMINATIONS or sponsor candidates for honors and awards.
How to Nominate
The first step in making a NOMINATION for a particular honor is to become completely familiar with the requirements to be met by the candidate for the honor, as given in the List of all Society Awards. Comparison of the accomplishments of the candidate with the accomplishments of previous recipients of the honors will help the nominator in deciding whether to make a NOMINATION.
Instructions and suggestions for preparing a NOMINATION can be found in the Nomination Instructions. Using the instructions in combination with the appropriate nomination application (see Resource at the end of this section), the nominator should study and follow these carefully so that the relevant accomplishments of the candidate will be properly presented. The suggested format stresses the importance of a clear, precise narrative and description of the accomplishments of the candidate, and of a complete listing of both the ASME activities and the honors he or she has been awarded.
Award Nomination Submission Guidelines
Information that will assist nominators and supporters in completing a nomination for Society Level Awards can be found at submission guidelines.
Early Career Awards
An Early Career award evaluates achievement from the start of the professional career, which is typically after a relevant terminal degree: BS or MS for industry and PhD for academia. A criterion based upon time-from-degree is usually specified. This removes any constraints due to the age of the individual. It can accommodate career delays due to military service, child bearing/raising, etc. However, career interruptions due to non-traditional career paths, post-doctoral work and second careers continue to pose challenges when applying this criteria.
Young Investigator/Engineer Awards
A Young Investigator/Engineer Award has an age-based criterion. This criterion is very specific and easily applied. The history of science and technology is full of examples where famous and accomplished scientists and engineers exhibited their talents at younger ages. So it is desirable to have in place a system to recognize and reward early achievements as a young individual. Another potential benefit is that early recognition may motivate talented individuals to stay in their chosen field of specialization.
The flip side is that many individuals are taking non-traditional career paths, or have their professional careers delayed due to military service, child bearing/raising, career changes, etc. Some may embark on a second career due to changes in interest or in technology. The talents and achievements of this group are not recognized by the Young Investigator/Engineer award system.
Who Selects ASME Honors Recipients?
The ASME Committee on Honors nominates the candidates for Honorary Membership and the ASME Medal to the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors, by unanimous vote, selects recipients of Honorary Membership and the ASME Medal.
By direct delegation of the authority of the Board of Governors, the ASME Committee on Honors selects the recipients of all other ASME honors and awards.
For general achievement and literature awards, the General Awards Committee nominates the candidates to the ASME Committee on Honors for selection. For each special award, the relevant award committee nominates candidates to the ASME Committee on Honors for selection. In general the Committee on Honors has the right of veto or of choice but not the right of substitution for candidates who have been nominated by the General Awards Committee or Special Award Committees.