Robert J. Painter
Robert J. Painter was ASTM's Executive Secretary and Treasurer from 1952-1960 and Executive Secretary Emeritus from 1961-1965. He devoted 33 years of his life to the Society.
Mr. Painter received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute in 1928. He joined the ASTM staff in February 1931, where his first assignment was the publicity and promotional work of the Society. This included the publication of the ASTM Bulletin, the predecessor of today's Standardization News.
As Secretary of the Membership Committee for 20 years he was responsible for membership promotion and development. He also directed the staff work in connection with the establishment of the ASTM Award of Merit program.
During World War II, a National Emergency Steel Specifications project was sponsored by ASTM, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) to develop standards that would concentrate production on a limited number of grades of steel and steel products.
He was appointed Executive Secretary and Treasurer of ASTM in 1952 and took an interest in every aspect of the Society's operations. In 1960, due to poor health, he stepped down to become a consultant to his successor, T. A. Marshall, Jr.
In 1961, he was named Executive Secretary Emeritus by the ASTM Board of Directors. Despite declining health, he still assisted in raising money for the then new ASTM Headquarters building in Philadelphia, as secretary of the Building Fund Committee. Painter retired from the staff in August 1964 and on February 23, 1965 he died suddenly at the age of 60.
Robert J. Painter was not only a remarkable man, but a wise and strong leader and effective spokesman for the Society. His contributions to ASTM and to the furthering of standardization are immeasurable. Therefore, the SES/ASTM Award, given for the promoting of the use of standards, was appropriately named in his honor.
(This background information on the Award and Robert J. Painter was gathered by Marsha Firman, ASTM)