The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) was founded in 1880. ASME is no longer simply American, but has broadened to an international organization that is recognized as an authority for mechanical engineers all over the world. The mission statement is quoted "To promote and enhance the technical competency and professional well-being of our members, and through quality programs and activities in mechanical engineering, better enable its practitioners to contribute to the well-being of humankind."
The first organizers are considered to be Alexander Lyman Holley, Henry Rossiter Worthington, John Edson Sweet. Alexander Lynn Holley was chosen as the chairman at the first meeting of 30 prominent minds in the world of engineering. Mr. Holley gained his notoriety as a consultant to the American Bessemer Steel Association.
One of ASME's activities involves publication of many works relating to the field. This does not just include the standards that most engineers are familiar with, but also historical accounts of mechanical engineeringthroughout periods of time. Other activities include the establishment of a foundation to help fund technology and research, to propogate the growth of the profession. The foundation began in the centennial year of 1980 and displayed ASME's committment to being a powerful force in the career world of it's members.
ASME began drafting a code of ethics in 1911, All members were expected to abide by these ethical rules or be forced to leave the organization. In 1915, boards were formed to deal with specific areas of professional and ethical conduct. These three committes are:
- Standing Committee on Professional Conduct
- Board of Education and Professional Status
- Professional Practice Committee
Currently, ASME sets many standards for design and manufacturing. It is impossilbe to be involved in mechancal design and manufacturing, at least in the United States, and not come across a specification or standard that has been created by ASME. In addition to the creation and maintaining of standards, ASME holds numerous conferences and development courses that serve the purpose of fulfilling the ideals set forth in the mission statement. This organization is clearly an authoritative power in mechanical engineering and is growing to provide more support each year.