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Student Paper Winners / 2016-2019

“The Attributes of the Arts and the Rewards Which Are Accorded Them” (1766) / Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin

We maintain a bibliography of winners of ANSI’s Student Paper Competition.   This bibliography may enlighten student approaches to the 2020 ANSI Student Paper Competition linked below:

ANSI Student Paper Competition 2020 – Papers Due 30 April 2020

  For the most current information about the competition contact Lisa Rajchel:

2019 Student Paper Winner / Cybersecurity & Ukraine Power Grid Attack

2019 Student Paper Winner / Standards in Crisis Prevention & Response:

2018 ANSI Student Paper Winner / Internet of Things

2017 ANSI Student Paper Winner / Cyborg Gen 2330

2016 Student Paper Winner | Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness

2016 Student Paper Winner | World Without Standards

ANSI Announces Winners of 2015 Student Paper Competition


Art Wall from Recycled Materials 2017 / Barbara Rucci

Join us today@ 11AM/EDT as we run a status check on best practice literature for the safety and sustainability of recycling enterprises in education communities.  We have been keeping pace with the evolution of regulations in this domain for over 10 years and now have the resources to devote a periodic work session on the topic.  The number of organizations involved in standards setting and conformance will likely surprise you.

Specific requirements must be met for recycling to be economically feasible and environmentally effective. These include an adequate source of recyclates, a system to extract those recyclates from the waste stream, a nearby factory capable of reprocessing the recyclates, and a potential demand for the recycled products. These last two requirements are often overlooked—without both an industrial market for production using the collected materials and a consumer market for the manufactured goods, recycling is incomplete and in fact only “collection”.

Workspace / Recycling


Reconditioned Electrical Equipment

We have been following an international conversation on the safe and effective application of reconditioned electrical equipment (RCEE) for the better part of ten years now.   Threads of the conversation originating in consensus documents developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission, the CSA Group, the National Association of Electrical Equipment and Medical Imaging Manufacturers (NEMA) and others.   The safe and practical application of reconditioned electrical equipment — though not necessarily economical — is debated in detail in the  National Electrical Code (NEC);  a document in which we have advocated for the education facilities industry since 1993.

Not all electrical equipment is suitable for reconditioning but enough of it can such that specification of RCEE significantly lowers #TotalCostofOwnership for the $300 billion education facilities industry in the United States; the primary goal of Standards Michigan and its 50-state affiliates.  According to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the following RCEE is suitable:

  • Industrial and commercial panel boards
  • Low and medium voltage power circuit breakers
  • Low and medium voltage replaceable link fuses
  • Low voltage switchgear
  • Manual and magnetic controllers
  • Medium voltage switchgear
  • Metallic conduit, tubing, raceways and fittings
  • Motor control centers
  • Motors
  • Switchboards
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply Equipment

The length of this list is a topic upon which good minds disagree; especially internationally.   Whether or not the largest non-residential building construction market in the United States (with new construction running at a clip of $80 billion annually) takes advantage of developments in technology that help manufacturers effectively “re-cycle” the largest components of a building power chain is a discussion for another day.    The IEEE Education & Healthcare Facilities Committee drills down into details of this nature and is now soliciting comment on the proposed actions of IEEE SCC-18; the IEEE committee which, by charter, is aligned with user-interests in the US standards system.  As we explain in our ABOUT,  the general public — and even many industry insiders —  are not aware of the economic consequences to all industries when regulatory products are written only by incumbent interests.

Suffice to say that even if the US education facilities industry does not apply RCEE to reduce the cost of a new building (by about 1 percent) its competitors internationally will and are.

The 2020 NEC is nearing the completion of its revision cycle.   A milestone was completed in early November when all of the 20-0dd technical committees in San Diego.   Dozens of breakout task groups are forming to sort through public response to proposed changes to the 2017 NEC which will become the 2020 NEC this time next year.   Proposals regarding RCEE landed on the agenda of nearly all 20-odd NEC technical committees.   Standards Michigan has tenure in Code Making Panel 1, the committee with oversight about how all other technical committees determine the safe and practical application of RCEE.

Cutting to the chase then, linked below is the first of several transcripts that track CMP-1 debate:

NFPA 70 National Electrical Code Workspace

Admittedly, very technical stuff.   Few will pay attention to these specifics until something bad happens (perhaps six years from now) so, to avoid something bad happening, we pay attention to it now.   We always collaborate with IEEE SCC-18 and the IEEE E&H Committee which meets online twice every month. 

Issue: [16-102]

Category: Electrical, #SmartCampus

Colleagues: Mike Anthony,  Robert G. Arno, Neal Dowling, James R. Harvey, Richard Robben




H.R. 5906 / RECYCLE Act

115th Congress. Photo Credit: Pew Research Center

A BILL: To require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a consumer recycling education and outreach grant program, and for other purposes.

Standards Montana

“When the Land Belonged to God” / C.M. Russell (1864-1926) / Montana Historical Society

As we explain in our ABOUT, we are continuing the development of the cadre of “code writers and vote-getters” begun at the University of Michigan in 1993.  We are now drilling down into state and local adaptations of nationally developed codes and standards that are incorporated by reference into public safety and sustainability legislation.

Standards Michigan remains the “free” home site but state-specific sites such as Standards Montana will be accessible to user-interest code-writers and vote-getters.  Please send a request to join one of our mailing lists appropriate to your interest for #SmartCampus standards action in the State of Montana.


Electronic Municipal Market Access | Montana

Standards Montana Workspace

Electronic Equipment Recycling

The Impact of E-Waste / Student Art Guide

We are observers in the development of a new ANSI accredited electronic equipment recycling standard  produced with the leadership of NSF International    The electronic recycling space is growing quickly — reaching far upstream the value chain into how electronic equipment is designed in the first place.  An overview of the project is available in the link below:

Joint Committee on Environmental Leadership Standard for Servers

A public edition of the product is linked below:

NSF/ANSI 426 – 2019 Environmental Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility Assessment of Servers

This standard moved swiftly to market under NSF International’s continuous maintenance process.  We bring it to the attention of the education facilities industry as a recommendation for lowering #TotalCostofOwnership.   Participation as a User interest in American national standards development reduces “wheel reinvention” in which many recycling workgroups unnecessarily start from scratch, eliminates the need to attend costly workshops hosted by trade associations and significantly minimizes destructive competition.  

This product is on the standing agenda of our periodic Recycling teleconferences.   Since it involves electrotechnology we collaborate with the IEEE Standards Association.  See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting; open to everyone.


Issue: [14-74], [15-147], [15-148]

Category: Electrical, Telecommunications, Interior 

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Jim Harvey, Richard Robben

Archive / NSF 426 Electronic Equipment Recycling




Standards Kentucky

“Kentucky Landscape (1832) / James Pierce Barton

As we explain in our ABOUT, we are continuing development of the cadre of “code writers and vote-getters” begun at the University of Michigan in 1993.  Code writers and vote getters are the true expert witnesses to the social negotiation of technical change.  They are leaders in the reconciliation of the competing requirements of safety and economy in the largest non-residential building construction market in the United States.

We are now drilling down into state and local adaptations of nationally developed codes and standards that are incorporated by reference into public safety and sustainability legislation.   This post is a “test pancake” for generating discussion, and for discovering the best way forward for crafting state exceptions to nationally developed codes and standards.  Every state will have to be managed according to its history, culture, governance regime, asset-base and network of expertise.

Standards Michigan will remain the “free” home site but state-specific sites such as Standards Kentucky will be accessible to user-interest code-writers and vote-getters.   Please send a request to join one of our mailing lists appropriate to your interest for #SmartCampus standards action in the State of Kentucky.

Electronic Municipal Market Access / Kentucky

Standards Kentucky Workspace

Design Standard Readability

Fry readability formula

How Consistent Are the Best-Known Readability Equations in Estimating the Readability of Design Standards?

Shixiang Zhou & Heejin Jeong
Industrial and Operations Engineering Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Transportation Research Institute Driver Interface Group
Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA


Abstract.  Research problem: Readability equations are widely used to compute how well readers will be able to understand written materials. Those equations were usually developed for nontechnical materials, namely, textbooks for elementary, middle, and high schools. This study examines to what extent computerized readability predictions are consistent for highly technical material – selected Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and International Standards Organization (ISO) Recommended Practices and Standards relating to driver interfaces. Literature review: A review of original sources of readability equations revealed a lack of specific criteria in counting various punctuation and text elements, leading to inconsistent readability scores. Few studies on the reliability of readability equations have identified this problem, and even fewer have systematically investigated the extent of the problem and the reasons why it occurs.  Research questions:

(1) Do the most commonly used equations give identical readability scores?
(2) How do the scores for each readability equation vary with readability tools?
(3) If there are differences between readability tools, why do they occur?
(4) How does the score vary with the length of passage examined?

Method: Passages of varying lengths from 12 selected SAE and ISO Recommended Practices and Standards were examined using five readability equations (Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, Gunning Fog Index, SMOG Index, Coleman-Liau Index, and Automated Readability Index) implemented five ways (four online readability tools and Microsoft Word 2013 for Windows). In addition, short test passages of text were used to understand how different readability tools counted text elements, such as words and sentences. Results and conclusions: The mean readability scores of the passages from those 12 SAE and ISO Recommended Practices and Standards ranged from the 10th grade reading level to about 15th. The mean grade reading levels computed across the websites were: Flesch-Kincaid 12.8, Gunning Fog 15.1 SMOG 12.6, Coleman-Liau 13.7, and Automated Readability Index 12.3. Readability score estimates became more consistent as the length of the passage examined increased, with no noteworthy improvements beyond 900 words. Among the five readability tools, scores typically differed by two grade levels, but the scores should have been the same. These differences were due to how compound and hyphenated words, slashes, numbers, abbreviations and acronyms, and URLs were counted, as well other punctuation and text elements. These differences occurred because the sources for these equations often did not specify how to score various punctuation and text elements. Of the tools examined, the authors recommend Microsoft Word 2013 for Windows if the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level is required.



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