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ANSI Announces Winner of Inaugural Student Paper Competition


The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system, and its Committee on Education (CoE) are pleased to announce that Peter W. Barfknecht of the University of Alabama at Birmingham is the winner of the first-ever ANSI student paper competition. The contest is part of an ANSI-led effort to raise awareness about the strategic importance of standards and conformance among U.S. undergraduate and graduate students.

The 2012 student paper contest received entries from students at the following colleges and universities:

  • Cornell University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Iowa State University
  • Kutztown University
  • Polytechnic Institute of New York University
  • Purdue University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Mississippi

Mr. Barfknecht's paper, titled "How Standards Facilitate Innovation and Benefit Society," argues that voluntary standardization serves an essential role in streamlining the process of technological innovation and promoting useful collaboration. The paper uses both historical examples and Mr. Barfknecht's personal experiences as a graduate student assistant and researcher in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering to support its findings.

The second place-winning paper, "Facilitating Innovation through Standards," was written by Matt Nelms and Graham Jacobs of the University of Mississippi. In the paper, Mr. Nelms and Mr. Jacobs discuss strategies to improve the speed and effectiveness of the standards developing process and posit future approaches to standards development, using contemporary standards for fuel efficiency and composite materials, among other concepts, as a starting point.

The first- and second-place prizes will be presented to Mr. Barfknecht, Mr. Nelms, and Mr. Jacobs during World Standards Week 2012 at an October 12 networking breakfast and education event in Washington, DC. Mr. Barfknecht will receive $2,500 for his paper, while Mr. Nelms and Mr. Jacobs will split the $1,000 second-place prize.

For more information about the ANSI Committee on Education, please contact Lisa Rajchel ([email protected]).

About the ANSI Committee on Education
The ANSI Committee on Education oversees all Institute initiatives related to standards and conformity assessment education and outreach, fulfills the objectives of the United States Standards Strategy (USSS), and responds to other issues that may be delegated by the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, or the National Policy Committee.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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