ASM Pittsburgh Chapter Community

Message from Pittsburgh Chapter Chair And Minutes for Business/Planning Meeting of the Pittsburgh Chapter of ASM International on July 8, 2021, at 7:00 PM EDT

  • 1.  Message from Pittsburgh Chapter Chair And Minutes for Business/Planning Meeting of the Pittsburgh Chapter of ASM International on July 8, 2021, at 7:00 PM EDT

    Posted 07-09-2021 12:14

    Message from Pittsburgh Chapter Chair 


    Minutes for Business/Planning Meeting of the Pittsburgh Chapter of ASM International on July 8, 2021, at 7:00 PM EDT


    Michael Alexander (Chair)

    Andy Pinskey

    Bob Crease

    John Grubb

    Steve Fyfitch

    Anil Chikkam 

    Howard Kuhn

    Priya Monahar

    Bob Wesolowski


    The concept of the month/year is "valuable experience".

    This meeting itself was a valuable experience for each of the attendees.  We had a healthy discussion among all the attendees about this upcoming year as well as the longterm future of the Chapter.

    For this year, we plan to offer a number of valuable in-person experiences, which will provide value to our members through learning experiences, networking experiences, and fellowship experiences.  

    In particular, assuming that we are able to find officer candidates for chair, vice chair, treasurer, and secretary, then we will have a third Thursday May in-person meeting in the traditions of the past, e.g. past chairs nights, awards night, honored lectureship, etc.  The May in-person meeting will include a ceremonial handoff to new Officers for the 2022-2023 Chapter year.

    Also, our Vice Chair, Thomas Wingens, is planning for at least 2-3 in-person meetings throughout the year, with topics, dates, and locations to be announced.  We all look forward to the opportunity to meet each other and person.  Most of us probably have more gray hairs and wrinkles since our last in-person meeting.

    As for the rest of our event scheduling, there is now a valuable opportunity for our members to greatly affect our scheduling of in-person events.  We are committed to holding any and every event proposed and supported by our members as long as the benefit of the event exceeds the cost.  If we have great events proposed and supported by our members, then we may have multiple events in a month.  If we don't receive proposals and support from our members, then we will not have an event every month.

    As for Young Members Nights, the 2021 Young Members Night event was a great success and we appreciate the efforts of all the student members of the Young Members Night committee for holding a successful and award-winning event!  ASM International has recognized the Pittsburgh Chapter for outstanding efforts at young member engagement, primarily as a result of the 2021 Young Member's Night event.  

    For this upcoming year, in order to proceed with a 2022 Young Members Night (YMN) event, we will need a member of the Pittsburgh Chapter to volunteer to work with the student members of the YMN committee.  The YMN event is one of our largest and most significant events from both the benefit perspective and cost perspective.  We need a member of the Pittsburgh Chapter to volunteer to make sure the benefits remain high while making sure the costs do not get too high.  It is important that the Chapter retains sufficient oversight of the YMN event so that we can continue with this great event.  This is valuable opportunity for one of our members to engage with and support the future of materials science and engineering.  

    Also, in addition to in-person events, we are also proceeding with virtual events.  These virtual will have a different purpose than our in-person events.  Our virtual events this year will be outward-focused.  Though our virtual events, we have an opportunity to reach materials professionals throughout the world.  Therefore, we have an opportunity to promote the interests of the Pittsburgh materials community and our individual and sustaining member company to a worldwide audience of materials professionals.  Therefore, through our virtual meetings, we can provide valuable experiences for our individual members and sustaining member companies to host or present on topics of interest.  We want to use the Pittsburgh Chapter platform to further the interests of our members.  Presently, we are exploring the possible opportunity to provide a virtual webinar series on historical metallurgy, which is a special interest of one of our individual members. 

    As we move forward with these virtual meetings, we will need a member of the Chapter who is willing to serve the function as RingCentral guru.  This person would receive training from ASM International and could serve as a central person for our virtual events.  

    Finally, I encourage you to attend next months meeting on August 12, 2021, a 7PM, and invite others who may be interested in the valuable experiences that the Pittsburgh Chapter will be able to offer.

    Michael Alexander

    ASM Pittsburgh Chapter Chair




    1. Goal is to ensure sustainability/continuity of the Pittsburgh Chapter.
      • Difficulty of running the Pittsburgh Chapter
      • Difficulty of finding people willing to devote the time to run the Pittsburgh Chapter.  

    1. Monthly virtual business/planning meetings in virtual format with invitations to all members of the Pittsburgh Chapter, to be held on RingCentral
      • 7PM EDT on 2nd Thursday of each month
      • Chair (Michael Alexander) and/or Vice Chair (Thomas Wingens) will attend each business/planning meeting
      • Business/planning meeting posted to "ASM Pittsburgh Community" on ASM Connect
      • Emails sent via ASM Connect to all members of the "ASM Pittsburgh Community."
      • Emails sent via email list maintained by Nate Eisinger

    3.  To ensure that we have Officers for 2022-2023, nominations for new Officers will be due by February 10, 2022, to be published after the meeting with invitation for further nominations.  Per bylaws, any member of The Chapter may submit other nominations by presenting to the Secretary, no later than fifteen (15) days after the February meeting.  In case of a contested election, written ballets will be emailed to members, with voting deadline of March 25 per bylaws.  2022-2023 Officers will be announced at the April 14, 2022 virtual business/planning meeting.  During the April 14, 2022, we will elect up to 11 executive committee members to serve a term of up to 3 years.  Per bylaws, the immediate past chair will serve on the executive committee.    The last business/planning meeting of the 2021-2022 Chapter year will be held on May 12, 2022.  A traditional in-person (if possible) May meeting will be held on May 19, 2022, where the leadership will be ceremonially transitioned to the 2022-2023 Officers.  The May 2022 in-person meeting will follow traditional format as awards event, past chairs night, etc., as well as ceremonial transition.  Per bylaws, the 2022-2023 Officers shall take office on June 1, 2022.

    Monthly Virtual Business/Planning Meeting of the Pittsburgh Chapter (open to all Chapter members)

    Thursday, July 8, 2021

    7:00 PM

    Thursday, August 12, 2021

    7:00 PM

    Thursday, September 9, 2021

    7:00 PM

    Thursday, October 14, 2021

    7:00 PM

    Thursday, November 11, 2021

    7:00 PM

    Thursday, December 9, 2021

    7:00 PM

    Thursday, January 13, 2022

    7:00 PM

    Thursday, February 10, 2022

    7:00 PM

    *Deadline for Nominations for Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer from Nominating Committee, to be published after meeting, with invitation for further nominations from Chapter membership

    Thursday, March 10, 2022

    7:00 PM

    *In case of contested election, email written ballets to members, voting deadline of March 25

    Thursday, April 14, 2022

    7:00 PM

    *Announcement of 2022-2023 Officers; Hold virtual election for up to 11 Executive Committee Members for 2022-2023

    Thursday, May 12, 2022

    7:00 PM

    *Last business/planning meeting to be led by 2021-02022 Officers

    Thursday, June 9, 2022

    7:00 PM

    *Meeting to be led by 2022-2023 Officers (ceremonial changeover during May "Annual Business Meeting)

    4.  Shift away from past tradition of event planning, in which Vice Chair planning and organized all the events, and in which monthly events were held almost always held on the third thursday of each month.

      • Difficult job for one person, but difficult to split among multiple people
      • Pressure to hold monthly meetings sometimes resulted in weaker events
      • Restriction to one per month and certain day of the month sometimes resulted in passing on good events.

    5.  New format of planning of events 

      • based on cost/benefit analysis, i.e. hold a good event whenever a good event presents itself
      • Need one member of the Chapter to spearhead each event (Chair will spearhead May 2022 in-person meeting (transition of officers, awards, past chair night; Vice Chair expressed interest to organize 2-3 in-person meetings).  Anyone else can offer to spearhead an event, just consensus of business/planning meeting.  Chair or Vice Chair will help, particular with any contractual arrangements.

    6.  Good Candidates for In-Person Meetings

      • Inward-focused events (providing valuable experiences for Pittsburgh Chapter members)
      • Joint meetings with other professional societies to increase attendance and interest
      • Tours of local industry
      • Social events
      • Networking opportunities
      • Student-involved events

    7.  Good Candidates for Virtual Meetings

      • Outward-focused events (promoting Pittsburgh to rest of world; supporting individual members and sustaining company members interests; promoting technological fields connected with Pittsburgh)
      • Topics of National / International Interest
      • Series of events for efficient marketing/promotion and to improve engagement, e.g. series of three virtual events to be held weekly for three weeks.
      • Example, Historical Metallurgy virtual event(s) can bring together people from across the country/world to discuss this niche topic.  This topic is of particular interest to one of our members.  
      • One critical position will be that we will need a RingCentral guru, someone who willing to learn how to setup and start virtual meetings to avoid technical problems that undermine the meeting.

    8.  Open Discussion of Events for 2021-2022

    9.  Need one member of Chapter for Audit of 2020-2021 finances, meeting to be held virtually

    10.  Anyone interested to attend ASM International Leadership Days (not required)?

    11.  Please invite others (members / potential members) to attend next months business/planning meeting on August 12, 2021 at 7PM EDT.

    Michael Alexander
    Intellectual Property Attorney
    (412) 310-0338