ASTM Establishes Award in Honor of Longtime Member

ASTM member and Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) co-founder Werner H. Gumpertz (1917-2017). Photo courtesy of SGH/Jeremy Landry.

The board of directors for ASTM International (West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, USA) has ratified a proposal for a new, membership-wide industry award in honor of longtime ASTM member and Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) (Waltham, Massachusetts, USA) co-founder Werner H. Gumpertz. The measure was approved following a biannual meeting of the ASTM board held last month at SGH headquarters. 

“As a result of his exceptional work on standards over six decades, Werner Gumpertz played a major role in creating a strong technical foundation for our modern built environment,” says ASTM International President Katharine Morgan. “Our board is thrilled to celebrate his legacy by creating just our eighth society-level award in his honor.”

Gumpertz, who passed away in 2017, served as an ASTM volunteer for nearly six decades, where he served as chair of the roofing and waterproofing committee. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and advanced engineering degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he met two colleagues in the engineering department, Howard Simpson and Frank Heger. The three men would go on to start the multinational engineering firm SGH in 1957.

“As a recipient of ASTM International’s Walter C. Voss Award and the William C. Cullen Award, among others, Werner has been well recognized for his achievements, but Werner’s incalculable contribution to standards development, advancement of building quality, and encouragement to those who would pursue these goals, deserved more,” says SGH Consulting Principal Thomas Schwartz. “This award is a well-deserved celebration of his legacy, and those future recipients whose names ultimately adorn this plaque should have to pass one very high bar.”

Open to both ASTM members and nonmembers alike, the first Werner H. Gumpertz Award will be presented to an engineer, scientist, or architect who has made significant contributions to either the building technology or construction industries.

“As the consummate ASTM International member, Werner Gumpertz gave much more of his talents and time than what he received in return,” says Ralph Paroli, Ph.D., former chair of ASTM’s board of directors and former chair of the roofing and waterproofing committee. “This is a fitting way to honor him.”

Source: ASTM International,