The American Society for Precision Engineering (ASPE) has constituted a number of Technical Leadership Communities (TLCs) in an effort to enhance the technical strength of the society and promote increased participation of the members in charting the Society’s technical directions. In the future, these TLCs will be chaired by individual Board members with responsibility for particular technology areas. At the present time, the committees will be headed by a combination of elected and senior members. “Characterization” is one of six technical areas that have been identified; this TLC should complement the Metrology Systems TLC.


Technical Scope

The Characterization Technical Leadership Committee (CTLC) will serve as a focal point and technical resource for ASPE members interested in conversion of dimensional metrology ranging from raw data to estimates of well‐defined measurands that can be compared meaningfully with specifications. CTLC will also consider the relationship between specifications, tolerances and function. The goal is to create and provide a vibrant technical community where members can discuss topics of mutual interest, learn from the expertise and experience of other members, and contribute ideas and knowledge to help solve technical challenges and questions faced by fellow members. Examples of topical areas addressed by the Committee include, but are not limited to

  • Specification and conformance evaluation of wear surfaces on mechanical components
  • Mid‐spatial frequencies (waviness) in optical systems
  • Characterization of point clouds of data with variable spacing
  • Affective engineering and the specification of surfaces for human interaction
  • Evaluation of uncertainty in data maps
  • Knowledgeable and critical awareness of relevant international specifications
  • Functional significance of surface derivatives (slope, curvature)
  • Extension of our characterization emphases to specifying and characterizing 3D features


Responsibilities and Deliverables

The responsibilities and deliverables of the CTLC include

  • Keep abreast of and understand the state‐of‐the‐art (SOTA)
  • Advise the Annual Meeting Chair on the SOTA, including
    • Suggestions of relevant topics for conference sessions
    • Recommendations for Keynote Speakers and Invited Talks
    • Organize technical sessions for future Annual Meeting; and solicit qualified conference papers and speakers, in consultation with the Annual Meeting Chair, that reflect and advance the SOTA
    • Recommend topical meetings in the area and assist the Topical Meeting Chair
    • Prepare review papers on a regular basis (approximately one every three years) on
      selected topics of interest for publication in Precision Engineering
    • Report to the ASPE Membership each year on the activities, plans, and learnings of the CTLC


Committee Governance and Structure

The CTLC will have a Chair and Vice‐chair who will be responsible for coordinating the activities of the group, recruiting new members, and ensuring the vitality and continuity of the Committee. Once the Committee is in full operation, the Chair will be a Member of the ASPE Board of Directors (BoD who has relevant expertise in one or more aspects of Characterization, and is elected to this post (and a seat on the BoD) by the ASPE membership. The Vice‐chair will be selected by the Chair and approved by the TLC membership for a term of two years. In addition, the Committee may, at their discretion, identify members to be responsible for one or more of the periodic responsibilities and deliverables.


Committee Operations

The CTLC membership will convene at the Annual Meeting to monitor progress on the deliverables to the Society, plan for future activities, and conduct discussions among the membership on topics of interest, emerging technologies, and future directions. In addition, the officers may elect to conduct web‐based meetings or teleconferences that are open to the membership (approximately quarterly) to discuss Committee business and plans. It is expected that service on the various activities and deliverables of the TLC will become an entry point and stepping stone for new members interested in future leadership roles in the Society.


Interactions with the Society

The CTLC will report to the ASPE Executive Committee on a regular basis to keep them apprised of CTLC activities and plans, and ensure coordination with the activities of the other TLCs.



Once the CTLC is fully functioning it is expected to consist of members with a broad range of interests and expertise in various aspects of precision manufacturing processes and equipment, and broad representation from industry, government, and academia. Committee members will be encouraged to actively solicit and recruit new members, and if sufficient interest exists, to create new sub‐committees and special interest groups.