ANSI Announces Winners of 2020 Student Paper Competition, Showcasing How Standards Support UN Sustainable Goals


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 Praneetha Pratapa of University of Texas Dallas, is the first-place winner of the annual ANSI student paper competition.Esther Oh of University of Massachusetts Amherst is the second-place winner. The competition 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.

Participants were asked to submit papers illustrating the theme, "Standards Supporting UN Sustainable Goals." The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) serve as a call to action for all nations to promote health, safety, and prosperity while protecting the planet. The SDGs stem from the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development outlining 17 goals that recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations require strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth - while tackling climate change and working to preserve oceans and forests.

The ANSI student paper competition, an annual contest, was open to students of any discipline enrolled in an associate, undergraduate, or graduate-level program at a U.S. academic institute of higher learning.

The winning paper, titled "Role of Standards in Designing Circular Economy and their Effect on United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12," recognizes specific standards that can be used as tools to implement the targets outlined by UN SDG 12, which focuses on responsible consumption and production. It also explores remanufacturing and the circular economy as a solution for the UN's SDG to reduce the rapid pace of resource extraction and minimize carbon footprint. Pratapa writes, "Remanufacturing allows for holistic evaluation of an organization's environmentally sustainable practices and thereby converts its supply network into one that is capable of self-sustaining. Standards are instrumental in this process because they provide unifying measures that guarantee product quality, sustainability, and performance to address the challenges that the remanufacturing industry currently faces."

The second-place entry, "Road Traffic Safety Management Standard: Progress Towards the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal No. 3.6," examines the International Organization for Standardization standard, ISO 39001, Road Traffic Safety (RTS) Management Systems, and how it has helped support UN SDG 3.6, aiming to halve total road traffic injuries and deaths by 2020. Though the metric was not fully reached, the paper examines how ISO 39001 helped motivate government action toward road traffic safety management by providing a clear roadmap and holding member states accountable.

Each winner will receive a cash prize for their paper. The winners will also be acknowledged at ANSI's Leadership and Service Awards Ceremony, which has been moved to October 27, 2021, when attendees can come together more safely in celebration, during World Standards Week.

ANSI's 2021 student paper competition, to be launched in September 2020, will focus on the theme: "Use of Standards in the Global Fight against COVID-19." ANSI will release more information on soon.

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