Philadelphia Section – History


ASME International has historically been structured as a tiered organization consisting of the international offices centered in New York City administering ten Districts worldwide (formerly thirteen Regions, of which 6 were domestic), and with Districts further sub-divided into localized senior Sections.  A range of Technical Divisions have also historically been established within ASME.  These entities within society were relatively free to serve their local member interests and received Merit Based Funding allocations from ASME to support their operating budgets.  

In 2014, the ASME Board of Directors created a Group Pathways and Support (GPS) initiative to centrally administer Sections and other member-organized entities into groups within the ASME organizational structure.  Districts were disbanded in 2014 and GPS governed the operations of Sections and Technical Divisions as ASME Group entities.  Groups do not receive annual financial allocations from ASME.  Groups may make funding requests to ASME, but are generally encouraged to self-fund their initiatives.  The ASME Philadelphia Section is now guided by ASME-provided group by-laws.  

Sections are staffed by ASME members that volunteer to serve the local membership.  Sections represent the base support for ASME membership.  The structure of each Section consists of local members and a volunteer group of active members that form an Executive Committee.  The Executive Committee plans and implements activities and programs that it believes will most benefit the local membership within the means of an annual Section budget which is self-funded from a Section account held within a portfolio of group accounts.  Section Executive Committee members are elected to serve for an annual term with a transition date of July 1st.  Student Sections are also established for each college or university with an accredited mechanical engineering program within the section jurisdiction.  The student sections are administered by a volunteer faculty advisor.  


The ASME Philadelphia Section represents and serves Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania and Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, and Gloucester counties in New Jersey.  


The ASME Philadelphia Section is resolved to provide a localized professional organization for ASME members residing within its jurisdiction.  To this end, the Section endeavors to fulfill the following responsibilities:

  • Encourage and facilitate communication and learning between local ASME members
  • Promote the mechanical engineering profession and ASME initiatives
  • Support local universities with mechanical engineering programs
  • Disseminate information concerning local activities and planned programs
  • Acknowledge achievements of local members



The Philadelphia Section was created in 1944.  The Section continues to serve its jurisdiction with a core of dedicated active ASME members.  From its inception to 2015, the Section was governed by a structure of by-laws that were updated in February 1991, July 2002, and most recently January, 2010.  In 2016 ASME GPS created an omnibus set of by-laws for all groups which the Philadelphia Section now follows.  The history of the Section is generational in nature due to its longevity and its approach of transitioning leadership on an annual basis.  The more current history is therefore more detailed in nature.  


The GPS-specified by-laws define the structure of the Section leadership.  The leadership consists of a Chair, a Vice Chair, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Group Page Administrator, and up to two leadership “Members”.  The general duties of these posts are defined within the GPS group by-laws.  Members are nominated by the current leadership to fill leadership posts for the following year in the Spring of each year.  Leaders serve an annual term starting July 1st.  A list of those that served as Philadelphia Section Chair is presented with this history document.  


During the 1960s the Section facilitated a series of well-attended professional development courses for its members.  These course programs generated a substantial income for the Section and these funds were actively maintained as a Section trustee account.  More recently, the Section has held smaller revenue-generating courses that have been self-sufficient.  

Section Landmarks

The Section has four mechanical engineering landmarks dedicated within its jurisdiction.  The engineering landmarks and their year of dedication are presented below:

  • Fairmount Waterworks Pump House originally constructed in 1815, dedicated in 1976.
  • USS Olympia Vertical Reciprocating Steam Engines built in 1892 (now a museum associated with the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, dedicated in 1976.
  • Eddystone Supercritical Steam Power Generation Unit #1 built in 1960 (now retired from operational service), dedicated in 2004.  In the year of its dedication, it had operated for 43 years and was the most efficient and reliable power plant in the PECO system.  Section member George Silvestri expanded Keenan and Keyes industry standard steam tables as a basis for the Eddystone supercritical design.  
  • US Standard Screw Threads defined in 1864 (associated with the Franklin Institute), dedicated in 2005.

Recurring Support to Local Initiatives

  • Inception-Present: program meetings and newsletter communications to members; more recently Section-wide email notifications and subscription to on-line networks.  
  • 1992-Present: Mechanical engineering student project financial support for local universities and colleges [Drexel University, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia University, Rowan University, Swarthmore College, Temple University, Villanova University, and Widener University].
  • 1990-Present: Delaware Valley Science Council financial support for Bachelor of Science incoming freshman scholarships.  
  • 1990-Present: Delaware Valley Engineer’s Club Engineer’s Week program participation.
  • 2001-Present: Engineer’s Club Future City competition judging and financial awards for middle school students.
  • 2009-Present: Substantial contributions to the FIRST competition, especially locally to Team 1640.  

Section Execution

Section Leadership

Section leaders approve the operating budget for the Section and vote on initiatives supported by the Section.  


Presentations and tours involving state-of-the-art technologies are most popular with the membership.  Meetings historically average an attendance of about 30 members.  Advance registration is always suggested and the number of no-shows typically balances the number of unregistered attendees.  Rotation of the meeting location helps to involve members from different vicinities within the Section, but this is not a conclusive means of increasing attendance.  

Student Section Coordination

A coordination and idea exchange meeting is typically held in early autumn between the senior section leadership and the local student section officers.  This meeting informs the student sections about the competition guidelines for available project funding.  It also sets the groundwork for a mid-Winter student night program meeting.  The meeting is also a forum for the student sections to jointly pursue common interests and to communicate their goals for projects, programs, and tours.  


In order to keep the Section financially solvent and proactive, a treasury report of Section activity is kept up to date by the current treasurer and reviewed at each Executive Committee meeting for accuracy.  The treasury report is established in accordance with the categories defined by the approved budget and is initialized using the funding limits authorized by the Executive Committee.  In 2013 ASME International announced that it needed to place all District and Section financial accounts under a consolidated umbrella of accounts.  Each ASME entity is to retain control over its funds in a sub-account.  This financial transition involved both the Section Checking account and the Section Trustees account.  These accounts are now administered by ASME under the umbrella of Group accounts where the Section has withdrawal and deposit rights to the account.  ASME International maintains the auditing responsibility for all group accounts.  

Reporting to ASME

In 2014, the ASME Board of Governors formed the Group Pathways and Support (GPS) office to facilitate and administer ASME group activities, including Sections. This includes having all Section operating funds maintained as an ASME segregated account administered by ASME.  Operational guidelines related to this change are detailed on the ASME website at:  https://community.asme.org/group_pathways.  

Several items must be reported to ASME International according to a defined time-table in order to receive annual Section funding.   The forms and procedures for required reporting are assembled in a Section Toolbox on the ASME web site:


The main items for reporting are summarized below:

  • Unit Operation Budget/Plan and Annual Financial Report records the previous term financial reporting and presents the budget for the incoming term.  This form is completed in late August to meet the September 1st ASME filing deadline.  

As part of the ASME GPS initiative, the Unit Operation Budget/Plan and Annual Financial Report are no longer required from Sections in 2015.  

  • Section Merit Funding Program Form presents a complete review of Section activities and results in a score for ASME funding support.  This report is completed at the beginning of the term to meet an October 1st filing deadline.  

As part of the ASME GPS initiative, ASME rescinded Merit Based Funding for all groups (including Sections) in 2015.  

  • After Activity Reports are entered on-line as a means of crediting the Section for programs or Executive Committee meetings that it holds.  This accounting is required for the Merit-based Funding.  The set of Activity Reports for the term should be reflected in the final Merit Funding submission.  
  • Section Officer listing is reported to ASME at the beginning of each term, typically by July 1st.  
  • Starting with the 2014-2015 term, the Section is required to obtain permission from the GPS office for all activities.  This is accomplished by contacting the GPS office well in advance of subject activities at gps@asme.org or by submitting an on-line E-VERT.  

Member Development

Starting in 2007 and continuing to the present, the Section has supported an outreach program for practicing young engineers in the area.  The outreach is called the Philadelphia Young Engineers organization (PYE).  Member development for PYE has concentrated on social activities to get young engineers within the area in contact with one another and build career networks outside of their work organizations.  

The Section is also supporting long-time distinguished members by working their nominations for fellow grade within the ASME society.  

In 2010 the Section nominated ASME Philadelphia Section member Dr. Selcuk Guceri for the Delaware Valley Engineer of the Year and he was awarded the honor after the 2009 regional EoY election.  Dr. Guceri is an accomplished research engineer in the fields of materials processing and also a renowned academic administrator.  At the time of his nomination, Dr. Guceri was Dean of the Drexel College of Engineering.  

Section awards were presented during the 2010-2011 term to three outstanding Philadelphia Section members.  Past Chair and then Section Trustee, Robert Hubby received the Section Lifetime Achievement award, Dr. Brian George from Philadelphia University received the Outstanding Faculty Advisor award, and Frederick Willis received honors as the outgoing chair.  

William Coleman was honored with the 2011-2012 Section Lifetime Achievement award.  Mr. Coleman has served ASME as Region III vice president, Philadelphia Section chair, ASME national nominating committee chair, District-A operating board member, and Old Guard committee member.  Drexel University professor Dr. Paul Oh received the 2011-2012 Outstanding Faculty Advisor award.  Dr. Oh was the ASME faculty advisor at Drexel for 10 consecutive years and was instrumental in hosting several joint senior-student section meetings.  

Past Chair, and long-time Section Communications Director John Wolf was bestowed with the 2012-2013 Section Lifetime Achievement award.  Julie Kulik was honored as the outgoing chair, having served two consecutive terms as Section Chair and growing the number of active members on the Executive Committee.  

George Silvestri received the 2013-2014 Section Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of his distinguished engineering career in the power generation industry and for his contributions to the local Section.  Through his career Mr. Silvestri obtained 50 patents related to his engineering work.  The 2013-2014 Outstanding Faculty Advisor award was presented to Dr. Antonios Kontsos of Drexel University.  Dr. Kontsos increased ASME student involvement at Drexel from an already high level to an even greater level, and also served on the ASME senior Section board as Secretary during the 2013-14 term.  

The 2014-2015 term saw Dean Cave, Dr. Katherine Kuchenbecker, and Dr. Brian George honored for Section achievements.  Dean Cave received the 2014-2015 Section Lifetime Achievement award.  Dean has supported the Section continuously from 1990 to the present.  He was Section Chair in 1996-97 and held many other Section officer positions.  Dr. Kuchenbecker received the Faculty Advisor award for mentoring the University of Pennsylvania student section and increasing the level of activity within the Penn student section.  Dr. Kuchenbecker was also involved in planning and judging at student events.  Dr. Brian George, was recognized for his service as Section Chair for the consecutive terms of 2013-14 and 2014-15.  Dr. George is also the ASME faculty advisor at Philadelphia University where he teaches.  

During the 2015-2016 term, Nathan Taylor was presented with the Faculty Advisor award for his exemplary stewardship of the Rowan University student Section.  

Philadelphia Section Chairs

2017-2018 Nikhil A. Menezes

2016-2017 Antonios Kontsos

2015-2016 Antonios Kontsos

2014-2015 Brian George

2013-2014 Brian George

2012-13 Julie Kulik

2011-12 Julie Kulik

2010-11 Aaron Wemhoff

2009-10 Frederick F. Willis

2008-09 Frederick F. Willis

2007-08 Mark Nicosia

2006-07 LeRoy W. Alaways

2005-06 Kevin Keenan

2004-05 Palavi Lal

2003-04 James M. Tully

2002-03 James M. Tully

2001-02 Gerard F. Jones

2000-01 Nelson Macken

1999-00 Nelson Macken

1998-99 David Bartlett

1997-98 Thomas Monari

1996-97 Dean R. Cave

1995-96 John J. Wolf

1994-95 Melvin Cohen

1993-94 Kenneth Kroos

1992-93 Caren Anders

1991-92 Carl Wiedersum / Caren Anders

1990-91 Steven Gibbon

1989-90 Francis L. Walicki

1988-89 Francis L. Walicki

1987-88 Edward V. McAssey Jr.

1986-87 James H. Daniels

1985-86 Bernard Stelzenmuller

1984-85 Frank K. Gabriel

1983-84 John F. O’Rourke

1982-83 Arthur L. Ross

1981-82 George F. Daebeler

1980-81 Bernard J. Krant

1979-80 Alvin L. Stock

1978-79 Robert N. Hubby

1977-78 Robert L. Osborne

1976-77 Joseph J. Santoleri

1975-76 William H. Coleman

1974-75 George Kotnick

1973-74 Edwin C. Williams

1972-73 Robert H. Hunter

1971-72 Samuel Mercer, Jr.

1970-71 Vincent S. Boyer  [also served as President for ASME National]

1969-70 Richard A. Handschumacher

1968-69 Frederick C. Heller

1967-68 John B. Mochel

1966-67 William T. Hirsch

1965-66 Carl L. Newman, Jr.

1964-65 Albert Schade III

1963-64 Wayne C. Astley

1962-63 John C. Spahr

1961-62 John T. Evans

1960-61 Theodore S. Fetter, Jr.

1959-60 William B. Pegram

1958-59 Thomas W. Hopper

1957-58 Wallace E. Belcher, Jr.

1956-57 James H. Harlow  [also served as President for ASME National]

1955-56 Robert E. Derby

1954-55 James A. Quaid

1953-54 Clarence C. Franck

1952-53 Robert W. Worley

1951-52 George M. Muschamp

1950-51 Walter J. Kinderman

1949-50 Clarence B. Campbell

1948-49 Burton F. Keene

1947-48 Merwyn C. Randall

1946-47 Sidney T. Mackenzie

1945-46 Justin J McCarthy

1944-45 Frank W. Miller

Revision History

30 May, 2007; Original Release; Dean R. Cave, Author

25 June, 2008; Annual Update; Dean R. Cave, Treasurer

31 August, 2009; Annual Update; Dean R. Cave, Vice Chair

8 May, 2013, Annual Update, Dean R. Cave, Section Trustee

3 February, 2015, Dean R. Cave, Section Board Member-at-Large

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