Boeing Orbital Flight Test 2 (OFT2)

The second Boeing Orbital Flight Test of The Commercial Starliner Capsule is scheduled to launch and dock with the International Space Station (ISS) in the near future. The Society of Allied Weight Engineers (SAWE) long time Corporate Partner Space Electronics (now Raptor Scientific) helped to make it possible, The Starliner Crew Module (CM) during a Weight and Center of Gravity test is shown at All events are historic. Grab a piece of Space history first-hand, To the International Space Station and Beyond,!

Finder’s Fee for chapters recruiting a Corporate Partner or Company Member

APPROVED at the SAWE Board of Directors meeting on Saturday May 23, 2020 was the following proposal: “It is being proposed that the SAWE Inc offer a 25% one time “Finder’s Fee” to a chapter for enlisting a company to join/rejoin the SAWE as a Corporate Partner or Company Member for the first time or after at least a 3 year lapse. 25% coincides with the chapter portion of yearly individual membership dues. Web research has shown “Finder’s Fees” charged up to 35%. The 25% Finder’s Fee will be paid based on the first year dues of at least a 2 year stint as a CPCM at the same membership level or greater for years beyond the first year. The Finder’s Fee would be paid after the 2nd year dues are received. The recruitment of a new company to the SAWE membership will bolster both the local chapter and SAWE as a whole through increased participation toward the goals of the Mass Properties Engineering profession. A “Finder’s Fee” will incentivize chapters to increase efforts to gain new CPCMs as it will allow the chapter more capability to plan and host events such as a regional workshop / conference.”

A message on membership in the SAWE from the President

Membership in the Society of Allied Weight Engineers (SAWE) affords you access to a vast library of mass properties technical papers, reference materials, industry standards, training courses and new processes, plus direct connections to products and services from our vendors. SAWE membership also includes our magazine (the Journal), monthly SAWE news bulletins, and blogs for forum discussion. SAWE membership is an opportunity to participate in evolving and maintaining industry standards for mass properties. It is a community of technical sharing as well as building personal connections and relationships.

SAWE is taking industry lead by developing a Mass Properties Certification Program to address quality, mentoring, and experience related forecast needs for tomorrow’s community of engineers. This exciting program will provide many advantages to engineers, companies, and customers throughout industry. Membership participation is key to this very important endeavor.

SAWE membership provides benefits and opportunities to help you stay current with the latest technologies, information, and development. The SAWE membership community is continually providing support to the mass properties engineering profession. Visit to review our many products and resources.

I encourage every mass property engineer to join SAWE and explore the opportunities for enhancing your engineering experience. We welcome your participation.


John Hargrave, President

SAWE Houston Offshore Workshop report

The SAWE Houston Offshore Workshop 2020 was held on March 6th at Fluor Corporation’s offices in Sugar Land, Texas with gracious sponsorship of Fluor, Aker Solutions, SAWE Inc and BAS/ShipWeight. The workshop focused on the review of the SAWE Offshore Recommended Practices, a revision of the ISO 19901 for Offshore Weight Control and the proposed Offshore Handbook chapter to the SAWE Mass Properties Engineering Textbook. The Class Society (ABS) and SAWE presented the: Rule; Guideline; Guidance Note; Recommended Practice and ANSI Standard development process that each organization uses. The reviews started with the Project Proposal for the document, followed by discussions of the class, ISO or regulatory basis of the requirements, a development history of the current draft. The discussions that followed got right to the main points or one could say road blocks to completing the SAWE Recommended Practices. The documents and RPs included RP 0-3 Weighing, O-4 Reporting, O-7 In-Service Weight Control, the Handbook and Mass Properties Engineer Certification. The meeting minutes in the Offshore Industry folder under standards and practices Group Office on the SAWE website has more detail.

SAWE Houston Offshore Workshop 2020

The Houston chapter of SAWE and the Offshore Industry Committee invite you to attend HOW 2020. The Houston Offshore Workshop will focus on maturing working drafts of two SAWE Recommended Practices on Weight Reporting and In-Service Weight Control, Mass Properties Engineering Handbook chapter for the Offshore and the critical concepts needed to be a Certified Offshore Mass Properties Engineer by SAWE. The event will be held at Fluor conference facilities at their corporate offices in Sugar Land (20 miles Southwest of Houston), Texas, in March. We invite all Weight or Mass Properties Engineers, Students, Exhibitors, Class Societies, Government regulators to attend the meeting. The meeting fees will just cover meals and will be free to University students, since we appreciate the time you will spend supporting our development efforts. We welcome volunteers to help with the technical content and planning the work shop. Contact a Houston chapter officer or the Offshore Industry Committee chair. Further details will follow on the webpage and through this Blog system.

SAWE Academic Liaisons

At the last Society of Allied Weight Engineers Board of Directors meeting, Dr. Donna S. Gerren, our VP SAWE Academic Affairs, proposed SAWE establish Faculty Liaisons with university and college professors. The rationale for doing so were:

• We are still very weak in our position to gain a foothold with the college community. The reasons are many but the first and foremost is that our discipline is not recognized at the college level. This must be addressed. We continually touch on it but in reality, have made little progress.

• Creating a Liaison position may be the first step in getting some help from within the colleges to assist in moving forward toward the creation of curriculum that can be introduced as an elective course in Mass Properties.

• We need specific short- and long-term goals laid out to convince a college professor to spend a little more of the precious free time at hand in assisting SAWE. WE need to convince a candidate the endeavor is worth the effort.

Therefore, as approved by the Board of Directors, SAWE will focus this year and beyond on developing and sustaining our relationships with Academia. In order to do so, we need the active participation from you, our local SAWE chapters.

SAWE requests:

 Each Chapter provide a name and corresponding email address of a chapter member that would act as a representative of the SAWE to the University Academic Liaison in order to support the interface between Industry and Academia.

Dr. Gerren and SAWE Academic Committee is in the process of contacting and soliciting focal points within Universities to secure Faculty Liaisons. Once these liaisons are established, nearby SAWE chapters will communicate through their respective Faculty Liaison with e-mail announcements, flyers, or any other form of communication events happening within their nearby local SAWE Chapter. The SAWE Academic Committee will be responsible for informing Faculty Liaisons of SAWE activities including SAWE regional and international events, including training opportunities and eventually Mass Properties Certification opportunities.

Please consider becoming a chapter representative of the SAWE with the University Academic Liaison.  If interested, please coordinate position availability with your chapter leadership and provide your contact information to Dr. Gerren at

As Dr. Gerren stated to the Board of Directors, “We must get universities involved”.


Clint Stephenson
SAWE Executive Vice President

SAWE working to produce Recommended Practices for Airline Passenger and Bag Weights

SAWE is partnering with the Society of Aircraft Performance and Operations Engineers (SAPOE) to generate a recommended practices (RP) document that will produce standards for the development of standard average weights to be used in passenger carrier operations.
The FAA has recently released Advisory Circular 120-27F Weight and Balance Control. Revision F deviates most significantly from previous versions of AC120-27 in that standard weights for passengers and bags are no longer specified. The AC provides guidance to the operators stating that passenger and bag weights should be calculated based on (1) use of Center for Disease Control National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (for body weights) and (2) use of surveys (for body weights where NHANES data are not appropriate and for all bag weights).
The reluctance of the FAA to publish results in AC 120-27 allows for a possibility for inconsistent application of statistical methods. The major problem with the AC is that it will lead to varying and inconsistent practices and assumptions among different carriers, as a result of the desire to have each operator responsible for development of its own standard weights. Analysis of the CDC NHANES data for body weights and design, execution and analysis of bag surveys are highly technical tasks requiring personnel with specific skill sets. Variability due to inappropriate application of methods and even due to pursuing an opportunity to obtain a competitive advantage will result in nonsensical standard weights. For example, the same passenger and their bags will be assumed to have different weights on each airline they fly.
To address these concerns, SAPOE created a “Tiger Team” in January 2017. The Tiger Team’s primary focus is to develop standards to be used in (1) analysis of CDC NHANES body weights, and (2) construction of checked and carry-on baggage surveys. Engineers from Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Allegiant, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, American Airlines, NetJets, American Aeronautics, Boeing and Airbus have been involved as Tiger Team members. The Tiger Team has been meeting regularly with the following planned activity:
• Publication of an industry standard weight for passengers and bags
• Development of the industry standard weights to be accomplished using agreed-upon methods
• CDC NHANES data analysis will be published for body weights (unclothed) – a fresh NHANES survey is due to be published this fall
• Carry-on and checked bag weights will be surveyed by participating operators.
• Data will be shared and SAPOE members will have access to results
• Standard average weights and best practices documentation (user guidance) will be published by SAPOE (format to be determined)
• Work with FAA to revise weight & balance program Op Specs (A096/A097/A098/A099) to accommodate the necessary changes
• Work with SAWE to create a Recommended Practices standards document
If you are interested in working on this project – data collecting, data analysis or development of the RP, please contact Mike Byham at

SAWE International Conference and the coming year

The SAWE International Conference just held by the Hampton Roads chapter was very nice and informative. Thanks to all (Corporate Partners and Company Members, host committee, individual participants, etc…) involved in making it happen.

I enjoyed both the Aerospace and Marine sessions as it allowed me to maximize my technical intake having to choose between many topics of interest. It would be nice if the SAWE can continue to offer multiple tracks at these conferences. That means individuals writing papers. Start forming your ideas now as I’d wager the content at this conference spurred many to the thinking “how can I use this experience to write about an experience of my own”.

I also enjoyed getting reacquainted with my fellow SAWE-ers in person. Whether being invited to a meal, chatting about life / work / SAWE in the hospitality suite, or enjoying one of the outings together like the dinner cruise, there are always smiling faces there to greet you, and even wish you well on your journey forward once the conference is done. As new Executive Director Bill Boze states, face to face interactions provide lasting memories.

Best Wishes as we approach our American holiday Memorial Day. I’m going to take the time to recharge, spend time with family, and maybe even grill an award winning hamburger. Afterwards, I will get back to the business of SAWE.

My Executive Vice President membership and projects team will be in touch with your chapters. We need to kick off the remainder of the year focusing our efforts on the goals of building up your chapters through membership and project support. This will support goals of your region as well as goals of the society laid out by new President John Hargrave.

I look forward to a prosperous 2019-2020 SAWE year.


Clint Stephenson, SAWE Executive Vice President