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book coverAn Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Center for Neutron Research:Fiscal Year 2008   (LAB)
Released 2008-10-27

The National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) is a national user facility whose mission is to ensure the availability of neutron measurement capabilities in order to meet the needs of U.S. researchers from industry, academia, and government agencies. A panel of experts from the National Research Council evaluated the NCNR by the following criteria: (1) the technical merit of the current laboratory programs relative to the current state of the art worldwide; (2) the adequacy of the laboratory facilities, equipment, and human resources, as they affect the quality of the laboratory technical programs; and (3) the degree to which the laboratory programs in measurement science and standards achieve their stated objectives and desired impact. This book finds that NCNR is an extremely reliable and comprehensive neutron scattering facility. Even as the other neutron source in the nation-the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS)-becomes increasingly operational and the Oak Ridge High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) comes back online, the NCNR will continue to be a vital resource for meeting the broad spectrum of user needs for and scientific objectives related to neutron scattering.

book coverAn Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Physics Laboratory:Fiscal Year 2008   (LAB)
Released 2008-10-27

The mission of the NIST Physics Laboratory is to support U.S. industry, government, and the scientific community by providing measurement services and research for electronic, optical, and radiation technology. In this respect, the laboratory provides the foundation for the metrology of optical and ionizing radiations, time and frequency, and fundamental quantum processes, historically major areas of standards and technology. The Panel on Physics visited the six divisions of the laboratory and reviewed a selected sample of their programs and projects. This book finds that the overall quality and productivity of the Physics Laboratory are comparable to or better than those of other peer institutions, an accomplishment that is being achieved with an infrastructure that is smaller in both size and funding than the size and funding of most national and agency laboratories in the United States.

book coverAn Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Building and Fire Research Laboratory:Fiscal Year 2008   (LAB)
Released 2008-10-27

A panel of experts appointed by the National Research Council assessed the scientific and technical work of the Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The scope of the assessment included the following criteria: (1) the technical merit of the current laboratory programs relative to the current state of the art worldwide; (2) the adequacy of the laboratory facilities, equipment, and human resources, as they affect the quality of the laboratory technical programs; and (3) the degree to which the laboratory programs in measurement science and standards achieve their stated objectives and desired impact. The book finds that, overall the technical merit of the programs reviewed within the BFRL is very high and generally at a state-of-the-art level. The programs have clear ties to the overall BFRL Strategic Priority Areas and are well aligned with the mission of NIST, which is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

book coverAn Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory:Fiscal Year 2008   (LAB)
Released 2008-10-27

The Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory (MSEL) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) works with industry, standards bodies, universities, and other government laboratories to improve the nation's measurements and standards infrastructure for materials. A panel of experts appointed by the National Research Council (NRC) assessed the four divisions of MSEL, by visiting these divisions and reviewing their activities. This book concludes that, for the selected portion of the MSEL programs reviewed, the staff, the projects, and many facilities are outstanding. The projects are clearly focused on the mission of MSEL. The facilities and equipment are rationally upgraded within budget constraints, with several facilities being unique; the funding provided through the America COMPETES Act of 2007 is being used effectively. Division chiefs and staff evinced high morale, attributable to several factors: clear definitions of expectations and of the processes for realizing them, strong support of the MSEL from NIST leadership and of NIST generally from the President and from the Congress (through the American Competitiveness Initiative and the America COMPETES Act), and positive feedback from customers.

book coverAn Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory:Fiscal Year 2008   (LAB)
Released 2008-10-28

The mission of the Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory (MEL) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is to promote innovation and the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing through measurement science, measurement services, and critical technical contributions to standards. The MEL is organized in five divisions: Intelligent Systems, Manufacturing Metrology, Manufacturing Systems Integration, Precision Engineering, and Fabrication Technology. A panel of experts appointed by the National Research Council (NRC) assessed the first four divisions. Overall, this book finds that the four individual divisions are performing to the best of their ability, given available resources. In many areas in all four divisions, the capabilities and the work being performed are among the best in the field. However, reduced funding and other factors such as difficulty in hiring permanent staff are limiting (and are likely to increasingly limit) the degree to which MEL programs can achieve their objectives and are threatening the future impact of these programs.