By National Research Council, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, Board on Assessment of NIST Programs

The nationwide Institute of criteria and know-how (NIST) Measurements and criteria Laboratories (MSL) supply technical management for the nation's dimension and criteria infrastructure and guarantee the supply of crucial reference facts and size features. At NIST's request, the nationwide learn Council (NRC) consists of out a biennial evaluate of the seven MSL. The review specializes in every one laboratory's technical caliber and benefit; and effectiveness. It additionally examines the relevance of the NIST courses and the way good laboratory amenities, gear, and group of workers may be able to fulfil the MSL project. This file provides an total evaluation of the MSL via precise tests of every of the seven laboratories.

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Extra resources for An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Measurement and Standards Laboratories: Fiscal Years 2004-2005

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The program Fundamental Fire Science has replaced the former program Advanced Measurement and Prediction Methods; an issue needing attention is that while the Fire Dynamics Simulator appears prominently in the program’s approach statement, the actual FDS project work in the program is modest. The Fundamental Fire Science Program includes projects that study heat release rate in large-scale fire measurements, use of total heat flux gauges, gas velocity measurements in the Large Fire Laboratory, new measurement of soot volume fraction in fires, fire growth and spread on real objects, predictive methods, visibility limits in smoky environments, and assessment of the universality of cone calorimeter experimental data to subgrid fire growth and spread models.

While the division has effectively leveraged labor categories such as contractors, students, and visiting scientists, long-term sustainable growth requires the acquisition of more permanent staff. This cannot be done without adequate Scientific and Technical Research and Services funding. The division should find a comfortable balance between STRS and OA funding; it currently believes that it is not receiving sufficient STRS funding. The BED is effective at securing OA funding, which shows a very healthy relationship with industry and relevance, but it may not be sufficient to grow the division to fulfill future missions.

Some of the major new initiatives of the laboratory in FY 2004-2005 were as follows: • Responsibility for carrying out the provisions of the National Construction Safety Team Act of 2002 (NCSTA) was assigned by Congress to NIST, with BFRL as the lead laboratory. • Under NCSTA, BFRL undertook a massive effort aimed at fully investigating the collapse of the World Trade Center’s (WTC’s) Twin Towers. It is noted that a separate advisory panel exists for this study. • Also under NCSTA, BFRL investigated the Rhode Island nightclub fire that occurred in 2003.

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