The 2,482nd Meeting of the Society

October 6, 2023 at 8:00 PM

Powell Auditorium at the Cosmos Club

Meeting the Nation’s Needs for Standards and Measurement Technology

NIST - Present and Future

Laurie Locascio

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Sponsored by PSW Science Members Larry Millstein & Robin Taylor

About the Lecture

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was founded in 1901 and is now part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Its mission is to promote US innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve quality of life. Its vision is to be the world’s leader in creating critical measurement solutions and standards through measurement science, rigorous traceability, and the development and use of standards

NIST is one of the nation’s oldest physical science laboratories. Congress established the agency to remove a major challenge to US industrial competitiveness at the time: a second-rate measurement infrastructure that lagged behind the capabilities of the United Kingdom, Germany, and other economic rivals. Today, NIST measurements, measurement systems, and standards for critical measurement support the smallest of technologies to the largest and most complex of human-made creations, from nanoscale devices to global communication networks. In fact, virtually innumerable products and services rely on technology, measurement and standards provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

About the Speaker

Laurie E. Locascio is the 17th director of NIST and the fourth Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology. Previously, Laurie was Vice President for Research at the University of Maryland College Park and the University of Maryland Baltimore, and also was Professor of Bioengineering and Professor of Pharmacology. Before joining the University of Maryland, she worked at NIST for 31 years, starting as a research biomedical engineer, rising to lead NIST’s Material Measurement Laboratory, one of NIST’s largest scientific labs, and to serve for a time as Acting Associate Director for Laboratory Programs. As director of MML, Laurie oversaw 1,000 research staff in eight locations around the United States and a $175 million annual budget. As NIST Director she is now responsible for all NIST operations involving over 3,400 NIST employees at numerous locations and an annual budget exceeding one billion dollars.

Laurie’s research has focused on microfluidics and microfluidic devices, including micro-assays and lab-on-a-chip devices. She has published 115 scientific papers and has received 12 patents in the fields of bioengineering and analytical chemistry.

Laurie is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Among many honors and awards, she is the recipient of the ACS Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management, the Washington Academy of Sciences Special Award in Scientific Leadership, the Department of Commerce Silver and Bronze Medal Awards, the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Findeis Award, and NIST Safety and Applied Research Awards.

Laurie earned a BS in Chemistry from James Madison University, an MS. in Bioengineering from the University of Utah, and a PhD in Toxicology from the University of Maryland Baltimore.