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National Institute of Standards and Technology

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was founded in 1901 and is now part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST is one of the nation's oldest physical science laboratories. Congress established the agency to remove a major challenge to U.S. industrial competitiveness at the time—a second-rate measurement infrastructure that lagged behind the capabilities of the United Kingdom, Germany, and other economic rivals.

From the smart electric power grid and electronic health records to atomic clocks, advanced nanomaterials, and computer chips, innumerable products and services rely in some way on technology, measurement, and standards provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Today, NIST measurements support the smallest of technologies to the largest and most complex of human-made creations—from nanoscale devices so tiny that tens of thousands can fit on the end of a single human hair up to earthquake-resistant skyscrapers and global communication networks.

Leadership

Related Content

Remarks by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Karen Dunn Kelley at the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Summit

Speeches
Thank you, Walt, for that kind introduction, and thank you all for joining us today. This year’s summit theme is The United State of Manufacturing, and I particularly like this theme for two distinct reasons. First, it’s a description of this room: manufacturing leaders from every corner of our nation representing a wide variety of industries and 14 of our world-class universities. Second, the...

NIST Awards $6.6 Million for Research to Help Structures Better Withstand Earthquakes, Wind and Fire

Blog
The following is a cross-pos t from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is awarding more than $6.6 million to fund research into improving disaster resilience. Eleven organizations will receive 12 grants to conduct research into how earthquakes, wind and fire affect the built environment...

10 NIST Researchers Receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Blog
“We are extremely proud of these talented researchers,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Walter G. Copan. “Each one has already made impressive contributions to measurement science and innovation and has demonstrated leadership through mentoring the next generation of researchers. We look forward to the continued impacts of their careers in research...

Rethinking Manufacturing: When America Makes, America Works

Blog
This article originally appeared on the N ational Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Taking Measure blog . Guest blog post by Zara Brunner, Communications Director at the NIST Office of Advanced Manufacturing (OAM). This is the first in a series of posts to spotlight the revitalization of U.S. manufacturing happening across the nation through Manufacturing USA® institutes and their...

NIST’s Quantum Logic Clock Returns to Top Performance

Blog
The following is a cross-post by the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) The quantum logic clock—perhaps best known for showing you age faster if you stand on a stool—has climbed back to the leading performance echelons of the world’s experimental atomic clocks. Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have been quietly...

Spotlight on Commerce: Wyatt Vreeland, Research Chemical Engineer, Material Measurement Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Blog
Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series highlighting the contributions of Department of Commerce employees during LGBT Pride Month. Guest blog post by Wyatt Vreeland, Research Chemical Engineer, Material Measurement Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the mid-70’s into a blue-collar working-class family. My...

Spotlight on Commerce: Lisa Ng, Mechanical Engineer, Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation Group, Engineering Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Blog
Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series highlighting the contributions of Department of Commerce employees during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Guest blog post by Lisa Ng, Mechanical Engineer, Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation Group, Engineering Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) I immigrated to the United States with my parents when...

Q&A with Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal Finalist Leticia Pibida

Blog
Leticia Pibida, a physicist in the Radiation Physics Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has been chosen as a finalist for a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal, an award for federal employees given by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service. The honor recognizes her work to strengthen “our nation’s defenses against nuclear and radioactive threats by...

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Presents Five Organizations with Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

Blog
The following is a cross-post from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Noting that this year's winners “are held in highest esteem in your communities and, now, in our nation," U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presented five U.S. organizations on April 7, 2019, with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's only presidential award for performance...

Remarks by Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross at the Baldrige National Quality Award Ceremony

Speeches
Thank you, Dr. Benson, for that kind introduction. It’s great to be here again with the Baldrige community. Yesterday, the United States lost an important and venerable national figure who helped shape the program we are celebrating today. Sen. Fritz Hollings from South Carolina was an instrumental force behind the success of NIST, and he was a good friend of many of the old-timers in this room....