• MSEL's programs and projects selectively focus on economically important products and industries through collaboration with materials producers and users.

  • MSEL seeks to maximize the dissemination and use of the results of materials science and engineering research through close collaboration with those in the United States who could benefit from MSEL's services.

  • MSEL collaborates in performing fundamental research, makes unique research facilities readily accessible to qualified engineers and scientists, validates materials measurement data, certifies reference materials, participates in national and international standards-making activities, actively transfers its technology developments, and pursues the joint development of technology through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) and consortia.

  • MSEL provides technical assistance to NIST's Advanced Technology Program (ATP) and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to increase the reach and leverage of MSEL-industry interactions.

  • MSEL collaborates with other NIST laboratories to optimize research and measurement services to industry.


MSEL's fiscal year 1992 budget was approximately $54 million, including capital equipment acquisitions. MSEL had a total staff of 390, of whom 88 percent were in scientific or technical support positions.

In addition, MSEL attracted 521 visiting scientists and engineers during fiscal year 1992 for collaborative research in MSEL's laboratories or to utilize MSEL's special facilities (e.g., research reactor, national Cold Neutron Research Facility). These guest collaborators were from U.S. industry, academia, other federal agencies, and foreign institutions. Their stays at MSEL ranged from weeks to years. These non-NIST researchers leverage MSEL staff and resources significantly and serve as an effective channel for two-way technology transfer.

Cold Neutron Research Facility, a National Facility

The laboratory has continued to expand its facilities and research opportunities, especially in the Cold Neutron Research Facility (CNRF). In the CNRF, 10 experimental stations have been developed and installed, and the remaining stations (for a total of 15) are at various stages of design, construction, and installation. The 10 stations include an 8-m small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) instrument, a spectrometer, a cold neutron depth-profiling facility, a neutron optics test bench, a prompt

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