engineering communities. EEEL develops and disseminates measurement methods, theory, measurement reference standards (including the national primary standards for electricity, and materials reference standards), and calibration services to assure measurement traceability. Methodology and standards for measuring electronic and electrical materials, components, equipment, and systems operating over the electromagnetic frequency range from direct current to light are developed to the accuracy needed for research and development, manufacturing, marketplace exchange, and the operation of electronic and electrical products.
EEEL's goal is to be the world's best source of fundamental and industrial reference measurement methods and physical standards for electrotechnology. To achieve this goal and to obtain optimum leverage in the context of NIST' s mission, EEEL stresses the provision of measurement infrastructure rather than the development of generic technology. EEEL argues that its measurement research and development leads naturally to substantial commercialization; e.g., at least 50 companies are known to have commercialized EEEL's results since 1978.
EEEL's current strategic plan, Measurements for Competitiveness in Electronics (NISTIR 4853; U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C., April 1993), is a revision of an earlier plan. To ensure relevance and validity, the plan was reviewed by industry. Because of the immense range of industry's needs compared with EEEL's limited resources, EEEL's plan also includes criteria for project selection and interaction with industry to select projects. EEEL plans to update its strategic plan again as soon as NIST has revised its strategic plan to reflect the Clinton administration's new role for NIST.
Based on EEEL's planning, increases in the fiscal year 1994 budget will be applied to work in semiconductors, microwaves, fundamental quantum standards, high-speed electrical and optical components, electronic data exchange for automated manufacturing, and digital imaging. NIST's fiscal year 1994 budget also includes initial funding for a NIST-wide magnetics program. The panel endorses EEEL's strategic planning process but notes that EEEL's aspirations far exceed its likely resources.
EEEL's operating budget for fiscal year 1993 was $44.3 million (up $3 million from fiscal year 1992). $24.3 million was appropriated by Congress for Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS), an increase of $1.7 million over fiscal year