An Assessment of the
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS

Fiscal Year 1994

Board on Assessment of NIST Programs

Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications

National Research Council

National Academy Press
Washington, D.C. 1994



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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS Fiscal Year 1994 Board on Assessment of NIST Programs Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications National Research Council National Academy Press Washington, D.C. 1994

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are chosen from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The Board and Panel members responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for this project was provided by Contract 50SBNB4C8089 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Copyright 1994 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Copies available from: Board on Assessment of NIST Programs National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 BOARD ON ASSESSMENT OF NIST PROGRAMS WILMER R. BOTTOMS, Patricof and Co., Chair HAROLD K. FORSEN, Bechtel Hanford, Inc. PHILIP H. FRANCIS, Schneider North America JEANETTE G. GRASSELLI, Ohio University DONALD L. HAMMOND, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories (retired) ERNEST S. KUH, University of California at Berkeley JULIA R. WEERTMAN, Northwestern University Ex Officio Members THOMAS L. ANDERSON, RAND Critical Technologies Institute JAMES B. COMLY, General Electric Corporate Research and Development DOUGLAS E. LENG, Dow Chemical Company STUART G. MILLER, General Electric Corporate Research and Development (retired) JOHN P. O'CONNELL, University of Virginia O. RAY PARDO, Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff V. THOMAS RHYNE, Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation RALPH Z. ROSKIES, University of Pittsburgh HARVEY W. SCHADLER, General Electric Corporate Research and Development DANIEL L. SOLOMON, North Carolina State University SAMUEL WERNER, University of Missouri Liaison Members SYLVIA T. CEYER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ROBERT J. HERMANN, United Technologies Corporation A. RICHARD SEEBASS III, University of Colorado CHARLES P. SLICHTER, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Board Staff HOWARD E. SORROWS, Director DOROTHY ZOLANDZ, Program Officer BARBARA JONES, Administrative Assistant

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND APPLICATIONS RICHARD N. ZARE, Stanford University, Chair RICHARD S. NICHOLSON, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Vice Chair STEPHEN L. ADLER, Institute for Advanced Study SYLVIA T. CEYER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology AVNER FRIEDMAN, University of Minnesota SUSAN L. GRAHAM, University of California at Berkeley ROBERT J. HERMANN, United Technologies Corporation RHONDA J. HUGHES, Bryn Mawr College SHIRLEY A. JACKSON, Rutgers University KENNETH I. KELLERMANN, National Radio Astronomy Observatory HANS MARK, University of Texas at Austin THOMAS A. PRINCE, California Institute of Technology JEROME SACKS, National Institute of Statistical Sciences L.E. SCRIVEN, University of Minnesota A. RICHARD SEEBASS III, University of Colorado LEON T. SILVER, California Institute of Technology CHARLES P. SLICHTER, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ALVIN W. TRIVELPIECE, Oak Ridge National Laboratory SHMUEL WINOGRAD, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center CHARLES A. ZRAKET, The MITRE Corporation NORMAN METZGER, Executive Director

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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS: Fiscal Year 1994 Preface In its thirty-sixth annual assessment of the laboratory programs of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Board on Assessment of NIST Programs focused on the stewardship and creativity of NIST's eight major laboratories in responding to the opportunities and challenges arising from the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 and subsequent related legislation and from NIST's budget growth and out-year projections for further significant budget increases. This year's assessment, performed under the auspices of the National Research Council (NRC), was implemented by 162 scientists and engineers appointed by the NRC to the Board and its eight panels, organized so as to mirror the organization of NIST's laboratory-based programs (see Appendix B). Chapter 1, an overview assessment of issues that are common to NIST's eight major laboratories and that encompass primary concerns of the NIST Director as well as concerns of the Board and its panels, is based on a 3-day review by Board members-at-large, panel chairs, and panel vice chairs of panel findings and NIST's responses to the Board's fiscal year 1993 assessment. More specifically, Chapter 1 summarizes the views of the Board and its panels on the relevance and management of NIST's technical programs, the merit of NIST's strategic planning, the adequacy of NIST 's resources in the context of NIST's expanded mission, the impact of NIST's laboratory-based programs on U.S. industry, and NIST's responses to Board recommendations as reported in An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Programs: Fiscal Year 1993 (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1994). Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8 through Chapter 9 present panel findings and recommendations regarding the technical programs of each of NIST's eight major laboratories based on 2- to 3-day on-site program reviews and on written materials supplied by the laboratories. Appendix A and Appendix B give information on NIST's functions and structure, respectively. Appendix C is an abridged version of the Board's statement of work. This year in particular, I want to thank NIST directors and staff on behalf of the Board and panels for their user-friendly presentations and well-organized background data. Wilmer R. Bottoms, Chair Board on Assessment of NIST Programs

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