The Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory publishes world-class scientific data and produces SRMs that appropriately target national needs. In addition, the laboratory is deeply involved in national and international measurement intercomparisons that support U.S. companies in the global market.
The overall quality of the technical programs meets or exceeds the panel's expectations.
The laboratory has made a good start on the effort to determine the economic impact of its activities. So far, economic impact studies have been used to calculate the value of specific projects. However, the laboratory does not yet have a general set of metrics that can be used to evaluate the economic impact of future activities.
The panel was impressed by the laboratory's active presence on the Internet and by the quantity of NIST data available on the Web. However, not all of the data included the indication of its age and level of evaluation necessary to ensure appropriate use. In addition, the NIST Web site did not contain all of the SRM certification data or include detailed background information on the SRMs.
Promotion of the mass spectral databases to instrument manufacturers appears to be an effective means of dissemination. It was not clear to the panel why the surface analysis data are not aggressively promoted in a similar fashion.
The panel was pleased to observe the successful upgrade of Building 2 in Boulder and to hear about the new facilities (NIST's ACSL and CARB's Building 1-B) soon to be completed in Maryland. Unfortunately, Building 3 in Boulder, like the existing facility in Gaithersburg, is in urgent need of upgrading or replacement. The inadequacies of these two facilities impede the laboratory's goal of performing cutting-edge research that addresses current and next-generation needs.
The poor quality of the power supplied to the site has a negative impact on various pieces of equipment and experiments.