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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 Chapter 4 Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 PANEL MEMBERS Lou Ann Heimbrook, Lucent Technologies, Chair Arlene A. Garrison, University of Tennessee, Vice Chair John L. Anderson, Carnegie Mellon University Anthony M. Dean, Exxon Research & Engineering Company Pablo G. Debenedetti, Princeton University Robert R. Dorsch, DuPont Central Research & Development Daniel L. Flamm, University of California, Berkeley Steve M. George, University of Colorado, Boulder Wayne O. Johnson, Rohm and Haas Company Helen H. Lee, University of Cambridge Douglas E. Leng, LENG Associates Roy Lyon, National Food Processors Association James W. Serum, Hewlett-Packard Company Jay M. Short, Diversa, Inc. Christine S. Sloane, General Motors Corp. R&D Operations Anne L. Testoni, DEC-Digital Semiconductor Submitted for the panel by its Chair, Lou Ann Heimbrook, and its Vice Chair, Arlene A. Garrison, this assessment of the fiscal year 1998 activities of the Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory is based on a site visit by the panel on March 12–13, 1998, and documents provided by the laboratory.
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 LABORATORY-LEVEL REVIEW Laboratory Mission According to NIST documentation, the mission of the Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory (CSTL) is to provide the chemical measurement infrastructure to enhance U.S. industry's productivity and competitiveness, assure equity in trade, and improve public health, safety, and environmental quality. This mission statement fully reflects the mission of NIST to promote U.S. economic growth and the global competitiveness of U.S. industry. Positioning the laboratory as the nation's premier scientific institute for advancing technologies and providing measurement capabilities in chemistry, chemical engineering, and biotechnology are appropriate objectives. In fiscal year 1997, the laboratory's programs led NIST 's efforts in measurement services by producing 73 percent of the NIST Standard Reference Materials (SRMs), providing 69 percent of NIST Standard Reference Data (SRD), performing 12 percent of NIST calibrations, and submitting 25 percent of NIST patent requests. 1 During site visits at NIST, the panel observed that the CSTL staff is dedicated to providing measurement standards that strengthen the vertical traceability structure in the United States and to leading the efforts of global standards organizations for chemical and physical measurements. In 1997, NIST's adequacy to support the U.S. technology infrastructure was benchmarked against other national measurement laboratories in Japan, Germany, and Brazil. The comparison focused on activities related to measurements, standards, and data and looked at the relative levels of effort, total space, specialized facilities, and demand for services. This international benchmarking is to be expanded to include comparisons with six more countries. The initial work shows that NIST covers a broader metrology scope than any other single institution in the three countries already studied2 The CSTL provides fundamental work that allows NIST to assume this leadership position in the area of chemical and physical measurements. In addition, the CSTL maintains numerous programs that, in the panel 's opinion, anticipate and address the next generation of measurement needs of the nation in order to maintain an economic growth position for U.S. industry through technical efforts of the laboratory. Examples of such programs are documented in the divisional assessments. Technical Merit and Appropriateness of Work The CSTL's technical efforts in chemical and physical measurement are conducted across strategic scientific areas relevant to the mission of NIST: biotechnology, process measurements, surface and microanalysis science, physical and chemical properties, and analytical chemistry. The panel found that the technical work of all the divisions was of the highest scientific quality and showed consistent programmatic excellence. Over the past year, extensive internal and external prizes recognizing scientific achievement were awarded to laboratory personnel and document 1 The numbers that correspond to these percentages are 28,644 SRM units sold, 652 SRD units sold, 1,354 calibrations performed, and 13 patents submitted. 2 The findings of NIST's international benchmarking study were discussed in the presentation made by the laboratory director to the panel on March 12, 1998.
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 NIST's continuing ability to perform world-class research. The panel also applauds the laboratory for carrying out state-of-the-art scientific work that is intermediate in scope between longer-range university research and the more immediate goals of industry. Building strong relations with academic institutions can only enhance the strength of NIST programs that occupy this unique niche in the nation's research and development efforts. The technical merit of each division in the CSTL is well documented in the individual reports. These reports clearly show that the laboratory as a whole has made dramatic progress in the development of the planning process for new and existing scientific programs. Most importantly, the laboratory has begun work on putting in place measurable goals and objectives for the quality and appropriateness of NIST work. When the effectiveness of programs is being determined, it is critical to realize that numbers are only one measure of success. Assessing work on standards will use different metrics than those that are appropriate for evaluating technical projects. Also, suitable external feedback mechanisms will vary depending on the maturity of the technology. An important factor in achieving success is continued reevaluation of programs throughout their existence. The panel observed that there is the opportunity to solicit input from experts at all stages of program review. Such interactions could help assure that the full breadth of applications is realized. The laboratory continues to work hard to ensure that the core measurement science is balanced by work on new technical opportunities. In the former area, the update of the NIST/Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/National Institutes of Health (NIH) Mass Spectral Library was released this year. This database contains evaluated spectra and is provided through multiple vendors. The panel continued to be impressed by this work as it is enabling technology for scientific analysis of materials and compounds and the impact will be felt across multiple fields. In the area of technological development, the panel particularly noted the value of interdivisional and interlaboratory collaborations. The benefits of utilizing the variety of unique expertise available at NIST can be seen in the work on standards for Raman spectroscopy and in the project on microcalorimeter x-ray detectors. The technical programs in the laboratory and the interactions among the various divisions have exceeded the panel's expectations. The breadth of programs covered by the laboratory is reflected by citing just a few of the projects highlighted in the divisional reports. Reference materials have been developed in several diverse areas. For example, in DNA research, there are now SRMs for evaluation of p53 and short tandem repeats (STRs). For the semiconductor industry, there is a new SRM for arsenic implantation in silicon to complement the existing SRM for boron in silicon. And in the health sciences, NIST has provided standards to help determine accurate levels of cholesterol and 12 other biomarkers in blood samples. In addition, the laboratory continues to meet the high demand for calibration services in pressure, humidity, vacuum, temperature, and flow. Finally, it is worth noting the continued expansion of work in computational chemistry to exploit advances in theoretical modeling. Impact of Programs The CSTL has disseminated scientific results to a wide audience in industry, government, and academia. In fiscal year 1997, the laboratory employed all conventional dissemination techniques. Personnel authored 327 publications in leading scientific journals, staff organized 31
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 conferences and workshops, 24 CRADAs with industry were in place, and 6 licenses were granted on patents from laboratory work. In the tradition of being the nation's leader in measurement technology, the laboratory activities have resulted in the sale of 28,644 SRMs and 652 SRDs, as well as performance of 1,354 calibrations. An additional 2,354 SRDs have been sold by distribution. In addition to these formal demonstrations of dissemination and impact, staff also communicated the value of laboratory activities through attendance at conferences and workshops, through interactions with guest researchers, and through posting information on the World Wide Web. In general, the laboratory has increased use of the Internet to disseminate information, and concerns expressed in last year' s assessment regarding proper labeling of materials on the Web databases have been addressed. The divisional reports contain specific comments on how technical results could be disseminated more widely using techniques such as establishing more industrial liaisons. Examples of successful information dissemination include such efforts as the Chemistry WebBook and the Mass Spectral Library, which is now installed in over 60 percent of the mass spectrometers manufactured in the United States. The CSTL programs affect a wide range of industries including health and safety, environmental, electronics, automotive, and aerospace. Numerous industrial operations are increasing demand for traceability to NIST and for international comparability. The NIST Traceable Reference Materials (NTRM) Program is a key example of the ongoing effort of the CSTL to provide traceable resources to a broad spectrum of industries, as well as to provide economic growth opportunities for those companies producing the NTRM standards. 3 The success of the new NTRM Program will be based on continued proactive management to ensure that the administration of this important program does not interfere with technical activities. There is worldwide demand from a diverse array of companies for reference materials and physical and chemical measurement databases. The evolution of industries and their products makes it vital that efforts continue on the development of new and advanced reference materials and on ways to ensure worldwide compliance with traceability on product and service quality and safety. The panel notes two CSTL projects that demonstrate how this laboratory contributed to such efforts. The division's refrigerants research clearly reduced uncertainty about refrigerant properties and fostered the development of new products that are more environmentally safe, energy efficient, and cost-effective. An economic impact study on this project surveyed industrial representatives and calculated that, when industry's gains were compared with NIST 's investment, this program had a benefit-to-cost ratio of 4:1. The second example is in the aerospace industry. A high-temperature alloy is one of the most critical components of jet engine turbine blades, and analysis showed that the adherence of the protective oxide coating on the turbine is enhanced by reducing the sulfur content below 0.5 ppm. The SRM developed in the CSTL has currently become the de facto standard for the measurement of sulfur levels of 1 ppm and below in nickel-based alloys. This work has had an impact on the quality and safety of the aerospace industry and all citizens who rely on the service and quality of aerospace products. 3 In the NTRM program, the goal is to reduce the burden on NIST of continually producing large quantities of the same SRMs. Instead, for well-established SRMs, NIST establishes a program with appropriate quality assurance that allows a group of commercial reference materials producers to produce and sell NIST Traceable Reference Materials that are based on the corresponding NIST SRMs.
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 In addition to the laboratory's work on materials and databases, the fundamental research has also had an impact on industry; examples are cited in the divisional reviews. In many cases, this fundamental work augments specific technical needs in industry for current and long-term measurement capabilities. Recently, the laboratory completed realization of the full extent of the International Temperature Scale of 1990 (ITS-90). The final range completed was from 0.65 to 25 K; this range of temperatures is important for applications in the aerospace and cryogenic fuel industries. The efforts to provide calibration of precision resistance thermometers have been critical in the realization of the accuracy needed for international comparisons in this range. This past year the laboratory has continued work on programs critical to industry, has effectively planned for future initiatives, and has improved methods for dissemination of information. The numbers of reference materials and databases sold, of hits on laboratory Web sites, and of calibrations performed clearly reflect the ever-increasing demand for the services this laboratory provides to industry. In addition, economic impact studies completed for some projects in the laboratory demonstrate the effectiveness of the work done in this laboratory in influencing the economic growth of the United States. Such studies are vital, and it would be appropriate for the laboratory to perform these analyses on sample projects from all of the divisions. Laboratory Resources Funding sources4 for the Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory (in millions of dollars) are presented below: Fiscal Year 1997 Fiscal Year 1998 (estimated) NIST-STRS, excluding Competence 37.0 37.1 Competence 1.9 2.0 ATP 2.0 3.0 Measurement Services (SRM production) 2.3 2.3 OA/NFG/CRADA 10.0 10.6 Other Reimbursable 2.8 3.0 Total 56.0 58.0 4 The NIST Measurement and Standards Laboratories funding comes from a variety of sources. The laboratories receive appropriations from Congress, known as Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS) funding. Competence funding also comes from NIST's congressional appropriations, but it is allotted by the NIST director's office in multiyear grants for projects that advance NIST's capabilities in new and emerging areas of measurement science. Advanced Technology Program (ATP) funding reflects support from NIST's ATP for work done at the NIST laboratories in collaboration with or in support of ATP projects. Funding to support production of Standard Reference Materials is tied to the use of such products and is classified as Measurement Services. NIST laboratories also receive funding through grants or contracts from other government agencies (OA), from nonfederal governmental (NFG) agencies, and from industry in the form of Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs). All other laboratory funding including that for Calibration Services is grouped under Other Reimbursable.
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 Staffing for the Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory currently includes 280 full-time permanent positions, of which 242 are for technical professionals. There are also 106 nonpermanent and supplemental personnel, such as postdoctoral fellows and part-time workers. Clearly, the CSTL is able to perform world-class measurements as a result of the caliber of facilities, equipment, and human resources available at NIST. However, there are still some issues related to these resources of concern to the panel. Relatively flat budgets coupled with staff retirements have led to difficulties in several areas where the number of projects per staff member is high and many key projects are dependent on nonpermanent personnel. The SRM and calibration programs are growing and take priority, so often permanent staff do not have enough time to continue work on these central laboratory activities as well as to begin new research projects. Therefore, the development of new research is often overly dependent on postdoctoral students and visiting staff, and thus leadership of these growth areas can be divorced from the permanent laboratory organization. In general, the existing laboratory capabilities have improved over the past year. However, the facilities are still not adequate to allow all of the divisions to perform the current and next-generation measurements needed by U.S. industry. The panel is pleased to see that the new wing at the Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology (CARB) has been completed and occupied. This addition provides space for the Structural Biology Group and for the new high-field 600 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) instrument. The Advanced Chemical Sciences Laboratory (ACSL) should be finished during the first quarter of 1999. This building contains 80,000 sq ft of laboratory and office space, including much-needed clean-room facilities, for several divisions. In Boulder, the NOAA is building a new facility, and the space vacated by NOAA staff currently working in NIST's Building 2 will provide room for the Physical and Chemical Properties Division staff to expand and upgrade their laboratories. The panel was pleased to learn that initial funding for the Advanced Measurement Laboratory (AML) had been allocated by Congress and that further funding for fiscal year 1999 is being pursued so that construction might begin in December of 1998. Construction of this new laboratory is imperative to obtain the quality of facilities necessary for measurements undertaken in the Surface and Microanalysis Science Division and for provision of primary standards and calibration services for pressure measurements in the Process Measurements Division. However, completion of the AML could take 3 or more years, so it is Critical for the CSTL to develop a facility plan to deal with the interim period, as well as to work out contingency plans in case the AML's funding does not come through. Capital equipment is discussed in detail in the divisional reviews. Overall, the panel felt that funding in this area was adequate and appropriately utilized to exert the maximum impact on U.S. industry.
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 DIVISIONAL REVIEWS Biotechnology Division Division Mission According to NIST documentation, the mission of the Biotechnology Division is to provide the measurement infrastructure necessary to advance the commercialization of biotechnology. This is achieved by developing a scientific and engineering technical base along with reliable measurement techniques and data which will enable U.S. industry to produce biochemical products quickly and economically with appropriate quality control. The conformance of the division programs is, in general, good, ranging from excellent to needing improvement. This is to be expected for a new division focused on a broad and rapidly changing field such as biotechnology. One concern of the panel related to the work being done at CARB. The center, a collaboration between NIST and the University of Maryland, has produced strong technical work, and CARB is a key asset for NIST's biotechnology programs. However, the collaboration does generate a managerial challenge. One of the strengths of CARB is its technical ability to solve protein structures. Although such an activity may not be inappropriate for NIST scientists, it is not clear how such work fits into the NIST mission, which is to advance measurement sciences. A general plan that furthers the mission of NIST needs to be conveyed to the NIST staff who are a part of CARB so as to ensure that the NIST mission is not defocused. However, the benefits of the NIST/CARB collaboration, such as increased strength in recruiting and efficient resource sharing, outweigh the costs of the extra managerial efforts, and the formation of other similar collaborations is encouraged. Technical Merit and Appropriateness of Work Overall the division performs appropriate, high-quality research into the development and application of new measurement technologies in the area of biotechnology. One of the strengths of the division is the program in biocatalysis and bioprocessing engineering. The field has significant economic potential for U.S. businesses, and NIST is a recognized technical leader in this area. The panel was impressed by the balance between the need for state-of-the-art technological work and the development of new standards and measures in this area. The NIST efforts are likely to encourage further research and development in a field that currently is only weakly supported by industry. Another group with potential impact is the Structural Biology Group, located at CARB. The group's emphasis on theoretical and experimental approaches to macromolecular structure determination and function will advance analytical and biophysical measurement science, as well as protein engineering and design. In general, a key element in the success and improvement of the programs is continued vigilance in the definition of critical paths in each of the targeted research areas. For example, the DNA Technology Group has done an excellent job developing the p53 and STR reference materials. Investing further resources in this program might allow fluorescence intensity standards to be expanded to provide other needed diagnostic reference materials; possible candidates range from infectious agents to transgenic plants. Another important aspect of
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 successful projects is focusing on high-priority industrial needs. Leveraging NIST efforts with industrial support can then maximize the value of NIST resources. A particular example can be seen in the beneficial studies and database development in the area of biothermodynamics. The success of this project depends on utilizing input from external experts both to define initially appropriate areas of activity and to review progress of specific projects. Overall, the division management is to be commended on the substantial progress made in developing broad and appropriate programs in a complex and rapidly changing field. There is some variability between programs that may be related to the selection process. The division outlined an extensive process that is used to define the areas in which the division is active, but the priority-setting process did not appear to the panel to be as clearly defined. In spite of this minor issue, the group activities were well integrated, and the joint efforts between CARB and NIST add substantial strength and increase the overall value of the division. With continued resource planning and appropriate priority setting, the full economic impact of the division's projects will be realized. Impact of Programs The panel was impressed by the effectiveness with which the division disseminates its scientific accomplishments. In 1997, its 99 publications covered diverse topics, ranging from applications of membrane channels to mechanisms on DNA topoisomerases. In addition, the group has been active at numerous professional conferences and sponsored workshops, including Self-Assembling Thin Film Materials and Standards for Nucleic Acid Diagnostic Applications. They have also established and maintained a number of Internet databases such as the STR DNA database and the Biological Macromolecule Crystallization Database (BMCD). In addition they have cross-referenced the BMCD with the Nucleic Acid Database. The efforts in this area are outstanding, and the division should continue its dissemination activities at the current level. It is premature to expect a significant impact on industry resulting from the activities of the Biotechnology Division at this time. However, programs do exist for which such an impact may be expected in the future. One example is the newly created Bioinformatics Group, which has the potential to generate significant economic impact through applications in sequence, functional, and structural data analysis. In fact, the level of need and the size of the effort are so great that it will be essential for the division to narrow its focus to areas of the greatest influence. Biotechnology is expanding its influence into practically every sector of industry; therefore it is essential to invest increasing resources in biotechnology programs.
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 Division Resources Funding sources for the Biotechnology Division (in millions of dollars) are presented below: Fiscal Year 1997 Fiscal Year 1998 (estimated) NIST-STRS, excluding Competence 6.9 6.5 Competence 0.5 0.9 ATP 1.3 1.9 Measurement Services (SRM production) 0.1 0.0 OA/NFG/CRADA 0.8 0.9 Other Reimbursable 0.1 0.1 Total 9.6 10.3 Staffing for the Biotechnology Division currently includes 35 full-time permanent positions, of which 32 are for technical professionals. There are also 31 nonpermanent and supplemental personnel, such as postdoctoral fellows and part-time workers. In addition to the permanent staff, each group within the division has attracted experienced guest researchers. A concern is that there is some difficulty in maintaining qualified individuals in the bioinformatics area because of the competition with industry for talented individuals in this field. The construction of the ACSL will amply address several critical facility needs of the Biotechnology Division, such as clean rooms for several groups. The 80,000 sq ft ACSL facility will be available by the first quarter of 1999. The recently completed CARB 1-B expansion also has provided modern facilities and has produced much needed additional laboratory space, which now includes a new high-field 600 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance instrument. Process Measurements Division Division Mission According to NIST documentation, the Process Measurements Division develops and provides measurement standards and services, measurement techniques, recommended practices, sensing devices, instrumentation, and mathematical models required for analysis, control, and optimization of industrial processes. The division's research seeks fundamental understanding of, and generates critical data pertinent to, chemical process technology. These efforts include the development and validation of data-predictive computational tools and correlations, computer simulations of processing operations, and provision of requisite chemical, physical, and engineering data.
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 The division's goals and projects were found to be generally consistent with this mission statement. In line with the mission statements of NIST and CSTL, programs in this division make highly appropriate contributions to the promotion of U.S. economic growth through work with industry. This close coupling helps direct programs to areas of highest priority to the affected industries. For example, over the last 20 years, many U.S. companies have become global corporations, and simultaneously foreign corporations have rapidly increased their presence and investment in U.S. markets. Therefore international cooperation in standards activities is essential to U.S. competitiveness. The Process Measurements Division's continuing and expanding work on interactive comparisons with measurements and standards made by sister organizations in other countries is highly appropriate and commendable. Technical Merit and Appropriateness of Work The technical merit of the programs is demonstrated in many ways. For example, in this fiscal year, personnel from the division have received more than nine awards and citations for their work, including a Department of Commerce Silver Medal, a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal, and the Allen V. Astin Measurement Science Award. In addition, continuing and widespread demand for calibration services in pressure, humidity, vacuum, temperature, and flow speaks highly for the quality of the division's work. The panel was impressed to note that a number of their past suggestions have been adopted and implemented in laboratory programs. For example, the physical property databases now include extensive citations describing the data sources, type (experimental or calculated), and reliability. Also, division scientists have expanded the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to complement experimental data, thereby reducing the amount of data required to quantify models. Finally, NIST's traceability programs are essential, and the panel was pleased to see this work continuing. Comments on the technical merit of each group's programs are below. Information about the division's research is disseminated through meetings, publications, information posted on the Internet, symposia, guest researchers, personal contacts, and workshops. It is important not only for the division to publicize the results of its work but also to educate the relevant communities about the availability of this information. One area of dissemination that the panel focused on was the laboratory 's use of the Web to publish updated and evaluated data for the technical community. The level of this effort could be raised, and the value of this data might be increased by supplementing the Web releases with production of permanent archival media such as CD-ROM. Leverage could be gained for this activity by publishing the archival data in the form of HTML files, which are accessed by a standard browser. Another way to expand the impact of this division's work would be to include evaluation and/or property estimation codes in both Web-based and CD-ROM formats via coding in a machine-independent form such as JAVA. Within the Fluid Flow Group, the work on modeling gas-metal atomization flows to improve particle size distribution of finely divided metal products has progressed nicely over the past year. CFD simulations are in close agreement with experimental observations, and the simulations demonstrate that cooler gas flows produce increased momentum that results in better particle-size distributions. However, current industry systems are based on the opposite belief: the assumption that adding enthalpy to the gas flow improves powder yield. NIST is now
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 mixtures, such as alternative refrigerants and semiconductor processing gases. Another research focus is on next-generation primary standards for temperature, pressure, and low flow rates. Current activities include development of acoustic transducers for use in primary thermometry up to 700 K; measurement of the heat capacity, thermal conductivity, and viscosity of semiconductor process gases in order to develop more accurate flow-metering devices; development of laboratory standards for accurate measurement of viscosity and Prandtl number of industrially important gas mixtures; and development of a primary pressure standard in the 500 to 2000 kPa range based on the measurement of the dielectric constant of helium. The Chemical Reference Data and Modeling Group compiles, evaluates, correlates, and disseminates SRD. It also develops and disseminates electronic databases and software for thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, mass spectroscopy, and infrared spectra. A major activity is the NIST/EPA/NIH Mass Spectral Library, which is highlighted separately above. Other activities include the compilation of kinetics data for chemical reactions in the gas phase and the development of the NIST Chemistry WebBook, which is a searchable compilation of chemical data designed for Internet access. The Computational Chemistry Group was formed in November of 1997. It develops and applies computational chemistry methods for estimation and prediction of the chemical and physical properties of molecules. It evaluates new theories, models and estimation methods, and computational techniques for rate constants and thermochemical properties. Future plans include development of resources to provide guidance to nonexperts in the use of computational chemistry methods. Current activities include work in computational thermochemistry, methods for vibrational analysis of large molecules, improved methods for geometry optimization, computational chemistry in solution, and transition state theory. The Experimental Kinetics and Thermodynamics Group uses a wide range of state-of-the-art measurement techniques to obtain kinetic and thermochemical data on species that are important in the chemical and related industries. It also certifies SRMs for thermodynamic properties important to science and industry. Current activities include development of a broad database for advanced oxidation technologies used for treatment of hazardous and some nonhazardous wastes; measurement of environmental fates and impacts of industrial compounds; thermodynamics of industrially important materials and processes; and development of new capabilities, such as ring-down spectroscopy for studying chemistry near surfaces and thin films. The Process Separations Group performs basic and applied research on a variety of separation processes including distillation, supercritical fluid extraction, adsorption, and membrane separations. It also provides critically evaluated data and models needed to design and/or select more efficient separation processes. Current activities include development of systematic screening procedures for alternative solvents; vapor/liquid equilibria studies on azeotropes and near azeotropes; database development for properties of membrane materials; databases for chromatographic analysis of natural gas mixtures, odorants, and alternative refrigerants; and development of improved chromatographic methods driven by new industry standards for gas-line condensate analysis. The Experimental Properties of Fluids Group performs experimental research and develops and maintains high-accuracy apparatus for measuring the full complement of thermodynamic and transport properties of fluids and fluid mixtures over wide ranges of temperature, pressure, and composition. It also provides comprehensive thermophysical property measurements for technically important pure fluids and mixtures, including common organics and
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 inorganics, hydrocarbons, refrigerants, and aqueous systems. Current activities include development and construction of a new apparatus for the simultaneous measurement of vapor-liquid equilibrium and interfacial tension; development and construction of a new high-temperature adiabatic calorimeter for isochoric heat capacity measurements of gases and liquids; and new vibrating-wire, torsional crystal, and capillary viscometers for precision measurements of fluid viscosities over broad ranges of temperature and pressure. The Theory and Modeling of Fluids Group performs theoretical and computational research on the thermophysical properties of fluids and fluid mixtures, including regions of fluid-fluid and fluid-solid phase separation. It develops models and correlations of high accuracy to describe and predict the thermophysical properties of fluids and fluid mixtures. It also provides comprehensive and evaluated Standard Reference Data and electronic databases for the properties of technically important fluids and fluid mixtures. Current activities include development of standard thermodynamic surfaces for fluids using extended corresponding states, fundamental studies of fluid-solid phase transitions, studies of surfactant adsorption on clays by neutron scattering, and structure evolution and rheology of gelling colloidal silica by neutron scattering and rheometry. The Cryogenic Technologies Group develops improved measurement and modeling techniques for characterizing basic cryocooler components and processes. It develops state-of-the- art cryocoolers for specific applications. It also provides measurement methods, standards, and services for flow under cryogenic conditions. Research on the pulse-tube refrigeration system is supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This group is also developing a cryogenic catheter for the treatment of arrhythmias and abnormal uterine bleeding. The liquid nitrogen flow calibration facility is being upgraded to allow more accurate measurement of low flow rates. Current activities include the work on advanced refrigeration systems and cryogenic catheters. Impact of Programs All groups in this division make a strong, well-directed effort to communicate their results to the scientific and engineering communities. An example of their success is the widespread recognition NIST received for providing U.S. industry with the data and models needed to identify and implement environmentally acceptable alternatives to CFCs and HCFCs in air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment. The impact of the Chemistry WebBook on the chemical industries and on university researchers is also considerable. In the 5 months after the August 1997 update, the number of data pages generated for users per month averaged well over 200,000. Many small businesses that cannot afford expensive data resources of their own will benefit from the availability of inexpensive databases over the Web. There are several examples of fundamental work that have direct impact on industry. One is the development of models and databases for thermophysical properties of fluids and fluid mixtures to enable faster, more accurate, and reliable design and simulation of chemical processes. In the Cryogenic Technologies Group, the development of cryogenic catheters for cryosurgical procedures has resulted in a CRADA with CryoGen, Inc., a medical device company. The device uses a Joule-Thompson cycle for refrigeration and can be used as a cardiac catheter for the treatment of heart arrhythmia and as a uterine catheter. Joint patents have been issued to NIST
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 and CryoGen, Inc. With Lockheed Martin of Denver, the Cryogenic Technologies Group has developed the world's smallest pulse-tube refrigerator. This refrigerator is scheduled to fly on the Space Shuttle in April of 1998 and will be used in future cooling applications in space. The group is also working with NASA to develop a pulse-tube refrigerator for use in future missions to Mars. NIST has commissioned economic impact assessments for six programs in the CSTL, two of which are from the Physical and Chemical Properties Division: Alternative Refrigerants to Replace Ozone-Depleting CFCs and Advanced Refrigeration Systems for Cryogenic Applications. The analysis of the former project is complete and concludes that NIST research in this field has resulted in a social rate of return (SRR) of 433 percent, an implied rate of return of approximately 21 percent, and a benefit-to-cost ratio of 3.9:1. This SRR represents relatively high economic impact when compared with that of SRRs for other NIST projects for which economic impact studies have been performed. These results were computed by an outside organization and were based on detailed surveys of major producers of refrigerants and refrigeration equipment. The assessment considered direct benefits only; it did not include such indirect benefits as the effects of NIST's program on the energy efficiency of refrigeration equipment. Note that a very different example of work with direct impact on industry is the release of the NIST/EPA/NIH Mass Spectral Library, which was described in detail in the section on technical merit. Division Resources Funding sources for the Physical and Chemical Properties Division (in millions of dollars) are as follows: Fiscal Year 1997 Fiscal Year 1998 (estimated) NIST-STRS, excluding Competence 8.6 8.7 Competence 0.1 0.1 ATP 0.1 0.4 OA/NFG/CRADA 4.2 4.4 Total 13.0 13.6 The high level of OA funding is a problem throughout the division. This division is only one of five within CSTL, yet in fiscal year 1997, it produced 42 percent of all OA funding within the laboratory. Such funds are difficult to acquire and are usually earmarked for very specific work. Although currently most of the externally supported projects are consistent with the division's mission, this situation cannot be expected to continue indefinitely. The present level of OA funding, more than one-third of the division's budget, is too high and imposes on the division management and staff a heavy burden of fundraising and administrative activities, which can be detrimental to the technical mission of CSTL. The excessive reliance on OA funding also distorts the strategic planning process by locking the division into projects that require long-term effort,
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 which can result in lost opportunities. For example, although the NASA-supported project on critical-point viscosity measurements has resulted in excellent scientific work, the long-term nature of this project has forced the staff member leading this work to devote himself exclusively to this project and forego additional scientific opportunities. Data collection and evaluation as well as database development and dissemination are important to the general scientific community, especially to industry, over the long term. Because such projects represent a core element of the NIST mission, they should be directly supported through base funding rather than be dependent on OA support. NIST walks a fine line between universities and industry and acts as a unique bridge between the often short-term interests of industry and the longer-term, more fundamentals-based approach of universities. A lack of outside funding for connective projects would not be a problem if sufficient support were available from NIST's direct congressional appropriations. Staffing for the Physical and Chemical Properties Division currently includes 68 full-time permanent positions, of which 58 are for technical professionals. There are also 17 nonpermanent and supplemental personnel, such as postdoctoral fellows and part-time workers. The NIST staff in this division is split approximately equally between Gaithersburg and Boulder. The Physical and Chemical Properties Division has more guest researchers and contractors (approximately 60 full-time equivalents) than most divisions of the laboratory. The panel supports the continuing presence of these visitors who bring a wide range of expertise and provide additional external input into the divisional planning process. The division's laboratory space in Boulder is currently inadequate. However, this situation is expected to change shortly when the new building for NOAA personnel is completed and additional space in Building 2 becomes available to the division. Analytical Chemistry Division Division Mission According to NIST documentation, the mission of the Analytical Chemistry Division is to conduct research concerning the qualitative and quantitative determination of chemical composition; develop and maintain state-of-the-art chemical analysis capabilities; provide measurement quality assurance through reference materials, data, and services; and provide a basis for U.S. chemical traceability and international comparability. The Analytical Chemistry Division is the fundamental chemical metrology component of the CSTL and NIST. The division mission is fully and effectively integrated into the overall mission and goals of both the laboratory and NIST. Divisional programs provide chemical measurement standards, accurate and reliable chemical compositional data, and research in chemical measurement science in support of NIST and laboratory missions. The mission includes the development and maintenance of state-of-the-art chemical analysis capabilities. The dedication of the personnel and their commitment to quality were very evident. The entire staff had a clear sense of the division 's mission and their individual roles. The programs demonstrated that providing standards and standard methodology to the United States and international community was a division priority and a fundamental part of the mission. The panel was particularly pleased by the division chief's fiscal responsibility and determination to meet the
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 division's commitments. There is a healthy balance between a commitment to develop new SRMs and the need to maintain existing SRMs. However, the panel was concerned that the standards program appears to be competing for the resources that are also needed to conduct necessary measurement science research. The panel was satisfied with the planning processes used within the division. It was evident that the entire organization utilizes the quality processes required to control their business and research activities including project prioritization and resource allocation processes. All division research and service projects are reviewed on an annual basis to assess the quality of the work and fit with the mission and with industry needs. Technical Merit and Appropriateness of Work Research activities in the Analytical Chemistry Division are focused on the chemical measurement sciences using high-performance analytical tools such as mass spectrometry (MS), sensing technologies, classical analytical methods, gas metrology, nuclear analytical methods, organic analytical methods, and spectrochemical measurement methods. These programs are carried out by five groups: Spectrochemical Methods, Organic Analytical Methods, Gas Metrology and Classical Methods, Chemical Sensing and Automation Technology, and Nuclear Methods. A 3-year restructuring plan is under way. This activity aims to establish a strategic plan for division research and service activities, adjust the funding profile for division research and service activities, and reengineer the division's delivery of standards to reduce backlog, increase the ratio of new to renewal SRMs, and establish an infrastructure for NTRMs and International Comparability for Chemical Measurements. The Chemical Sensing and Automation Technology Group develops and applies new technologies, techniques, and standards for chemical sensing, sample preparation, and laboratory automation for chemical analysis. In 1997, the group terminated its work on laboratory automation standards and formally closed down the Consortium on Automated Analytic Laboratory Systems. Therefore, this group expects to be renamed in the near future to more accurately reflect its current focus on advanced measurement methods. This team has historically provided optical filters to calibrate the transmittance and wavelength scales of visible and ultraviolet (UV) spectrophotometers. Recently, they have initiated development of an NTRM program for optical filter reference materials to augment the current “calibration program” in which filters are returned to NIST every 2 years for revalidation. Such NTRM programs allow some of the routine standards activities to be conducted by external organizations, thereby enabling NIST personnel to focus on new topics. For example, this group has been exploring several techniques for use in quality control of incoming raw material in the pharmaceutical industry. These new methods include the use of Raman spectroscopy as well as fiber-optic technology for making remote measurements. This group has also been conducting research on microfabricated measurement devices including the creation of microchannels in plastic (microfluidic devices). The development of such tools will enable U.S. industry to make remote measurements with handheld devices, and this new technology has profound implications within the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical, and forensic communities. Research in the Spectrochemical Methods Group focuses on the development, critical evaluation, and application of methods for the identification and measurement of inorganic chemical species using x-ray, optical, and MS instruments. This group has enhanced its
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 measurement capability in several areas; new tools include two inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) instruments (one is a high-resolution magnetic sector instrument) and a wavelength dispersive x-ray fluorescence (WD-XRF) spectrometer. The ICP-MS is a workhorse of the laboratory for certification of inorganic chemical SRMs, and the team working in this area leads the international community in the development and implementation of protocols for international comparisons such as lead in water. The team working in the XRF area has revitalized its focus on the metals industry, particularly on the accurate measurement of alloys. This group has developed a new inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) method based on a drift correction algorithm with performance that rivals classical methods in terms of precision (relative precision of 0.02 to 0.2 percent). This new technique will have a dramatic impact on the spectrochemical solution SRM business. The spectrochemical SRMs are by far the highest volume standards with several thousands sold every year. This high-precision ICP-OES technology is well suited for transfer to the private sector and will permit the development of a NTRM program for spectrochemical solutions. The resulting outsourcing of the routine certification of spectrochemical solutions will enable the spectrochemical group to spend more time on the advancement of measurement science. The Nuclear Analytical Methods Group continues research on the use of neutron beams as analytical probes both with Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis and with Neutron Depth Profiling. NIST recognizes the value of using two complementary methods for validation of SRMs. Neutron Activation Analysis is well suited to provide one of these methods because of the normal lack of interference found in conventional analytical techniques. New methods for analysis of methyl mercury without extraction are being explored. Long-term research includes development and application of cutting-edge neutron focusing technology to provide three-dimensional compositional mapping of thin film semiconductor materials. As a result of the heavy investment in capital for the accelerator facility, this group will not move into the newly constructed facilities as planned for the rest of the Analytical Chemistry Division. The Organic Analytical Methods Group focuses its research and application efforts on the areas of health care, nutrition, environmental monitoring, and forensic analysis. There is a heavy emphasis on MS because of its specificity and inherent sensitivity. The group has developed several external collaborations, such as monitoring environmental contaminants in marine species with NOAA scientists in South Carolina. Within NIST, staff work with the Office of Law Enforcement Standards in the Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory on the development of new and effective forensic measurement tools. One of the key challenges for all these types of measurements is “microhomogeneity,” and hence this group has been exploring methods to assure necessary homogeneity for accurate small-size SRMs. Studies are under way to assess and eliminate laboratory-to-laboratory variances in DNA fingerprinting. Liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to MS methods and standards will enable the accurate identification and quantification of important biological compounds in baby foods, infant formula, and human serum albumin. Capillary electrophoretic methods are being developed to characterize the structure and effectiveness of liposomes (phospholipid micelles) in selectively delivering bioactive agents across cell membranes to active enzyme sites. New reference methods are under development using biomarkers such as Troponin I in blood employing various methods including capillary electrophoresis, LC, and LC/MS. Several new SRMs have been developed to support measurement activities in the environmental, health care, and foods sectors. These new materials certify a wide variety of analytes including contaminates, vitamins, and trace elements.
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 The Gas Metrology and Classical Methods Group focuses on a variety of activities, including gas metrology, classical wet chemical methods (such as gravimetry and titrimetry), coulometry, ion chromatography, optical spectroscopy, and maintenance of the theoretical infrastructure for pH and conductivity measurements. Routine applications for which SRMs are maintained include stack gas analysis and automobile emissions. Real-time analysis of oxygenated hydrocarbons is considered a priority. Research is being conducted to develop a standard, open-path, FTIR database for making quantitative measurements of EPA-designated hazardous air pollutants. New programs involve primary standards for trace atmospheric species, air standards for the California Air Resources Board, and volatile organic analyses for the EPA program. This group is actively involved with international intercomparisons via a European collaboration on measurement standards in such areas as primary gases for the automotive industry, conductivity for water quality, and pH standards. This program will allow mutual recognition of European and NIST Certified Reference Materials for quality assurance and in making regulatory and trade agreements with the United States. The group is enthusiastic about the value of this activity, but the international alternative approach to measuring pH makes this method more complex to implement. The group pioneered the NTRM program and has implemented programs with 10 specialty gas venders certifying 61 NTRM batches resulting in 100,000 NIST traceable gas standards for end-users over the past 3 years. In regard to the technical merit of future work, this division has proposed that work begin on microfabricated analytical devices and has applied for Competence funding in 1999 to support such a project. This area is critical to U.S. industry for a wide range of applications in the environmental, pharmaceutical, forensic, and health care areas. Investigation of this technology has a potentially broad impact for the reduction of solvent usage (which would lower environmental contamination), the development of remote and portable measurement devices, and development of integrated sampling/measurement devices for faster analysis. The division has created 4 CRADAs in 1997 compared with 12 in 1996. However, the division remains highly dedicated to informal partnerships with industry which can have a positive impact for U.S. companies, an approach supported by the panel, which believes it to be a healthy direction. Overall, publications by this division have increased from 133 in 1996 to 172 in 1997. Publications provide individual recognition for NIST scientists within their peer groups while also enhancing NIST's reputation internationally. The project on international comparability of chemical measurements provides worldwide leadership in the development of SRMs, NTRMs, proficiency testing programs, and international intercomparisons. The panel is particularly pleased by this division's international work, as such intercomparisons become more vital as trade becomes more global. Calibrations or recertifications have increased to 350 in 1997. The combined numbers of SRMs and NTRMs have remained constant at approximately 190, but the balance has shifted as the number of 1997 NTRMs has increased by 20 percent over 1996. The division continues to improve these programs. Some directions that are particularly appropriate include the efforts to reduce SRM backlog, increase the ratio of new to renewal SRM effort, evaluate modes for SRM value assignment, and establish infrastructure for traceability and comparability for chemical measurements through intercomparison of primary standards among international laboratories. The panel considered the NTRM program to be excellent work and applauds its continued expansion beyond its success in the area of gas standards. One concern is whether NIST management will establish a single system to administer NTRM activities across organizational
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 units, which would ensure that individual divisions are not unduly burdened with administrative tasks at the expense of valuable research activities. Impact of Programs This panel was satisfied that the Analytical Chemistry Division programs produce a broad and effective impact on industry. The new NTRM activities have provided greater availability of SRM and new business opportunities for the companies producing the NTRM standards. The focus on a broad spectrum of applications results in new measurement capabilities and important SRMs and NTRMs that meet industrial needs in chemicals, electronics, automotive research, petroleum refining, instrumentation, biotechnology, environmental technologies, health care, and aerospace. Measurement methods derived from division research activities are also used to establish and maintain chemical measurement traceability links for producers of commercial reference materials (such as gases, optical filters, and spectrometric solutions) and measurement comparability links with chemical metrology laboratories worldwide. The capabilities gained from these activities establish and maintain the national infrastructure that provides U.S. industry with the tools necessary to achieve international comparability of chemical measurements. The division actively participates in intercomparability programs among national and regional standards laboratories to facilitate international trade. Structured intercomparison programs with other national metrology laboratories remain the basis for formal establishment of equivalence among primary methods and standards important for global commerce. The amount of resources dedicated to international comparative methodology increased significantly in 1997. Such activities include research collaborations with the North American Metrology Organization, the Inter-American System for Metrology (SIM), and the Consultative Committee on Amount of Substance, as well as strategic collaborations with other national metrology laboratories. An example of this division's impact on a specific industry can be seen in the work to establish NIST traceability for important health markers. Already, isotope dilution MS methods have been used to provide standards for the analysis of cholesterol with a large impact on the cost of health care. Further work is under way to establish reference methods for other important biomarkers. Development of accurate methods for two of these analytes is an important component of the ongoing collaboration with the College of American Pathologists. Several other new SRMs are being developed to support measurement activities in the environmental, health care, food, and nutritional labeling arenas. The division has been responsible for the successful implementation of the NTRM Program. NIST provides nearly 1,300 different types of SRMs and in fiscal year 1997 sold nearly 40,000 SRM units to approximately 5,000 different customers; approximately two-thirds of these units require certification of chemical composition by the Analytical Chemistry Division. In fiscal year 1997, 61 batches of NTRMs were certified by the Analytical Chemistry Division (double the number certified in fiscal year 1994). The quality of the standards provided through SRMs and NTRMs is outstanding, and it is essential that NIST keep control over the standards process to assure continued quality of production and accuracy of certifications. Demand for these reference materials is global, and there is a growing need to develop new reference materials to meet industry and regulatory compliance needs. The need for the continued traceability of products in commerce and
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 regulatory compliance to assure acceptance on a worldwide basis is critical. However, there is a growing concern over the proportion of resources dedicated to the synthesis and recertification of SRMs and the development of new SRMs. Currently about one-half of the Analytical Chemistry Division's budget, roughly $6.5 million dollars, is devoted to maintenance and development of standards. This level of involvement may have a negative impact on the division's ability to perform cutting-edge measurement research. To assess its impact on industry, the division solicits input from U.S. companies on their technological needs. These interactions drive divisional planning and program prioritization. Extensive ties to industry and participation in national and international committees and professional organizations permit direct community assessment of NIST programs. In addition to these personal contacts, the division seems to have made an attempt to determine the economic impact of its activities and plans to evaluate the mechanisms used to assess its impact in several areas, such as health and food standards and gas NTRMs. However, the laboratory does not yet have a general set of metrics that can be used to evaluate the economic impact of future activities. Division Resources Funding sources for the Analytical Chemistry Division (in millions of dollars) are as follows: Fiscal Year 1997 Fiscal Year 1998 (estimated) NIST-STRS, excluding Competence 7.3 8.0 ATP 0.2 0.0 Measurement Services (SRM production) 2.1 2.2 OA/NFG/CRADA 1.9 2.3 Other Reimbursable 1.1 1.4 Total 12.5 13.9 Recently, the division has aimed to change its funding profile and reengineer delivery of SRM services. Over the past few years, a plan to accomplish these goals has been carefully implemented as the division has successfully adjusted its structure and personnel in response to budgetary pressures. The panel strongly supports and endorses the division's strategic plan. Continued reduction of the division dependency on OA funding is also supported by the panel. It should be noted that approximately $1.2 million of the estimated fiscal year 1998 STRS funding is specifically earmarked for the development of new SRMs and NTRMs and for providing international comparability of measurements. At the beginning of 1999, the division plans to move into new facilities in the ACSL. The efficiency of the move will be critical to the division 's productivity this year. The panel was impressed by the plans in place to implement a phased move and is confident that it will be accomplished with as little interruption as possible. On a longer time scale, division management
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 has developed a 5-year capital plan that adequately addresses the need to upgrade the analytical capabilities and has increased their capital budget by 50 percent over the past 3 years. The general focus of the research and measurement service activities within the division is expected to be stable over the next year. However, some resources will be redirected to address analytical instrument calibrations and transfer issues. Staffing for the Analytical Chemistry Division currently includes 67 full-time permanent positions, of which 61 are for technical professionals. There are also 23 nonpermanent and supplemental personnel, such as postdoctoral fellows and part-time workers. The division continues to make excellent use of postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists. Nonetheless, the division still has too few scientists. Several experienced personnel were lost during 1997, and in certain areas such as traditional wet analytical chemistry, these people have proven to be difficult to replace. Clear succession planning and cross training would enhance staff retention and recruitment. The work in wet chemistry provides vital support to the NIST mission, and staff vacancies in this area need to be filled. MAJOR OBSERVATIONS The panel presents the following major observations. Overall, the technical merit of the work was excellent, and the results produced in the CSTL are of vital importance to U.S. industry. In particular, the panel was pleased to note the release of the updated Mass Spectral Library. Also, the panel was impressed by the projects on standards for Raman spectroscopy and on the microcalorimeter x-ray detectors, which are excellent examples of the value to be gained from interdivisional or interlaboratory collaborations. The CSTL continued to have exemplary management at the senior level as well as in numerous divisions. Over the past year, the planning process has shown significant improvement. The laboratory is working on setting measurable goals and objectives, an activity encouraged by the panel. Suitable external feedback mechanisms will vary depending on the maturity of the technology; also, standards and technology efforts require different measures of success. The facilities available to the Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory are improving. This year the addition to the Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology was occupied, and the Advanced Chemical Sciences Laboratory will be finished by the spring of 1999. Although the panel was pleased to hear about funding allocations for the Advanced Measurement Laboratory, such a building will not be completed until well into the future, and it is important to develop and implement a plan for upgrading the present facilities to prevent impedance of the laboratory's ability to perform state-of-the-art measurement work. Personnel levels are steady or declining as a result of flat budgets and retirements. The number of projects per staff member is high, which makes it harder for the laboratory to maintain its work on new measurement technologies. The programs that produce SRMs and perform calibrations are also growing, and these services take priority. Therefore, the panel applauds the development of NIST Traceable Reference Materials, although proactive
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An Assessment of the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY MEASUREMENT AND STANDARDS LABORATORIES Fiscal Year 1998 management of this program will be necessary to ensure that it does not become an administrative burden for the technical staff.
Representative terms from entire chapter: