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Please see full course schedule for more information.

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N01 Hands-on Workshop on Assessing and Reporting Measurement Uncertainty

3 Days: Tuesday, March 24 – Wednesday, March 25 – Thursday, March 26

Purpose: This NIST short course covers the propagation of measurement uncertainty using the methods outlined in the JCGM Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement from a statistical perspective. The short course will provide participants with a working knowledge of the computational methods needed to assess measurement uncertainty, hands-on experience in the application of these methods, and scientific and statistical insight into the interpretation of the results.

Agenda: The Hands-on Workshop on Assessing and Reporting Measurement Uncertainty is a 3-day course that will be held at the Measurement Science Conference in Anaheim, CA. The course consists of lectures, short exercises, and hands-on applications covering many aspects of the propagation of uncertainty using examples from NIST work.

The exercises and hands-on applications will use functions for uncertainty analysis from the software package, metRology, written for the open-source R statistical computing environment. The functions can be accessed directly in R (use of RStudio is recommended), or via an Excel graphical user interface that is available as a free Add-In, metRology for Microsoft Excel[1]. Participants should bring their own laptops, if possible. A laptop for use during the short course can be provided (sharing may be required). If you would like to borrow a laptop, please let one of the instructors know as soon as possible. All software except Microsoft Excel is free.

Please note: the metRology for Microsoft Excel Add-In is not compatible with Microsoft Excel for Macintosh, but should work on the Mac with full Windows emulation. The metRology package can be used directly in R or RStudio on Windows, MacOS, or Linux. Certain commercial software or products are identified in this short course to foster understanding and accessibility of computations. Such identification does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor does it imply that the products or software identified are necessarily the best available for the purpose.

Topics Covered

  • Importance of uncertainty analysis
  • Different statistical approaches for uncertainty analysis
  • Essentials of the GUM approach
    • Measurement functions
    • Type A and Type B methods for evaluating standard uncertainties
    • Degrees of freedom
    • Sensitivity coefficients
    • Propagation of standard uncertainties
    • Effective degrees of freedom
    • Expanded uncertainties
  • Software for propagation of uncertainty
  • Interpretation of results


Speakers: William Guthrie & Hung-Kung Liu,  NIST Statistical Engineering Division

William F. Guthrie - MSCWilliam F. Guthrie received a B.A. degree in mathematics from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, in 1987 and an M.S. degree in statistics from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, in 1990. He is currently a mathematical statistician in the Statistical Engineering Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD.

Since joining NIST in 1989, he has collaborated with scientists and engineers on applied research in a wide range of areas including semiconductor and microelectronics applications, building materials and fire research and chemical science. His statistical interests include uncertainty assessment, Bayesian statistics, design of experiments, calibration, modern regression methods, and statistical computation.

Hung-kung Liu - MSCHung-Kung Liu is a statistician with experience in consulting on a wide variety of problems applied to engineering and physical sciences.  He is knowledgeable in various approaches to statistical inference, design of experiments, and computer intensive methods with experience in developing statistical methodology for special problems.Hung-kung Liu joined the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 1991.  Before that he was a faculty member of the State University of New York at Stony Brook since 1984.

N02 An Introduction to Time and Frequency Metrology

2 Days: Tuesday, March 24 – Wednesday, March 25

This seminar provides an overview and introduction to the world of time and frequency metrology. It focuses on fundamental concepts, basic measurement techniques (including hands on demonstrations), metrological traceability, and data and measurement uncertainty analysis.  Prior experience with time and frequency metrology is helpful but not necessary.

Lecture topics covered will include:

  • Fundamentals of Time and Frequency and basic terminology
  • Quartz Oscillators
  • Atomic Oscillators (rubidium, cesium, and hydrogen maser)
  • Laboratory Instrumentation
  • Measuring Frequency Accuracy in the Time Domain
  • Estimating Stability with the Allan deviation and related statistics
  • Stopwatch and Timer Calibrations
  • Traceability
  • Uncertainty Analysis for time and frequency calibrations
  • GPS and GPS Disciplined Clocks and Oscillators
  • The Network Time Protocol (NTP)
  • Applications of Time and Frequency Measurements (telecommunication networks, electric power grids, financial markets)


Speakers: Michael Lombardi, Andrew Novick,  NIST

Michael Lombardi - MSCMr. Michael Lombardi has worked in the Time and Frequency Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) since 1981. He has served as the project manager for its remote calibration services since 1993 and is presently the leader of the Time Distribution Group and the broadcast manager of NIST radio stations WWVB, WWV, and WWVH.

A member of IEEE, his research interests include international clock comparisons, disciplined clocks and oscillators, and radio and network time signals. He has authored or co-authored more than 130 papers related to time and frequency metrology.

Mr. Lombardi was the recipient of the NCSL International William A. Wildhack Award for Contributions to Metrology in 2011. From 2011 to 2015 he served as the Managing Editor of NCSLI Measure: The Journal of Measurement Science and as the chair of the Interamerican Metrology System (SIM) Time and Frequency Working Group.  From 2003 until 2019, Mr. Lombardi was the Quality Manager for the NIST Time and Frequency Division.  In addition, he has conducted ISO 17025 laboratory assessments of several technical divisions at NIST, as well as assessments of national metrology laboratories in Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Andrew Novick - MSCMr. Andrew Novick has worked in the Time and Frequency Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) since 1998 and as an engineering student employee preceding that. He is an electrical engineer and has worked with electronics for atomic clocks and measurement systems. He also works with calibration services, remote clock comparisons and network time measurements in the Time Distribution Group. Novick is the Quality Manager for the Time and Frequency Division and has authored or co-authored over 30 papers related to time and frequency metrology.

N03 – Introduction to Photonics

1 Day: Tuesday March 24

In this tutorial we will cover the fundamentals of photonics including a brief introduction to electromagnetics and optics followed by a deeper discussion of fiber optic technology. We will then use our understanding of fiber optics to launch into nano-photonics and briefly discuss the application of photonics to metrology.

Speaker: Kevin Douglass, NIST

Kevin Douglass - MSCKevin Douglass is a molecular spectroscopist in the Physical Measurement Laboratory at NIST. Current interests are in advancing optical refractivity techniques to advance pressure metrology with the goal of having traceability to the Pascal based on quantum mechanical properties of nature. His has worked on projects to develop rapid and sensitive spectroscopic techniques for the measurement of dynamic pressure.

Kevin came to NIST in 2007 and has been developing state-of-the-art spectroscopic tools in areas spanning from the microwave, terahertz, near infrared, and the ultraviolet. His research thus far has resulted in 3 patents and four additional patents recently submitted. Kevin’s research also extends into the nano-fabricated photonic device technology and leveraging this rapidly evolving technology to develop novel ultra-compact, low cost spectroscopic sensors.

N04 An Introduction to Key Foundations in Measurement Uncertainty

1 Day: Tuesday, March 24

This tutorial will focus on establishing solid, foundational principles for GUM compliant measurement uncertainty. This would make an excellent first course in uncertainty as well as be helpful for those with exposure to uncertainty, who want to more carefully align their knowledge with fundamental principles. Hands-on examples will provide a fun way to see just how well our uncertainty analyses work. We will also seek ways to work around complicated mathematics while still maintaining full technical rigor.

Speaker: Craig Shakarji,   NIST

Craig Shakarji - MSCDr. Craig Shakarji is a mathematician in the Dimensional Metrology Group at NIST. He is the chair of the dimensional metrology ASME B89 Division on uncertainty. He serves as a subject matter expert on the ISO/TC 213 working group on measurement uncertainty in the context of Geometric Product Specification and Verification as well as chairs the ISO/TC 213 working group on Coordinate Measuring Systems.

N05 Measurement Uncertainty & Consensus Building

2 Days:  Wednesday, March 25 – Thursday, March 26

LANGUAGES: Written: English – Spoken: English (Spanish, Portuguese, French if needed)


Each participant or small group (2 or 3) of participants working together, shall:

  1. Have a laptop computer with access to the World Wide Web and otherwise such that the participants may connect a USB stick to it to download course materials (if the participant’s employer does not allow such connection, then the participant should bring a personally owned laptop to the course);
  2. During the first day, select a problem of uncertainty analysis that can be solved using the NIST Uncertainty Machine, or a problem in metrology where it is meaningful to use the NIST Consensus Builder for data reductions — this problem may be selected from a set of examples provided by the instructor, or may involve the participant’s problem and data;
  3. During the second day, make a short (5 minutes) presentation describing the problem, the provenance of the data, how the data were analyzed, and the results.


Syllabus Part I Measurement Uncertainty

  • NIST Uncertainty Machine—Orientation and hands-on practical training, including selection of options and interpretation of the results
  • NIST Simple Guide—Orientation & Purpose
  • Measurement & Measurement Uncertainty
  • Measurement Models
    • Measurement Equations (Falling Ball Viscometer)
    • Observation Equations (Mechanical Strength of Alumina)
  • Uncertainty Evaluation Modalities
    • Type A / Type B
    • Bottom-Up / Top-Down
  • Reporting Measurement Uncertainty


Syllabus Part II Consensus Building

  • NIST Consensus Builder — To combine measurement results obtained independently for the same measurand, in round-robins and interlaboratory studies: orientation and hands-on practical training, including selection of models to use, options to choose, and interpretation of the results.

Speaker: Antonio Possolo,   NIST

Antonio Possolo - MSCMr. Antonio Possolo, NIST Fellow and Chief Statistician of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), holds a Ph.D. in Statistics from Yale University. Previously he was Chief of the Statistical Engineering Division, Information Technology Laboratory, NIST. Besides his current employment with NIST (since 2006), he has sixteen years of previous experience in industry (General Electric, Boeing), and nine years of academic experience (Princeton University, University of Washington in Seattle, Georgetown University, University of Lisboa).

He is committed to the development and application of statistical models and methods for data analysis that contribute to advances in science and technology, and to measurement science in particular. Antonio is an Associate Member of the Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, a member Of Working Group 1 of the Joint Committee for Guides in Metrology, and chair of the Technical Working Group on “Statistics and Uncertainty” of the “Sistema Interamericano de Metrologia” (SIM).

N07 Gas Pressure Measurement via Fixed Length Optical Cavity (FLOC) Pressure Standards

1 Day: Thursday, March 26

New methods to make primary gas pressure measurements have been developed using refractivity for pressures in the range of 1 Pa to 360 kPa. This range is critical to many applications, including altimetry, weather, and industrial process control, many of which strive for accuracies at the limit of current technical capabilities. Additionally, current primary standards are based on mercury manometers which are being eliminated from use wherever possible. Optical techniques have shown to be equivalent to manometers in accuracy, can be made small and portable, and can be made into primary standards through our understanding of quantum mechanics.

The Fixed Length Optical Cavity (FLOC) pressure standard is already being developed into a commercial product by several manufacturers, however metrologist planning to make use of this portable standard will need to be trained in the basics of FLOC laser cavities and alignment, use and operation of optical refractometers, requirements for making primary measurements, and basics of a FLOC uncertainty estimation. The class will feature hands on demonstrations along with the classroom instruction.

Speaker: Jacob Ricker,  NIST

Jacob Ricker - MSCJacob Ricker, works at the National Institute of Standards and Technology where he develops state of the art vacuum calibration systems and conducts research into the next generation vacuum technology.  Jacob maintains and operates the primary standard for pressure and vacuum measurement in the US and is responsible for calibrating pressure and vacuum gauges at NIST in the range of 10-3 Pa to 360 kPa.  His research is focused on new vacuum measurement methods and improving the accuracy of commercial sensors.

Currently, he is the lead designer on new team working to redefine how we measure pressure, temperature, and length.  This team is creating a new primary standard using a revolutionary quantum measurement method.  He has a B.S. from Penn State University in mechanical engineering and a M.S. in applied physics from Johns Hopkins University.  He started at NIST as a student in 2001, however after graduation, he moved on to calibrate underwater acoustics at the Naval Surface Warfare Center before returning to NIST in 2010.

N09 Microwave Measurement Basics

1 Day: Thursday, March 26

Have you ever wanted to learn more about microwave measurement techniques?  This session is the place to be!  An introduction to the measurement concepts for microwave power and scattering-parameters will be covered.

Specific topics covered will include transmission line theory, practical handling or the do’s and don’ts for microwave connectors and connections, Vector Network Analyzer calibration/measurements and real world sources of uncertainties, nonlinear microwave measurements, microwave power detectors types, power measurements and uncertainties, a brief introduction to the NIST Microwave Uncertainty Framework and the session will conclude with a discussion of verification techniques for microwave measurements. There will be a couple of hands-on exercises during the tutorial.

Speaker:  Ron Ginley,  Retired NIST

Ron Ginley - MSCRon Ginley is recently retired after being employed by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the past 37 years, all in the microwave area.  At NIST Ron had several areas of responsibility.  He was responsible for the metrology research in the microwave scattering-parameter and power areas and led the microwave measurement services which included the microwave s-parameter, thermal noise and power measurement services.  Ron continues to act as a consultant for NIST.

Ron is an active participant and contributor to the IMS, MSC, NCSL-I and ARFTG conferences.  He has participated in all of these organizations since the mid 1980’s presenting papers and serves on several standards and working committees.  Ron currently is the Treasurer and Executive Committee member of the Automatic Radio Frequency Techniques Group (ARFTG), a professional group dedicated to microwave/mm-wave measurements and is a member of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society’s Advisory Committee.  Ron will be chairing the 2022 International Microwave Symposium and has chaired many ARFTG Symposium as well as the 2018 Global Symposium on Millimeter Waves.