Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

EL Highlights January 2015

EL Highlights January 2015

Return to Highlight page

Programmatic/Technical Accomplishment

Landmark International Standardization for 3D Model-based Engineering

On December 1st the International Organization for Standardization released the international standard, 10303-242, Industrial automation systems and integration – Product data representation and exchange – Part 242: Application protocol: Managed model-based 3D engineering --- more simply and popularly known as STEP AP 242. For more than five years from concept to international standard, NIST provided technical leadership, and facilitated the verification and validation of the specification with software implementers and stakeholders. The effort NIST has given is through the Engineering Laboratory's Smart Manufacturing Operations and Control Program, with Allison Barnard Feeney, Program Manager, at the helm. The intent of STEP AP 242 is to support a manufacturing enterprise with a range of standardized three-dimensional information models that flow through a long and wide digital thread that makes the manufacturing systems in the enterprise "smart." International Standard AP 242 will serve as an enabler of 3D model-based engineering, using computable models both within a factory an across a manufacturer's supply network.

Contact: Allison Barnard Feeney, 301-975-3181

NIST becomes member of the Data Mining Group

NIST recently approved the Data Mining Group (DMG) for membership. DMG is an independent, vendor-led consortium that develops data mining standards, such as the Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML). PMML is the leading standard for statistical and data mining models and supported by over 20 vendors and organizations. With PMML, it is easy to develop a model on one system using one application and deploy the model to another system using another application. PMML has reached a significant stage of maturity and has obtained broad industry support, allowing users to develop predictive solutions within one application and use another to execute them. Converting data into insights for manufacturing decision making for sustainability, agility and asset utilization require advanced predictive modeling. The Engineering Laboratory's Smart Manufacturing Programs will be working closely with DMG and its members to expand the PMML standard for smart manufacturing applications. The potential standards that will interface with PMML include STEP-NC (process information), MTConnect (Machine data), and AMPL (Optimization language).

Contact: Sudarsan Rachuri, 301-975-4264


EL and ITL Researchers Receive 2014 Government Computer News Award for Information Technology Excellence

NIST researchers from EL and ITL received the 2014 Government Computer News (GCN) Award for Information Technology Excellence for speeding development and delivery of secure, battlefield-handy—and sometimes life-saving—smartphone apps to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The NIST team of engineers and computer scientists was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under its Transformative Apps (TransApps) program. NIST contributed two brands of expertise—cybersecurity and software performance evaluation—and organized outside collaborators to accomplish DARPA's objective: "Develop a diverse array of militarily-relevant software applications using an innovative new development and acquisition process."

Now concluding, the four-year NIST effort included distilling soldiers' needs into app requirements, evaluating app performance, and designing a unique smartphone security architecture. This effort is among 10 (out of 170 nominated) GCN-recognized public-sector projects "showing the power of mobile technology to transform the government IT enterprise."

During 2010, its first year, the partnership delivered a batch of secure smartphones and an initial set of soldier-defined apps to an Army brigade in Afghanistan. By 2013, about 4,000 mobile devices (modified commercial smartphones and tablets) were deployed in Afghanistan. The capability now features about 60 apps—from map displays to a calculator for estimating blast distances to language games—and offers regular upgrades.

The NIST team included Craig Schlenoff, Anthony Downs, Lisa Fronczek, and Brian Weiss from the Engineering Laboratory and Brian Antonishek, Tom Karygiannis, Steve Quirolgico, Brian Schulte, Angelos Stavrou, and Jeff Voas from the Information Technology Laboratory. The GCN Award announcement can be found at

Contact: Craig Schlenoff, (301) 975-3456

Outstanding Paper Award" (Best Paper) Received by NIST Authors at 42nd North American Manufacturing Research Conference

Vis Madhavan, Brandon Lane, and Eric Whitenton from the EL Intelligent Systems Division, and Gary Lipczynski from Boeing Research & Technology in Huntington Beach, FL, received the "Outstanding Paper Award" for their collaborative research on machining of composites as presented at the 42nd North American Manufacturing Research Conference in Detroit, MI. Their paper was titled "Fiber Orientation Angle (FOA) Effects in Machining of Unidirectional CFRP Laminated Composites." Research goals were to observe, measure, and qualify chip and particulate flow at varying cutting conditions and fiber orientation angles while machining carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) disks. High speed video synchronized with tool force measurements showed a range of interesting and unique chip formation mechanisms and workpiece surface features. Tool measurements after machining showed also distinct wear patterns that depended on the CFRP layer thickness, and could be related to observations in the tool forces and video. In late 2013, Boeing approached NIST for collaboration in use of NIST's unique experimental facilities, developed for use in metal cutting research, to test machining of CFRP workpieces for validation of their physics-based machining models. CFRP workpieces and cutting tools were provided by Boeing. Experiments were planned and carried out jointly by NIST and Boeing.

The Outstanding Paper Award was presented to Vis and Brandon in attendance at the awards banquet held at the University of Michigan Jack Roth Stadium Club. The conference paper was selected and pre-approved for publication in Journal of Manufacturing Processes. This work was also highlighted in the July issue of Manufacturing Engineering magazine in its "Top-Flight Research Papers" section.

Contact: Vis Madhavan, (301) 975-2265, and Brandon Lane, (301) 975-5471



February 24th Cyber Physical Systems Test Bed Workshop at NIST

NIST will host a workshop to identify key characteristics and conceptual design elements of CPS testbeds. This workshop will enable the CPS community to share perspectives, best practices, and challenges in support of this goal. Participants will engage in efforts designed to: •Highlight the present state of CPS research facilities. •Gain insights into the key conceptual design elements contributing to successful testbeds. •Pinpoint specific elements to effectively address opportunities.

Participants will actively contribute to workshop outcomes and help guide the community's efforts to develop a successful CPS testbed architecture.

Contact: Chris Greer (301)-975-5919

Global City Teams Challenge Tech Jam

The Global City Teams Challenge brings together communities and innovators to use standards-based Internet of Things technologies to make cities more livable, workable, and sustainable. More than 30 teams of will gather at NIST February 12-13 to work together for city-scale deployments in June 2015. The Tech Jam will provide opportunities for:

•Existing GCTC participants to present their project plans and identify additional project partners.

•Entities not yet participating in the Challenge to explore a new project idea and/or identify partners and develop new Action Clusters.

•Attendees to hear from government agencies about funding programs relevant to GCTC participants and IoT/CPS/Smart Cities more generally.

•Attendees to hear from global leaders and experts of IoT/CPS/Smart Cities and to begin discussion of the NIST Smart City Framework.

The Tech Jam, which is free, begins at 9 a.m. on February 12.

Contact: Chris Greer (301)-975-5919

Celebrating the Birth of the Green Button Ecosystem

The Green Button platform provides access to electricity consumption information to more than 50 million consumers nationwide to help them manage their energy consumption, reduce costs, and contribute to a sustainable environment.

Green Button creators, developers, industry vendors, utilities, and stakeholders will convene February 6th in southern California to celebrate "The Birth of the Green Button Ecosystem" and to discuss how Green Button will evolve going forward. This free event recognizes a number of key milestones achieved in 2014, including the following:

•Electric utilities and other stakeholders agreed on implementation profiles and guidance, industry vendors have initial implementations, third-party developers have unveiled applications using the standard, the Federal Government has supported Green Button applications in federal facilities, and customers have begun to take advantage of Green Button.

•UCAIug and Underwriters Laboratories LLC, with development supported by NIST, have established a full testing and certification program.

•About 60 million Americans (and 2.5 million Canadians) now have access to their own Green Button data in a standardized format.

The Green Button ecosystem has now been created, and will improve with community contributions in the coming months and years. According to the event organizers, "It's time to turn promise into performance, and performance into profit."

Contact: Chris Greer (301)-975-5919

EL Participates in Meeting to Align Green Building Standards and Codes

The American Institute of Architects, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the International Code Council (ICC), the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently agreed to develop a coordinated set of requirements for high-performance buildings in order to better coordinate existing green building standards, codes and rating systems. The kickoff meeting for this effort was held at ASHRAE headquarters in December to discuss how to implement this agreement. EL's Andrew Persily participated in his role as the Chair of ASHRAE Standard 189.1 - Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings. .

Standard 189.1, co-sponsored by ASHRAE, IES and USGBC, is the only industry consensus standard covering sustainable design in commercial, institutional and high-rise residential buildings. The scope of the standard includes site sustainability, water-use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and the building's impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources. It is currently a compliance option under ICC's International Green Construction Code (IgCC), and the recent agreement is intended to achieve better coordination between Standard 189.1 and the IgCC. In combination with the USGBC LEED rating system, the new approach to standards and code development discussed at this meeting is intended to result in a single green code that supports the building community's effort to achieve high performance, sustainable buildings.

Contact: Andrew Persily, (301)975-6418

Workshop on Wildland-Urban Interface Fires

Fire in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) is a rapidly growing national problem. A national workshop on this topic was hosted by the Engineering Laboratory on January 6, 2015 at NIST Gaithersburg in an effort to exchange information on some of the latest WUI fire research, to see how the NIST research program's pieces fit together, and to help develop new ideas on how best to address this national problem. The stakeholder community was invited to participate and the workshop was broadcast over the internet. About 30 people participated on-line and another 30 attended in person, some travelling from various corners of the USA. This was a valuable workshop with the discussion informing on-going strategic planning and research efforts. A webcast of the all-day seminar has been archived and will be available online for playback for one year:

Contact: Alex Maranghides, (301)975-4886

Created January 29, 2015, Updated September 21, 2016