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5580: C-RMAP Tutorial 2: Selection, Calibration, and Use of Thermometers (3 days)

In this seminar, we will discuss contact thermometers commonly used in industry for applications that use platinum resistance thermometers, thermistors, thermocouples, and liquid-in-glass thermometers. Lecture topics covered will include:

  • Thermometer overview of each type, characteristics, and expected uncertainties;
  • Selecting a thermometer for a specific application;
  • Creating a calibration uncertainty budget and a temperature measurement uncertainty budget,
  • Selecting alternatives to mercury-filled thermometers,
  • Calibration techniques and measurement validation methods,
  • Alternatives to traditional calendar recall dates for recalibration,
  • Statistical process control and maintaining traceability to NIST,
  • The step-by-step development of a Scope of Accreditation (e.g. uncertainty budgets) for different temperature calibration services,
  • An assessor’s point of view during an on-site technical assessment, and
  • Proficiency tests for achieving accreditation. Laboratory session will include:
  • Using an ice melting to check the calibration status of your thermometer
  • Determining the uncertainty of a dry-well block calibrator
  • Exploring the measurement differences and uncertainties between alternative thermometers

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • DESCRIBE types, characteristics and uncertainties associated with various thermometers;
  • SELECT the appropriate thermometer for typical laboratory applications;
  • CREATE a complete calibration uncertainty budget for thermometry measurements;
  • SELECT alternatives to mercury liquid filled thermometers;
  • IDENTIFY suitable calibration intervals for thermometers;
  • ENSURE the traceability and validity of the measurement process;
  • CREATE an appropriate Scope for a laboratory thermometry program;
  • LIST insights associated with the laboratory assessment process;
  • IDENTIFY suitable proficiency tests for accreditation;
  • USE an ice point to check calibration status of a thermometer;
  • DETERMINE the uncertainty of a dry-well block calibrator;
  • EXPLORE measurement differences and uncertainties with various types of thermometers.

Materials & Supplies:

All materials and supplies provided by NIST.

Minimum Requirement(s):

Successful completion requires that participants fully participate in all classroom and hands-on exercises and be present for the entire course.


For weights and measures metrology staff and other metrologists who are regular attendees of the Regional Measurement Assurance Program (RMAP) training sessions. Additional metrology staff are welcome to register for the training.


The registration fee for this tutorial is $200 and confirmed participants will be provided with payment instructions. The due date for payment is Monday, May 13, 2019.


Dawn Cross and Karen Garrity

Phone: (301) 975-4818
Email: karen.garrity [at] (karen[dot]garrity[at]nist[dot]gov)

Technology Requirement(s):

Calculators and laptops are typical requirements at the annual RMAP training events.


NIST / Office of Weights and Measures

Orlando Marriott Lake Mary
1501 International Parkway,
Lake Mary, FL 32746
P 407.995.7016 | F 407.995.1101

Group rate: C-RMAP
Start date: 5/30/19 - End date: 6/8/19
Last day to book: 4/30/19

Marriott hotel(s) offering your special group rate: Orlando Marriott Lake Mary for 94 USD per night Anyone who has special reservation requests may contact the group housing office at group.res [at] (group[dot]res[at]pinnaclehm[dot]com). Of course, guests may also book by phone at 800-380-7724 and reference the group name (C-RMAP) and arrival date. In order to get the guaranteed rate, you must book under the group block by one of these methods.

Created October 12, 2018, Updated February 5, 2019