Howard Harary has been appointed director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Engineering Laboratory, which develops the measurement tools and standards needed to support technology-intensive manufacturing, construction and cyber-physical systems. The laboratory also conducts research to reduce the risks of fire, earthquakes and other hazards.
"Howard brings enthusiasm and a wealth of experience to his position," said NIST Acting Director and Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology Willie May. "He fully understands the two-way connection between science and engineering. And he knows firsthand that the stronger and healthier the connection, the more society and the economy will benefit tangibly from the nation's investments in science and technology."
The Department of Commerce approved Harary's appointment, effective November 3, 2014.
A physicist turned measurement scientist, Harary began at NIST in 1985 as a bench scientist, focusing on challenges in measuring features on gears and other parts with complex shapes. He steadily rose through the NIST ranks, from project leader to group leader, to deputy director of the NIST Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory in 2004. Harary became the Engineering Laboratory's acting director in 2013.
"The work of the Engineering Lab delivers incredibly useful results for many parts of the economy and society," Harary said. "Sometimes these results can have lifesaving implications. My goal is to help the laboratory make an even bigger difference in the United States and the world."
The Engineering Laboratory has a staff of nearly 400 people, including 132 guest researchers, who are distributed among five major research divisions. The laboratory's annual budget is nearly $100 million.
A New York native, Harary received his bachelor's degree in physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1974, and biophysics doctorate from Harvard University in 1983. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at Yale University from 1983 to 1985.
Harary currently serves on the visiting panel for the University of Maryland's Mechanical Engineering Department, is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Council on Standards and Certification, a member of the ASME Board on Standardization and Testing, and is the government representative to the board of PDES Inc., an industrial consortium working in the area of the digital exchange of manufacturing information. He also chairs an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) working group on general requirements for dimensional measuring equipment.