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Five Universities Receive NIST Funding to Develop Standards Curricula

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded five grants totaling more than $350,000 to support standards education in undergraduate and graduate curricula. Since 2012, NIST’s Standards Services Curricula Development Cooperative Agreement Program has awarded 27 grants for more than $1.6 million dollars.

“It’s been gratifying watching the program grow and generate increased interest each year,” said Warren Merkel, chief of Standards Services in NIST's Standards Coordination Office. “We received a record 49 applications this year, including many multidisciplinary approaches, with topics ranging from forensic science, additive manufacturing, law and engineering to electronic health records, cybersecurity, energy and more. This clearly demonstrates a growing awareness of the value of standards in everything we do and will truly benefit the students and U.S. industry.”

The latest recipients are:

City University of New York, The City College (New York) - $70,000
To develop teaching materials for integration into four courses encompassing topics such as building standards for mitigating the effects of earthquakes, mold standards following hurricanes, counterterrorism standards for first responders regarding chemical and biological substances, the effects of international trade agreements on safety standards, mining standards, environmental site assessments, geographic information metadata standards, and environmental management standards.

Drexel University (Philadelphia) - $68,062
To create a novel translational curriculum addressing standardization in the life sciences and biomedical engineering through the collaboration of Drexel University’s Department of History and School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems. A new undergraduate course, “Standardization in Action,” will be offered, complemented by an interdisciplinary course series and a systematic documentation of the standardization activities of Drexel’s CONQUER Collaborative Center, which focuses on neuro-engineering device design.

Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana) - $64,682
To create an open-access, introductory-level, interactive online standards education program on a platform that can easily be used by instructors anywhere and can provide transferrable credentials for students who complete the program. The program emphasizes understanding, locating, analyzing and applying standards in the context of engineering and product design and supports ABET accreditation for student education in engineering and engineering technology.

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) (Rochester, New York) - $74,938
To develop and embed a set of reusable course modules on management system standards for RIT students seeking undergraduate degrees in environmental sustainability, health and safety or civil engineering technology; or a graduate degree in environmental health and safety management.

University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan) - $75,000
To develop modules to teach undergraduate and graduate students about various standards pertaining to human factors engineering, human-computer interaction and automotive engineering.

Projects awarded under this program support, advance and integrate information and content on documentary and/or measurement standards and standardization processes into seminars, learning resources and courses, including new, sustainable approaches, methods and models that can be replicated or built upon by other educational programs into undergraduate and graduate level curricula at U.S. colleges and universities.

Information on future and previous awards can be found on the NIST Standards Coordination Office webpages.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To learn more about NIST, visit

Released October 27, 2016, Updated July 30, 2018