Blaza Toman was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1975. She studied Mathematics and Statistics, earning a Ph.D. in Statistics from the Ohio State University in 1987 with a specialization in Bayesian Optimal Design. She taught statistics at the graduate and undergraduate level at Rutgers University and at the George Washington University, and was a consultant to several medical device companies on Bayesian clinical trial design and analysis. She became a member of the Statistical Engineering Division at NIST in 2000. Her main research interests remain Bayesian statistical methods.
At NIST, she became interested in uncertainty assessment for measurements in the physical sciences, and more generally in statistical methods relevant to metrology. Here she collaborates with scientists in many fields, for example: in the Engineering Laboratory, analyzing data from fire models and virtual cement models; in the Materials Measurement Laboratory, analyzing gas chromatography and mass spectrometry data; and in the Physical Measurement Laboratory, analyzing data on spectral responsivity of photodiodes. She also collaborates with her colleagues in the Statistical Engineering Division to develop statistical methods for interlaboratory studies and key comparisons, and for uncertainty analysis of measurements resulting from complex systems.
W. J. Youden Award in Interlaboratory Testing, the American Statistical Association, 2009.
Silver Medal, Department of Commerce, 2011, for participation in the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Silver Medal, Department of Commerce, 2016, for work related to the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) for fire modeling.
Bronze Medal, Department of Commerce, 2018, for development of rigorous analytical methods and data-evaluation processes for the determination of chemical purity.
Bronze Medal, Department of Commerce, 2019, for development and implementation of a measurement assurance strategy to improve comparability and reliability of cell-based assays.