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Brian P. Dougherty (Fed)

Mechanical Engineer

Brian Dougherty is a mechanical engineer in the Heat Transfer and Alternative Energy Systems Group of the Building Energy and Environment Division within the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Mr. Dougherty currently leads a project that advances the measurement science needed to aid the transition to net-zero energy residential buildings. As part of this project, Dougherty coordinates and helps implement investigations led by himself and other researchers that are conducted at a unique laboratory, the NIST Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility. Dougherty’s research primarily focuses on space conditioning and mechanical ventilation systems’ energy and thermal performance when applied in extensively-insulated, tightly-sealed homes.

Brian Dougherty also participates on a project that develops and investigates characterization methods for solar photovoltaic devices. Dougherty is leading efforts to construct and commission a rooftop test facility for making research grade spectral and broadband solar irradiance measurements, for testing solar devices outdoors, and for collecting complementary weather data. Dougherty also facilitates access to performance data collected over multiple years at four grid-tied solar arrays, an extensive meteorological station, and an outdoor PV module test facility. This extensive dataset is used primarily for PV system modelling studies and evaluations.

Prior solar PV work by Mr. Dougherty focused more on characterizing individual modules.  Dougherty led efforts to install, characterize, and use a long-pulse solar simulator. Dougherty also played a lead role in constructing, commissioning, and operating test facilities for conducting long-term, side-by-side studies on building-integrated PV modules that had different design and installation features. As a precursor to this work, Mr. Dougherty helped to develop, demonstrate, patent, and transfer the technology of using a solar photovoltaic array to heat domestic water.

During his earlier years at NIST, Mr. Dougherty worked on projects that supported the development and revision of test procedures for air conditioners, heat pumps, water heaters, and combined heat pump-water heating appliances. As part of these appliance-related projects, Brian Dougherty conducted laboratory testing on different appliances, participated in field monitoring projects, and performed numerous analytical studies. This work was/is reflected in DOE test procedures, DOE-published decisions on test procedure waiver requests, alternative methods for rating untested indoor/outdoor coil combinations, and related ASHRAE and AHRI Standards. During this period, Mr. Dougherty participated on the ISO working group that revised three testing and rating standards covering air conditioners and heat pumps and served on the U.S. Technical Advisory Group for ISO Technical Committee 86, "Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning."


Brian Dougherty is the recipient of a NIST 2022 Colleagues’ Choice Award and two NIST Bronze Medal Awards, in 2016 and in 1999. He was selected for a 2006 ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award and a 1997 Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. Mr. Dougherty has been recognized in group awards, including the NIST Jacob Rabinow Applied Research Award (2016), Engineering Laboratory Communication Award (2016), Federal Energy and Water Management Award (2019), four DOC Energy & Environmental Stewardship Awards (2019, 2013 [2], and 2011) and a DOC Silver Medal Award (2009).


Created October 9, 2019, Updated February 28, 2024