Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Brian P. Dougherty (Fed)

Mechanical Engineer

Brian Dougherty is a mechanical engineer in the Heat Transfer and Alternative Energy Systems Group of the Energy and Environment Division (EED) of 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 manages parallel investigations within a unique laboratory, the NIST Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility. As part of this project, Dougherty’s research 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 builds on work that he previously led in the area of solar photovoltaics. Dougherty’s current focus is on collecting and analyzing detailed, high-quality performance data at four grid-tied solar arrays, an extensive meteorological station, and an outdoor PV module test facility, all located on the NIST Gaithersburg campus. The primary output from this multi-year effort are datasets for PV system model validations.


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 have 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 has received two NIST Bronze Medal Awards, one in 2016 and one 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), three DOC Energy & Environmental Stewardship Awards (2013-2, 2011) and a DOC Silver Medal Award (2009).


Technology Development and Field Monitoring in nZEB

Vance (Wm.) Payne, Brian P. Dougherty
The International Energy Agency (IEA) Heat Pumping Technologies (HPT) Annex 49, "Design and Integration of Heat Pumps for Nearly Zero Energy Buildings," deals
Created October 9, 2019, Updated December 8, 2022