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Elizabeth Benham

Since 2005, Ms. Benham has served as the nation's focal point for voluntary conversion to the International System of Units (SI), commonly known as the metric system. As Metric Coordinator, she provides information and assistance to Federal, State and Local weights and measures officials, business, industry, educational institutions, and the public concerning the metric system (SI) and identifies opportunities for increasing the understanding and use of the SI measurement system in trade and commerce. Ms. Benham has been recognized with a 2011 Arthur S. Flemming Award for her leadership in the effort to persuade U.S. states to amend their laws and regulations to permit manufacturers and retailers to voluntarily use metric units on their packaging. Ms. Benham is actively involved in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and outreach activities. She collaborates with K-12 educators to integrate metric system and measurement science principles into the classroom.

In 2008, Ms. Benham and the Laboratory Metrology Program team were recognized for leadership in creating a comprehensive U.S. program for State weights and measures laboratories to ensure the validity of commercial transactions, an accomplishment that earned her the NIST Bronze Medal for Superior Federal Service. Ms. Benham works with state and county standard calibration laboratories to ensure management system compliance to ISO/IEC 17025 and NIST HB 143 during an annual recognition process.

As an instructor within the OWM International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) accredited training program, Ms. Benham conducts training on a wide variety of laboratory management system topics, including the Laboratory Administration Workshop, Conducting an Effective Management Review Webinar, Internal Auditing Best Practices Webinar, Document Control and Record Keeping Webinar, and Contract Review Webinar.

Ms. Benham's areas of expertise include: Metrication, Measurement Conversion, ISO/IEC 17025 Laboratory Management System Implementation, Laboratory Assessment, Proficiency Testing, Strategic Planning, Succession Planning, Project Management, Technical Writing, Instructional Design, Adult Education, Train the Trainer, and Education Outreach.

Ms. Benham contributes to the successful implementation of the following program missions:

  1. The NIST Metric Program helps implement the national policy to establish the SI (International System of Units, commonly known as the metric system) as the preferred system of weights and measures for U.S. trade and commerce. SI use in product design, manufacturing, marketing, and labeling is essential for United States industry's success in the global marketplace. The NIST Metric Program encourages the use of the SI in all facets of education, including honing of worker skills.
  2. The OWM Laboratory Metrology Program provides the basis for ensuring metrological traceability of state weights and measures standards to NIST. State legal metrology laboratories are custodians at the state level of measurement standards that serve as the basis for ensuring equity in the marketplace and as reference standards for calibration services for indigenous industry. As part of its program to encourage a high degree of technical and professional competence in such activities, the Program has developed performance standards and formalized procedures for Recognition of State legal metrology laboratories on a voluntary basis.
  3. The OWM Training Program analyzes weights and measures training needs, obtains input from the weights and measures community, designs and delivers training for laboratory metrologists and weights and measures officials, measures the impact and effectiveness of training to ensure ongoing continual improvement, and consults with the weights and measures community to ensure ongoing professional development. A schedule of upcoming learning events is available online.

Selected Publications:


SI Measurement System Chart

Elizabeth J. Benham
This publication is a colorful chart explaining the 7 base units of the SI (International System of Units) and prefix symbols, featuring the Measurement League

Does Accuracy Matter to You?

Elizabeth J. Benham, Georgia L. Harris
This paper summarizes the importance of accuracy in measurement communications and provides reference to available resources for ensuring accuracy in written

July is National Ice Cream Month

Elizabeth J. Benham
A short article about ice cream and frozen novelties to appear in the Office of Weights and Measures newsletter, "Weights and Measures Connection." This
Created September 26, 2019, Updated April 6, 2020