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Elizabeth Benham (Fed)

Physical Scientist | Metric Program Leader

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 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.

Ms. Benham contributes to the successful implementation of these missions:

  1. The NIST Metric Program helps implement the national policy to establish the SI 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. For more information, please contact TheSI [at] (TheSI[at]nist[dot]gov).
  2. 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 variety of technical training and professional development courses are offered by the NIST Metric Program. A schedule of upcoming learning events is available.

professional activitieS

  • Guest Researcher Mentor – NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) and Montgomery College Professional Research Experience Program (PREP)
  • US Metric Association, Technical Advisor, 2006 to Present
  • IEEE Quantities, Units, and Symbols Standards Committee (QUSCom, formerly SCC 14), Member 2006 to Present
  • NCSL International
    • Educator's Corner Committee, Member 2021 to Present
    • 164 Education Liaison and Outreach Committee, Chairperson 2009 to 2013
    • 163 Workplace and Professional Development Committee, Member 2006 to 2011
    • 181 Legal Metrology Committee, Member 2006 to 2012
  • National Science Teaching Association, Member 2010 to Present
  • Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE), Member 2022 to Present
  • NIST Educational Outreach Working Group (EO-WG), NIST Educational STEM Resource Registry (NEST-R), Member 2020 to Present


Special Publication

  • NIST SP 1297 (2023) - SI Units Card Deck
  • NIST SP 1290 (2023) - NIST Metric Recipes
  • NIST SP 1038 (2006) - The International System of Units (SI) - Conversion Factors for General Use


  • IEEE Outstanding Contribution Recognition for the development of IEEE Standard 280-2021, Letter Symbols for Quantities Used in Electrical Science and Electrical Engineering (2022)
  • U.S. Metric Association (USMA) Fellows Award (2021)
  • NCSLI Education and Training Award (2012)
  • Arthur S. Flemming Award (2011)
  • National Conference of Standards Laboratories International (NCSLI) Best Paper Award for Learning and Development (2011)
  • Measurement Science Conference (MSC) Joe Simmons Best Developer Award (2010)
  • NIST Bronze Medal for Superior Federal Service (2008)


2023 NIST Internship Reflections

During the summer of 2023, the NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory’s ( PML ) Office of Weights and Measures ( OWM ) hosted four undergraduate students who were

Metric Week 2023: Seven Days of SI Fun

National Metric Week (October 8 to 14, 2023) is an opportunity to underscore the usefulness of metric system measurements, formally known as the International


NIST SI Units Card Deck

Dinelka Jagoda, Elizabeth Benham
Welcome to the SI Units Card Deck! This interactive educational activity offers a fun way for students to enhance their understanding of the International

NIST Metric Recipes

Elizabeth Benham, Tanna Nguyen
Cooking and baking using a kitchen scale is a fun way to build metric system abilities and apply measurement techniques. This recipe series is ideal for both

Checking the Net Contents of Packaged Goods

Tina G. Butcher, David Sefcik, Lisa Warfield, Elizabeth Benham, Shelby Bowers, Katrice Lippa
This handbook has been prepared as a procedural guide for the compliance testing of net content statements on packaged goods. Compliance testing of packaged
Created September 26, 2019, Updated December 1, 2023