Mr. Steel has a technical background in chemical imaging and microanalysis with emphasis in nanotechnology, national security, and environmental applications. He has served in a variety of positions at NIST including leader of the Microanalysis Research Group, Acting Deputy Director of the Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, and Director of the NIST Program Office. He has been responsible for developing over 20 NIST reference materials, NIST's two largest laboratory accreditation programs, and many documentary standards through Standards Development Organizations (including ANSI, ASTM, and ISO).
He performs research in nanoscale-resolution chemical microscopies and image analysis using electron (EELS), X-ray (EDS, WDS) and mass spectroscopies (SIMS). He applied this measurement research to many areas covering natural and manmade nanomaterials from diamonds in meteors to asbestos to state-of-the-art semiconductor devices. He initiated and developed several research programs in such areas as environmental particle characterization, nuclear treaty monitoring, analytical laboratory quality systems and accreditation using ISO 17025, and nanotechnology device characterization.