James K. Olthoff
Dr. Olthoff is currently serving as the acting Associate Director for Laboratory Programs, and is responsible for the entire technical program of NIST. In his more permanent role as Director of Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML), Dr. Olthoff is responsible for the maintenance, development, and dissemination of the U.S. national measurement standards. He also manages the full suite of NIST calibration services in dimensional, electromagnetic, ionizing radiation, mechanical, optical, thermodynamic, and time and frequency metrology.
Dr. Olthoff joined the Applied Electrical Measurements Group at NIST (then the National Bureau of Standards) as a Research Physicist in 1987. In 2014, he was named Director of the Physical Measurement Laboratory after having served four years as PML's Deputy Director. Prior to his appointment to PML, Dr. Olthoff served as Deputy Laboratory Director of NIST's Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory (2007-2010), Division Chief of Quantum Electrical Metrology Division (2003-2007), Division Chief of the Electricity Division (2000-2003), and in several supervisory and research positions.
Dr. Olthoff received his undergraduate degrees in physics and mathematics from Calvin College in 1980, and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Maryland in 1985 in atomic, molecular and optical physics. He then held a two-year appointment at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine before arriving at NIST. During his research career, Dr. Olthoff authored or co-authored more than 120 publications and co-authored or edited four books. His production of assessed electron interaction data for the semiconductor industry was published as the first Standard Reference Data set of EEEL, and formed the basis of the 775-page book he co-authored entitled Fundamental Electron Interactions with Plasma Processing Gases. It remains the definitive book on electron interactions with this class of industrial gases.
As part of his role in leading the U.S. measurement infrastructure, Dr. Olthoff has filled high-profile positions representing NIST and the United States within the international metrology community. Dr. Olthoff's international metrology responsibilities have included serving as the Chair of the Sistema Interamericano de Metrologia (SIM) Quality System Task Force (QSTF), representing SIM on the Joint Committee of the Regional Metrology Organizations (JCRB), serving as the Chair of the Conference on Precision Electromagnetic Measurements, representing NIST on the CIPM Consultative Committee on Electricity and Magnetism, and representing the U.S. on the SIM Council and SIM General Assembly. Dr. Olthoff currently serves as the President of the Board of the NCSL International, the U.S. representative to IMEKO, and the SIM Technical Committee Chair.