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John D. Wright (Fed)

Dr. Wright is the Group Leader of the Fluid Metrology Group in NIST's Sensor Science Division. He manages the group’s research and calibration work in the areas of gas and liquid flow, airspeed, liquid volume and liquid density. In 2020, he was selected to be a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for his contributions to flow metrology and leadership in the international flow community. Dr. Wright developed a Pressure-Volume-Temperature and time gas-flow standard that has an uncertainty of 0.025%, an accomplishment that earned him the US Department of Commerce Bronze Medal. In 2011, he earned the US Department of Commerce Silver Medal for helping to quantify the flow and uncertainty of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Wright piloted the first international key comparison for low-pressure gas flow (completed in 2007) and served as the the Chairman of the Working Group for Fluid Flow (WGFF) from 2009 to 2018. The WGFF is a committee organized by the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) to coordinate calibration measurement capabilities and comparisons for national metrology institutes. He has participated in more than 15 international or domestic comparisons between flow laboratories, piloted 4 of them, and advanced comparison methods [1, 2]. Before moving to NIST in 1995, Dr. Wright designed and constructed a volumetric water flow standard and he has two flow measurement patents from this period of his career.

Dr. John Wright's research interests are:

  • physical models for flow meters to improve their accuracy and to facilitate their operation beyond calibration conditions. He and collaborators have advanced the physical models of critical flow Venturi meters [3, 4, 5], laminar flow meters [6], turbine meters [7], and Coriolis meters [8].
  • building accurate primary flow standards so that the flow meter physical models can be explored experimentally and improved. Wright and collaborators have advanced the methods and uncertainty analysis for primary standards in gas flow [9], liquid flow [10, 11], volume [12, 13], and liquid density [14].


Comparison Demonstrates Factor of Three Improvement in Gas Flow Measurements

John D. Wright, Gina Kline, Kevin John, Brian Novitsky, Jason Bellavance, Kevin SHufelt, Bradley Nease, Miles Owen, Joseph Allen, Casey Rombouts, William Gause, John Cuccio
A comparison of seven gas flow calibration laboratories piloted by NIST used four laminar flow meters as the transfer standards for nine nitrogen gas flows


Jodie Gail Pope, Aaron Johnson, James Filla, Vern E. Bean, Michael R. Moldover, Joey Boyd, Christopher J. Crowley, Iosif Isaakovich Shinder, Keith A. Gillis, John D. Wright
We describe the 15 kg/s water flow calibration standard operated by the Fluid Metrology Group of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to

Reproducibility of Liquid Micro-Flow Measurements

John D. Wright, James W. Schmidt
New applications in biology, medicine, and manufacturing require reliable measurements of liquid flows smaller than 100 υL/min. NIST addressed this requirement
Created May 7, 2019, Updated June 15, 2021