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Maria E. Nadal (Fed)

Sensor Science Division Chief

Maria E. Nadal is the Chief of the Sensor Science Division in the Physical Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Division has the institutional responsibility for the realization and dissemination of three of the seven base units of the International System of Units (SI): the meter, the kelvin, and the candela. The Division mission is to foster the next generation of SI-traceable dimensional, thermodynamic, and optical radiation measurements and their derived quantities by providing calibrations, standards, and innovations that improve U.S. industrial competitiveness and quality-of-life.

Maria received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Colorado, Boulder and then joined the NIST staff in 1997. She has worked at NIST in a variety of roles including researcher, scientific advisor, analyst, group leader, and deputy division chief. Her research is primarily in optical properties of materials and photometry and is summarized in over 60 technical publications. In 2017, she served as a technical expert and U.S. representative in the International Organization of Legal Metrology for the Office of Weights and Measures. In 2018, she was an analyst in the NIST Program Coordination Office.

She has served as a technical assessor within NIST, for the Inter-American Metrology System (SIM), and for the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program to ensure traceability and international comparability. She is nationally and internationally recognized for the many leadership positions in standards development organizations, professional organizations, SIM, and the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. Currently, Maria serves as the chair of the Consultative Committee for Photometry and Radiometry working group on strategic planning.

Research projects

Professional Activities

  • US Delegate to the BIPM CCPR
  • Chair of the CCPR Working Group on Strategic Planning
  • NVLAP Quality and Technical Assessor
  • Voting member of ASTM E12 and CIE Division 2
  • Professional member, Council of Optical Radiation Measurements (CORM) and the Inter-Society Color Council (ISCC)
  • SURF Students and Postdoctoral/Guest Researchers Mentor
  • EEO Collateral Counselor, 2019 – present
  • Chairman of ASTM E12.93 on Precision and Bias, 2004 – present
  • Current SIM Chair Committee on Photometry and Radiometry
  • Past President of Inter-Society Color Council
  • Past Board of Directors Inter-Society Color Council (ISCC)

Selected Publications

NIST Measurement Services: Specular Gloss

Maria E. Nadal, E A. Early, E A. Thompson
This document describes the instrumentation, standards, and measurement techniques used at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to measure

Reference 0 /45 Colorimeter

Maria E. Nadal
The Optical Technology Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a new instrument designed to measure the surface

Bidirectional reflectance scale comparison between NIST and PTB

Catherine C. Cooksey, Maria E. Nadal, David W. Allen, Kai-Olaf Hauer, Andreas Hoepe
A comparison of bidirectional reflectance scales between the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt


Diffuse Visual Transmission Density

Clarence Zarobila, Robert E. Vest, Maria E. Nadal
This document, SP250-99 (2022), NIST Measurement Services: Diffuse Visual Transmission Density, describes the instrument used to measure diffuse visual

Recent research and development in photometry at NIST

Yuqin Zong, Maria Nadal, Benjamin K. Tsai, C Cameron Miller
Many developments were made in recent years in photometry at NIST for reducing measurement uncertainties, increasing calibration efficiencies, and adding

2018 National Institute of Standards and Technology Environmental Scan

Jason E. Boehm, Heather Evans, Ajitkumar Jillavenkatesa, Maria Nadal, Mark A. Przybocki, Paul Witherell, Rebecca A. Zangmeister
The 2018 National Institute of Standards and Technology Environmental Scan provide an analysis of the external factors that can influence NIST and the

NIST Measurement Services: Photometric Calibrations

Carl C. Miller, Maria E. Nadal, Benjamin K. Tsai, Yuqin Zong
The National Institute of Standards and Technology provides calibration services for submitted artifacts for luminous intensity, illuminance, color temperature
Created July 30, 2019, Updated April 6, 2023