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.