User facilities are an integral part of the strategic plan for NIST, providing platforms to bring together world leading measurement capabilities developed at NIST into environments with access models that support large bases of customers. Within these environments, NIST scientists are able to work with a broad set of stakeholders in real time, assessing opportunities for future development and emerging trends in the economy. NIST interacts on some level with nearly every materials-centric user facility in the world. As lead in partnership building, I look to assist NIST staff in identifying customers and building collaborative teams to provide adequate resources and channels for impact. While I actively support activities for NIST staff interacting with a larger range of national laboraties such as Argonne National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, two of the efforts below involve a notably higher level of investment and involvement.
Lead, NIST/BNL Partnerships
With the construction and start of operations at the National Synchrotron Light Source II, NIST has entered a new phase in its multi-decade partnership with Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY. The partnership seeks to develop synchrotron X-ray techniques for materials characterization, realized through the construction of three X-ray beamlines operated by on-site NIST staff. These beamlines are co-operatively operated with BNL to serve the broader NSLS-II user program, and as testbeds to collaboratively develop X-ray technology with partner institutions such as IBM, Toyota, US AFRL, Dow Chemical, and others.
Director, nSoft Consortium
nSoft is another example of a user facility partnership entirely within the NIST community. Operating since 2012, nSoft is a public-private consortium that seeks to build new neutron-based measurement methods in soft materials science. The consortium empowers US-based manufacturers to compete in product development and solving highly complex manufacturing issues with a low barrier to entry and access. Soft materials are at the foundation of the current and future economy, spanning advanced biotherapeutics, consumer products, high strength low density materials, additive manufacturing, and microelectronics. nSoft builds collaborative efforts between US-based manufacturers and advanced measurement developers across the NIST Material Measurement Laboratory and the NIST Center for Neutron Research. nSoft