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Samuel R. Low III (Fed)

Areas of Expertise

Hardness and indentation testing, mechanical testing of metals, standards development, quality systems


Work History

Mr. Low has 40 years of experience at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the general field of materials properties and performance, and worked on a variety of research and investigative projects including:

  • Failure analyses of railroad tank-cars and railroad wheels

  • Mechanical properties of solder

  • Fracture testing of full thickness nuclear reactor pressure vessels

  • Fracture testing of large scale aluminum sheet used in commercial airliners

  • Fastener test methods pertaining to the Fastener Quality Act

1995 to present: NIST hardness standardization project involved in:

  • Development of U.S. national primary hardness reference standards

  • Working with Standards Development Organizations to develop and improve international hardness test method standards

  • Hardness measurement harmonization between the world's National Metrology Institutes

Mr. Low is also a quality system assessor and technical assessor in the field of hardness calibration asssiting the NIST National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP). He has participated in approximately 25 NVLAP assessments of commercial hardness calibration laboratories since 1999. In addition to acting as a NVLAP technical assessor, Mr. Low was a member of the NIST Assessment Review Board (ARB) for seven years (2005 to 2012) and Division Quality Manager for eight years (2004 to 2012), and has participated in four NIST internal Quality System assessments and in the external Quality System assessment of hardness calibration programs of the National Metrology Institutes in Japan and Thailand.


Honors and Awards

The Edward Bennett Rosa Award (NIST - U.S. Department of Commerce
For developing a metrology approach for Rockwell C hardness scales which will reduce trade barriers and has made the U.S. a world leader in the field

The Judson C. French Award (NIST - U.S. Department of Commerce
For developing a framework for providing traceability to U.S. national standards in the area of Rockwell C scale hardness testing

The Edward Bennett Rosa Award (NIST - U.S. Department of Commerce
For leadership in the Rockwell hardness standard, a most important engineering documentary standard for the mechanical properties of metals.

Award of Merit and the honorary title of Fellow (2009): ASTM International Board of Directors
For exceptional leadership and significant technical contributions in the development of standards for indentation hardness testing in Committee E28 on Mechanical Testing and for your overall commitment to ASTM International

The Anthony DeBellis Award (STM International Committee E28 on Mechanical Testing
In recognition of outstanding contibutions to the field of hardness testing


Standards Related Activities

International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM): Chair of the Working Group on Hardness (WGH) of the Consultative Committee for Mass and Related Quantities (CCM).

ASTM-International (ASTM): Chair of Subcommittee E28.06 on Indentation Hardness Testing.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO): US head of delegation to the ISO Technical subcommittee TC164/SC3 on hardness testing.

International Measurement Confederation (IMEKO): US representative to IMEKO Technical Committee TC5 on Hardness

National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP): Technical assessor for hardness calibration laboratories.


Created May 31, 2018, Updated June 15, 2021