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About OWM

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Credit: Adobe Stock/OWM

The Office of Weights and Measures (OWM) is the oldest office at NIST, predating even the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) and the Department of Commerce. See a Brief History of OWM for more details. In addition to Our Responsibilities and Authorities, our original function, to “fix the standard of weights and measures,” is explicitly mentioned in the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 5).

NIST OWM Staff and Technical Experts operate within four main Program Areas and work with a range of industry sectors – such as retail sales, petroleum and chemical products, and transportation, including emerging commercial market sectors such as charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and e-commerce. We also work closely with international and national standards development organizations, federal agencies, state and local metrology and weights and measures programs, and metric program educators. See a full list of our Customers and Stakeholders.

NIST OWM Products and Services include technical guidance related to weights and measures applications, legal metrology documentary standards, promotion of the metric system, SI use and traceability, and training for industry, state laboratory metrologists, and weights and measures officials. Our Vision, Mission, and Strategic Plan is intended to guide the future growth of our programs and inform how best to support the needs of our customers and stakeholders.


Created March 9, 2023, Updated May 10, 2024