NIST Appoints Joannie Chin Director of Engineering Lab


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the US Department of Commerce has chosen Joannie Chin to lead its engineering lab. Chin has worked at NIST for 26 years, most recently as Acting Director of the Engineering Lab.

“Joannie brings a wealth of experience leading science and engineering programs and organizations,” said James Olthoff, who serves as non-exclusive Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Director of NIST. “She is an accomplished researcher and leader, and I know she has the skills to lead our engineering lab to tackle many national challenges, from building resilient communities to building products and processes that reduce waste and pollution. “

The NIST Engineering Lab has a budget of around $ 83 million and over 400 staff. The laboratory covers a wide Vary systems engineering research, and includes programs focused on developing measurement science for critical national needs, including infrastructure renewal, building performance and energy efficiency, fire science , advanced manufacturing and improving resilience to natural and man-made disasters.

The lab is also leading NIST’s two current National Construction Safety Team investigations into the impacts of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico and the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida.

As a Materials Research Engineer at NIST, Chin has LED research into the durability and service life of polymeric materials used in building and construction applications and has developed accelerated aging protocols and new methods for the simulation of exterior weathering.
Prior to joining NIST, Chin was a researcher with Gould Inc., Foil Division, in Cleveland, Ohio; an associate researcher in the chemistry department at Virginia Tech; and Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Materials Science at Virginia Tech.

She was also a consultant for Babcock & Wilcox Ammunition Systems Operations and worked as a student intern at Dow Chemical and the Standard Oil Company. She was also a member of the Structural Composites Committee of the Transportation Research Board and served for three years on the International Board of Directors of ASTM.

Chin was awarded the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal in 2002 for her role in the development of the sphere-based alteration device incorporating NIST, on which she also holds a U.S. patent. She also received the awards for Best Paper and Best Presentation from the ASTM D30 Composite Materials Committee and the American Society for Composites, respectively.

In 2004, Chin and his co-authors won first place in the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology’s Roon Foundation competition for their work on high radiation flux UV exposure and polymer photodegradation. She is also the recipient of the 2005 Technical Focus Award from the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology for her work on life prediction and accelerated aging of polymeric materials. She received the Commerce Department Gold Medal in 2010 as part of a NIST team that uncovered the root causes of field failures in soft body armor and developed standards to address them.


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