Notes from 2015 Measurement Science Conference: In Search of the Next Generation's Metrologists
I’ve just returned from the Measurement Science Conference, held at the Disneyland Hotel on March 18-20. If you are not familiar with the MSC, I’ll give you a brief description, straight from the MSC Web site. MSC was formed as a non-profit organization in 1970. Its purpose is to be a forum for all things related to testing, calibration, and measurement. Participants come from government, military, industry, and academia. The annual meeting includes tutorials and technical presentations. Exhibitors are present to show off their latest innovations and to provide support and education to the measurement community. Of equal importance, all participants have an opportunity to hang out and get to know each other in a pleasant social environment.
This year’s MSC was busier than I anticipated. For exhibitors, there was a good flow of people cruising through the exhibit hall. The technical presentations were interesting and informative. So, you may ask, what was new or different? Two things jumped out at me.
First, during the NCSL 151 healthcare metrology committee open meeting, a gentleman from “Company X” gave a preview of a paper that he plans to deliver this summer at NCSL. The paper covers a subject that is relevant for all metrologists, and particularly those who work in a GxP environment.
For instance, is it reasonable to use a calibrated device for measuring a value that is beyond its highest or lowest calibration point? Scientists and FDA auditors may have different opinions about this. Stay tuned for this year’s NCSL meeting, and feel free to post your comments or opinions on our blog.
Second, it has become clear that there are not enough new people coming into the field of test/measurement/calibration. The more experienced people are “aging out” of the field and good replacements require a strong pipeline of newcomers. This is also true for process analyzer technicians and engineers. What is to be done?