Laurie E. Locascio, under secretary of commerce for standards and technology and director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering — one of the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.
Locascio leads NIST’s collaborative efforts with industry, academia and government to unleash U.S. innovation by advancing technology, measurements and standards. A key priority for her is the successful implementation of the CHIPS for America initiative, a $50 billion suite of programs to strengthen and revitalize U.S. leadership in semiconductor research, development and manufacturing.
In addition, Locascio is working to advance and grow NIST’s work in critical emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum information science, cybersecurity and privacy, biotechnology, energy and advanced communications. She also promotes NIST’s continuing role in advancing federal and international standards, which helps ensure U.S. economic competitiveness and technology leadership.
Before being confirmed as NIST director in April 2022, Locascio served as vice president for research at the University of Maryland College Park and University of Maryland Baltimore. Prior to that, she worked at NIST for 31 years, starting as a research biomedical engineer and rising to lead the agency’s Material Measurement Laboratory. She also served as the acting associate director for laboratory programs, the No. 2 position at NIST, providing direction and operational guidance for NIST’s research programs.
Locascio has published 115 scientific papers and has received 12 patents in the fields of bioengineering and analytical chemistry. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the National Academy of Inventors.
She has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from James Madison University, a master’s degree in bioengineering from the University of Utah, and a Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of Maryland Baltimore.