Laboratory Director Of The Year Award

Laboratory Director Of The Year Award

On May 4, 2015, the U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Willie E. May as the second Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and the 15th director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). While Dr. May had been serving as acting director since June 2014, his work at NIST dates back to 1971, when he was a researcher in trace organic analytical measurement science. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has described Dr. May as "a partner and champion in our efforts to strengthen America's manufacturing sector and promote innovation, key drivers to spurring economic growth, and core pillars of the Department's 'Open for Business Agenda.'"

During Dr. May's tenure as Associate Director of Laboratory Programs, as Acting Director, and then as Director of NIST, technology transfer achievements have grown exponentially. Of the nearly 1000 active tech transfer agreements from fiscal years 2013 to 2015, over two-thirds were new agreements completed under Dr. May's oversight. These include 96 new bilateral Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), 140 new research consortium CRADAs, and 195 new facility use agreements.

In addition to his responsibilities at NIST, Dr. May belongs to a number of industry organizations in the fields of measurement sciences and physical sciences. He is the Vice President of the International Committee on Weights and Measures and chairs its subcommittee on Metrology in Chemistry and Biology. He serves on the advisory boards of the UK National Physical Laboratory and Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. In addition to awards and honors received for his research successes, Dr. May was elected a Fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2011. The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers has recognized him with both the Percy Julian Award for outstanding research in organic analytical chemistry and the Henry Hill Award for exemplary work and leadership in the field of chemistry. Additionally, he has been recognized with the Department of Commerce's Bronze (1981), Silver (1985), and Gold (1992) medals.

Dr. May's consistent advocacy for the development of standards and of measurement science to support biopharmaceutical development has caught the attention of key industry players. Ultimately, NIST established a five-year, multi-project partnership with MedImmune, a subsidiary of AstraZeneca. MedImmune funded post-doctoral researchers to work on joint projects related to structural science in biopharmaceutical drug development, and NIST made its experts and facilities available to further those objectives.

Contact: Dr. Willie E. May, (301) 975-2300, willie.may@nist.gov

Award Year: 
Region: 
Mid-Atlantic