Article Summaries

ISO/ IEC Guide 98-4: A Copernican Revolution for Metrology

Jean-Michel Pou and Laurent Leblond


To make effective decisions we need, in addition to the traditional measured value, the associated uncertainty and the a priori, whether for global risks or specific risks. The metrologist must therefore make the effort to acquire knowledge of the a priori of the company's procedures, and this knowledge comes in very useful in the quest to move away from periodic calibration…
Practitioners of Big Data, today principally still found in finance and marketing, have always known that their artificial intelligence algorithms only give results if the input data is reliable. In the industrial world, the greatest proportion of data used in the context of “digitalization” (conversion of data into digits and its treatment via artificial intelligence algorithms) consists of measured data. The metrologist has a major task and serious responsibilities when it comes to the industrial performance of companies… and to the future… a task that can be summed up as the production of reliable measured data. Bayesian inference, via knowledge of the a priori and measurement uncertainty, has never been of greater significance.

This text is from introduction of the article.

Healthcare Innovations for Low and Medium Income Countries or Environments Today and Visions for the Future

Sanna Gaspard



As the demand for quality healthcare grows around the world, innovations in instrumentation and measurements present a unique opportunity for social innovators, scientists, researchers, governments, and NGOs to have a significant impact on the quality of life of millions of people around the world through the development of low cost and reliable sensors, medical devices, measurement techniques, and equipment. Innovation in this area is a win-win situation for all. The unique medical innovations designed specifically for low and medium income countries can often have a direct application towards improving care and lowering the cost of care in high income countries. From this perspective, low and medium income countries can act as innovation incubators for the development of novel, easy to use, low cost, robust, and reliable healthcare instruments and procedures that can improve care at a lower cost for all. To achieve this vision more awareness needs to be created around the unique healthcare needs faced by communities in low and medium income countries and rural environments. Educational programs can be used as catalyst to initiate innovation for these regions by acting as a bridge towards creating awareness.


This text is from the conclusion of the article.

2016 Faculty Course Development Award: Application-Oriented I&M Teaching Based on Industrial Electronics and Instrumentation at the University of Trento

David Macii and Mauro Hueller


Measurement science and technologies play a key role in a variety of disciplines of Industrial Engineering. Even though the fundamentals of instrumentation and measurement (I&M) definitely require general and fully dedicated courses, there are situations in which, for context-specific educational needs or constraints, it is of primary importance to emphasize how the I&M body of knowledge is related to a given application domain. The teaching module “Industrial Electronics and Instrumentation,” which received the Faculty Course Development Award by the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society (IMS) in 2016, is indeed based on this paradigm. The rationale of the course stems from the educational needs of industrial electronics which is also one of the key priorities for the development of next-generation smart manufacturing (usually labeled as “Industry 4.0” in Europe). The course has been officially included in the educational offering of the M.S. degree program in Mechatronics Engineering of the University of Trento, Italy since Academic Year 2016-2017.

This text is from the introduction of the article. 

2015 Faculty Course Development Award: An Introductory Graduate Course in Sensors and Systems

Kim Fowler and Stephen A. Dyer


This article outlines the delivery of a graduate-level course in sensors and systems of sensors at Kansas State University (KSU). We developed this course after receiving the Faculty Course Development Award from the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society in May 2015. Several departments at KSU research and develop sensors and sensor systems for extreme environments, including those in agriculture, industrial process control, nuclear-reactor control, aerospace, and the rural environment. A coherent basis for selecting and applying sensors was needed as a foundation for developing complex systems. The course that [the authors] developed and offered through KSU's department of electrical and computer engineering (ECE)—ECE 690/890 “Sensors and Systems”— provides just that basis.

This text is from the introduction of the article. 

Measuring the Motions of a Foucault Pendulum

Steve Hutson, Simon Petts, and David Hudson


A Foucault pendulum, which has been fitted with a novel precession measurement system, is described. Examples of the ways in which the relatively simple data obtained gives students the opportunity to refine and extend their STEM skills and to gain a more real-world experience of scientific investigation are presented. Unlike the curriculum-based experiments which students are obliged to perform, the outcomes of any pendulum investigations are not known in advance. Students are free to form their own hypotheses regarding the various perturbations of the pendulum motion, design and make modifications to the pendulum installation, collect and analyze data, and finally investigate the extent to which their hypothesis is supported or refuted.

This text from the introduction and conclusion of the article. 



Life After Graduation

An Unknown Territory to Explore!

Vincenzo Marletta


In his inaugural column, the author introduces himself and his research interests in the areas of metrology, measurements and sensors. He appeals to his peers to devote energy to research activities in numerous growing areas, including his area of smart multi-sensor aids for people with weaknesses like the elderly or visually impaired and people with neurological diseases, and to themes like autonomous sensors exploiting solutions for energy harvesting from renewable environmental sources, healthcare, environmental monitoring, smart cities, smart agriculture, robotics, physics, and space as they will continue to be hot topics and will continue to represent future trends for instrumentation and measurements. 

This summary includes text from the column

Future Trends in I&M - Bridging the I&M and Design Optimization Communities

Arvind Rajan


Note from Melanie Ooi: For this month's issue, we have one of last year's Graduate Fellowship Awards recipients, Mr. Arvind Rajan, to provide a fresh graduate's perspective on the future of instrumentation and measurement. Our future development lies in the hands of our student and graduate members, and therefore, it is crucial that we seek to understand the world of instruments and measurements from their eyes. He is currently a Monash University scholar pursuing his Ph.D. in the field of uncertainty evaluation, reliability analysis, and probabilistic engineering design.

This text is from introduction of the column