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Gerald Fraser

Gerald T. Fraser is Chief of the Sensor Science Division, a position he has held since 2011, within the Physical Measurement Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The Sensor Science Division advances the measurement science and standards for optical and infrared radiation, pressure, vacuum, temperature, humidity, flow, and liquid volume. Fraser was Chief of the former Optical Technology Division from 2007 – 2011 and was a Group Leader in this Division from 1999 – 2007. Fraser received a Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry from Harvard University in 1985 and was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at NIST from 1985 to 1987.

His research is primarily in the area of molecular beam molecular spectroscopy, intermolecular forces, and atmospheric transmittance, and is summarized in some 160 technical publications cited more than 5200 times. He is a member of the APS, AGU, AAAS, and SPIE and was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1998 “for major contributions to the understanding of weak intermolecular forces, vibrational couplings, intramolecular vibrational energy redistribution, and the development of the technique of electric-resonance optothermal spectroscopy.” He has been recognized with the Outstanding Young Scientist of Maryland in 1989, the NIST Chapter of Sigma Xi Young Scientist Award for Excellence in Scientific Research in 1991, the Arthur S. Flemming Award in 1999, the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal in 2007, and the Washington Academy of Sciences Physical Sciences Award in 2011. Fraser also served as Co-Chair of the intergovernment agency Fast Track Action Committee on Optics and Photonics (FTAC-OP) that produced a report released by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) in 2014 titled Building a Brighter Future with Optics and Photonics.

Gerald Fraser


Division Chief
Sensor Science Division

Employment History:

1985-present, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD


Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

B.A. Chemistry, Loyola University of Chicago, Chicago, IL


Phone: 301-975-3797
Email: gerald.fraser@nist.gov
Fax: 301-869-5700