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John D. Wright

Dr. Wright is the Project Leader for flow measurements in NIST’s Sensor Science Division. Currently, he is studying the effects of heat transfer on the accuracy of critical flow Venturi meters. Dr. Wright developed a Pressure-Volume-Temperature and time gas-flow standard that has an uncertainty of 0.025%, an accomplishment that earned him the US Department of Commerce Bronze Medal. In 2011, he earned the US Department of Commerce Silver Medal for helping to quantify the flow and uncertainty of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Wright is also responsible for measurements of hydrocarbon liquid flow, liquid density, and liquid volume (for petroleum traceability). Dr. Wright piloted the first international key comparison for low-pressure gas flow (completed in 2007), and he is presently the Chairman of the Working Group for Fluid Flow, a committee organized by the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) to coordinate calibration measurement capabilities and comparisons for national metrology institutes. Before moving to NIST in 1995, Dr. Wright designed and constructed a volumetric water flow standard and he has two flow measurement patents from this period of his career.

Dr. John Wright’s research interests are:

  • physical models for flow meters to improve their accuracy and to facilitate their operation beyond calibration conditions. He and collaborators have advance the physical models of critical flow Venturi meters [1, 2], laminar flow meters [3], turbine meters [4], and Coriolis meters.
  • building accurate primary flow standards so that the nuances of the physical models can be explored experimentally. Wright and collaborators have advanced the methods and uncertainty analysis for primary standards in gas flow [5], liquid flow [6], volume [7], and liquid density [8].
Photo of John Wright


Project Leader
Sensor Science Division
Fluid Metrology Group

Employment History:

1995-present, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD

1982-1995, Marsh-McBirney, Inc (now Hoch Company), a manufacturer of electromagnetic flowmeters


Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Kogakuin University, Tokyo, Japan

M.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA


Phone: 301-975-5937
Email: john.wright@nist.gov