NIST Announces Bala Muralikrishnan as Flemming Award Winner

 Bala Muralikrishnan
Monday, May 16, 2022
Muralikrishnan’s research is leading what’s next in international standards.

Dr. Bala Muralikrishnan, College of Engineering alumnus, has been named a 2021 Arthur S. Flemming Award recipient. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”), in the U.S. Department of Commerce, nominated Dr. Muralikrishnan to be recognized for his outstanding service in the federal government.

Bala Muralikrishnan, Mechanical Engineer, NIST
UNC Charlotte Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, 1998

UNC Charlotte Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, 2003

“Developing objective standards that are used consistently across the globe create a strong infrastructure of shared practices and trust as we move forward into the next generation of engineering. Bala is creating that trust structure for future advancements.”

Muralikrishnan is recognized for developing sophisticated mathematical models that help mitigate error in measuring systems. His work provides more objective international standards and test methods. This is especially applicable in advanced manufacturing, forensics science, and other areas where rapid, micrometer accuracy is critical.

For example, the scanning technologies Muralikrishnan standardized are used to monitor and inspect buildings, bridges, and other critical infrastructure due to age or damage.  These standards are also used to document accidents and crime scenes, including the Champlain Towers collapse site in Surfside, Fla.

Dr. Muralikrishnan exhibited his passion and dedication for precision metrology as I oversaw his work in the Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. program at the Center for Precision Metrology,” said Dr. Jay Raja, Senior Associate Provost for Academic Affairs at UNC Charlotte and Mechanical Engineering Professor for the William States Lee College of Engineering. “Developing objective standards that are used consistently across the globe create a strong infrastructure of shared practices and trust as we move forward into the next generation of engineering. Bala is creating that trust structure for future advancements.”

Muralikrishnan earned his master’s and doctorate degree by focusing his work in the college’s Center for Precision Metrology, the only proven university center of its kind in the Americas. The Center has earned recognition as precision metrology experts among the international manufacturing community as well as government organizations.

This year’s Flemming Awards were given to only twelve U.S. federal government employees. Past noted recipients include Neil Armstrong, Senator Elizabeth Dole, Anthony Fauci and Nobel Prize winners.

Muralikrishnan, along with his fellow award winners, will be honored at an in-person ceremony in early June.

Learn more about the William States Lee College of Engineering's Center for Precision Metrology.

Established in 1948, the Flemming Awards honor outstanding federal employees. Recognized by the president of the United States, agency heads and the private sector, the winners are selected from all areas of the federal service.  George Washington University is the awarding organization.

The William States Lee College of Engineering is Forging the Future

Established in 1965, the UNC Charlotte William States Lee College of Engineering, named for energy industry icon Bill Lee, offers engineering education programs at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels. The College of Engineering is one of the Carolinas’ largest engineering schools, with more than 3,000 students and over 16,000 alumni, more than half of whom live and work in the Charlotte region. The college is committed to building strong partnerships with industry in Charlotte and across the nation through both academic, research and innovation programs. Learn more about how the College is forging the future at engr.charlotte.edu and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.