About Joe D. Simmons
Joe D. Simmons (1938–1995) was a man of vision and integrity. His global foresight was a single North American organization to coordinate metrology standards. He was the first to articulate this need for regional continental cooperation.
This vision led to his major role in conceptualizing and organizing NORAMET (North American Metrology Cooperation) and NACC (North American Calibration Cooperation). With these two organizations, Canada, the United States, and Mexico agreed to coordinate their national measurement standards and the accreditation of their calibration laboratories. This coordination helps reduce non-tariff barriers to trade by assuring that measurements are traceable to SI units. It also serves as a link to other regional and global standards organizations.
Recognizing the importance of accreditation as a means of engendering confidence in U.S. metrology capabilities via conformity assessment, Joe contributed to the development of NVLAP (National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program) for calibration laboratories. He stressed the importance of a single national standard for quality and competence in the calibration laboratories, a NIST policy on the expression of measurement uncertainity, and a formal internal NIST Quality Program for calibration services.
He also played a vital role in the development of the standard ANSI/NCSL Z540-I. This standard contains operational and quality-systems requirements for calibration laboratories—as well as for their measuring-equipment management systems—to promote confidence and ensure traceability in their measurements.