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People on the Move

People on the Move spotlights trailblazers in standardization, highlighting their latest achievements, advancements, and contributions to the standards community.

Bert M. Coursey, Ph.D., chief of the Standards Branch in the Test and Evaluation and Standards Office of the Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and DHS standards executive, has announced his return to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) after a nine-year NIST assignment at DHS. As of October 1, Dr. Coursey has re-joined the staff at NIST headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD, for a period of several months leading up to his announced retirement in 2012. Post-retirement, he expects to continue on as a NIST guest researcher.

In his most recent DHS position, Dr. Coursey was responsible for the design and implementation of a national program for standards for homeland security. As DHS standards executive since 2004, he spearheaded projects related to performance standards and testing and evaluation protocols for chemical, biological, radiological/nuclear detectors; trace and bulk explosives detection equipment; and performance standards for information technology including credentialing, biometrics, and cargo security, among others. He co-chairs the Subcommittee on CBRNE Standards of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy's National Science and Technology Council, under the Committee on Homeland and National Security.

Dr. Coursey served as an Officer in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1971 in the Army Engineer Reactors Group at Fort Belvoir, VA. He first joined NIST in 1972, and for 15 years worked on radioactivity standards for environmental radioactivity and nuclear medicine. He held management positions in radiation dosimetry, and served as chief of the Ionizing Radiation Division in the NIST Physics Laboratory.

An active leader in homeland security standardization with American National Standards Institute (ANSI), NIST, and DHS for over 10 years, Dr. Coursey is a recipient of the Bronze (1987), Silver (1997), and Gold (2002) Medals of the Department of Commerce (DOC). He is the past president of the International Committee for Radionuclide Metrology, and a Fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. He earned his B.S. in chemistry and Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Georgia, and is responsible for ninety publications on radioactivity standards and applied radiation dosimetry.

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