Alistair FORBES

Data Science Group, National Physical Laboratory, UK,

“The international measurement infrastructure promotes confidence in measurement, improves market efficiency, enables global manufacturing, and supports product quality. In this talk I will discuss the role of the national metrology institutes in providing an equivalent infrastructure to promote confidence in the effective use of data. I will talk about the drivers as seen from the UK government perspective and how NPL is trying to address the challenges in collaboration with other National Metrology Institutes, universities and stakeholders. I will report on the outcomes of various stakeholder engagement activities and how national and international projects are being set up to address the stakeholder requirements. I will also discuss the role of data science in improving the metrology landscape and the need to train the next generation of scientists with metrology and data science skills.”


Mini bio

Since joining NPL in 1985, Alistair Forbes has carried out research in mathematical and statistical modelling, algorithm design, uncertainty evaluation, numerical software development and validation with applications to metrology in physical and environmental sciences. He is the NPL science area leader for Data Science and his current interests include:

  • Mathematical and statistical modelling, Bayesian inference, uncertainty evaluation and decision making, sensor networks and data fusion, Gaussian processes,
  • Measurement systems, process improvement, and quality engineering,
  • Computational science: numerical analysis and scientific computing, scientific software validation, data provenance, curation and security

He has been Visiting Professor in Industrial Mathematics at the University of Huddersfield since 2000, is a Chartered Mathematician and member of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and a Fellow in the Royal Statistical Society. He has published over 200 papers and reports and co-edited seven books on the application of mathematics to metrology.  He is on the organising committee/international programme committee for a range of international conferences, including: Advanced Mathematical and Computational Tools for Metrology, Laser Metrology and Machine Performance, International Conference of Metrology in Africa, and the IMEKO World Congress 2018.  He received the Institute of Measurement and Control’s Alex Hough-Grassby Award for the application of mathematics to measurement in 2014.