The Evolution of the Metric System: From Precious Lumps of Metal to Constants of Nature


Joint IEEE NSW Section and UOW SMART Seminar Series

Will everyday measurements ever be the same again? Join Dr. Ilya Budovsky, a leading scientist at Australia’s National Measurement Institute, on an intriguing journey though the history and upcoming revolutionary changes in how we measure the world.

The scientists at the National Measurement Institute develop and maintain measurement standards of physical, chemical and biological measurement to deliver internationally recognised measurement services to Australian industry. If you’ve ever wondered what makes everyday measurements possible, then this is the event for you.

2018 is set to be a massive year of change for the International System of Units (the SI). Following years of worldwide research and discussions, involving some of Australia’s very own scientists in Sydney, in November 2018, the General Conference on Weights and Measures is expected to put in place one of the most fundamental changes to the SI since its inception.

But why would you need to change something that’s supposed to be standard? Come and find out from Dr. Ilya Budovsky, a measurement scientist of international standing responsible for the Australian standards of electrical units and time.

  Date and Time




  • SMART Building
  • University of Wollongong, New South Wales
  • Australia 2522
  • Building: 6
  • Room Number: 105


Dr. Ilya Budovsky


The Evolution of the Metric System: From Precious Lumps of Metal to Constants of Nature

The National Measurement Institute (NMI) is the peak Australian measurement body responsible for biological, chemical, legal, and physical measurement.

NMI develop and maintain Australia’s primary measurement standards to deliver internationally recognised measurement expertise to Australian industry covering calibrations, chemical and biological analyses such as food and environmental testing, sports drug and forensic drug testing, and training in specific measurement techniques. NMI also provide support and advice on measurements made for legal purposes, help industries develop new measurement methods and administer Australia’s national trade measurement system.

As a division within the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, NMI comprises a multi-disciplinary team of over 300 people across Australia. They focus on priority sectors of the economy where investment in measurement can benefit industry, trade and government. NMI deliver practical measurement solutions to help address Australia’s societal and economic challenges in sectors including health, environment, energy, food and agriculture, security and trade. They work collaboratively with researchers and industry to support Australia’s competitive edge using measurement to improve productivity through enhanced process efficiency and control, waste reduction, and product research, development and optimisation.