Q&A with Author of New Edition of ISA Book Measurement Uncertainty

This ISA author Q&A was edited by Joel Don, ISA’s community manager. ISA recently published the fifth edition of Measurement Uncertainty: Methods and Applications by Ronald H. Dieck. In this Q&A feature, Ronald highlights the importance of the book’s new and enhanced content. Click this link to download a free chapter from the fifth edition of Measurement Uncertainty.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As an added bonus, this author Q&A includes a free download of the Uncertainty Analysis Template, a tool for engineers and scientists containing the major equations and summations used in estimating measurement uncertainty, errors and uncertainties that affect results. Scroll down for the template download link.

Q. What prompted you to publish an updated edition of your popular book?

A. The technology of measurement uncertainty analysis has improved over the past several years and these improved methods needed to be included in a new edition. The new book also includes several worked-out uncertainty experiments as well as several new appendices dealing with the specifics of equations and uncertainty analysis methods. 


Q. Your book is now in its fifth edition. Why do you think the subject matter of this book continues to be relevant and important as a reference resource??

A. Uncertainty analysis and methods are continuously improving. There’s still a need for a well-organized and presented book for properly analyzing the uncertainty of test and experimental data.

Blog Author Q&A Free Bonus! Click this link to download a free chapter from the fifth edition of Measurement Uncertainty: Methods and Applications.
Q. What makes this fifth edition different or more valuable than the fourth edition? What new content has been introduced and what areas have been improved?

A. The fifth edition features new appendices and more detailed examples with each uncertainty analysis and computation clearly described. The new appendices include condensed descriptions of the basics of uncertainty analysis, pinpoint the advantages and disadvantages of several uncertainty models used throughout the world, and provide key equations for uncertainty analysis-all in an easy-to-use format.

The updated book also incorporates:

  • A discussion of new uncertainty technologies in US and international standards, and their strengths and weaknesses
  • A discussion of the rationale for selecting a given uncertainty model, ISO or ASME
  • An abbreviated approach to uncertainty estimation
  • A more complete overview of the important equations in uncertainty analysis

New and enhanced content has been introduced on the following topics:

  • The basics of the measurement uncertainty model
  • Nonsymmetrical, systematic standard uncertainties
  • Random standard uncertainties; the use of correlation
  • Curve-fitting problems
  • Probability plotting
  • Combining results from different test methods
  • Calibration errors
  • Uncertainty propagation for both independent and dependent error sources

FREE BONUS: Download the Uncertainty Analysis Template

There are many ways to conduct an uncertainty analysis. One way is illustrated in the Uncertainty Analysis Template, an Excel spreadsheet in Appendix N of Measurement Uncertainty, Fifth Edition.

The Uncertainty Analysis Template is designed as a starting point for engineers and scientists to use to perform an uncertainty analysis. It contains the major equations and summations used in estimating measurement uncertainty, errors and uncertainties that affect results, ASME random and systematic categories, and ISO pedigree categories Type A (from statistical analysis) and Type B (obtained other ways).

Click here to download a working version of the Uncertainty Analysis Template.

Meet The Author
Ronald H. Dieck is an ISA Fellow and president of Ron Dieck Associates, Inc., an engineering consulting firm in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.  He has more than 35 years of experience in measurement uncertainty methods and applications for flow, temperature, pressure, gas analysis, and metrology, and the testing of instrumentation, temperature, thermocouples, air pollution, and gas analysis. Dieck is a former president of ISA (1999) and the Asian Pacific Federation of Instrumentation and Control Societies (2002). He has served as chairman of ASME PTC19.1 on Test Uncertainty for more than 20 years. From 1965 to 2000, Dieck worked at Pratt & Whitney, a world leader in the design, manufacture, and service of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units. He earned a bachelor of science degree in physics and chemistry from Houghton College in Houghton, N.Y., and a master’s degree in physics from Trinity College, Hartford, Conn.

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