Instructor Math and Physics, College of Paterson (NJ) 1939-40; Instructor, Public School in NY 1940-42; Instructor in Physics, Newark College 1942; Coordinator of graduate training, U.S. Naval Ord. Lab 1946-48; NBS: Physical Science Administrator 1948-55; Administrative Physicist 1955-60; Chief Equation, State Secretary 1960-68; Program Manager Data Systems Design 1968-?; Interested in thermodynamics, thermodynamic properties, theoretical and experimental equation of state, research administration, design and application of user-oriented digital computer systems.

  1. 254 of the following NIST (formerly National Bureau of Standards) contains the information below. http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/sp958-lide/254-257.pdf

Joseph Hilsenrath began his career at NBS in 1948, first as a scientist/mathematician specializing in employee training, then as an experimental researcher in high pressure physics, after which he became Chief of the Equation of State Section of the Heat Division. As the first computers became available at NBS, he became interested in the preparation of tables of thermodynamic data and in putting computer know-how in the hands of Everyman. His OMNITAB statistical packages received wide use in NBS and other Government agencies. He moved to the Office of Standard Reference Data in 1967, where he led the development of computerized typesetting methods that saw use throughout the Government. He retired in 1974, but for many years remained active in NBS reference data activities.

A detailed obituary summarizing his work at NIST appeared in the Standards Alumni Association Newsletter of NIST in June, 2004, p. 15.

P254 of the following NIST (formerly National Bureau of Standards) contains the above information.


Listed below are two of his major publications:
OMNIDATA: an interactive system for data retrieval, statistical and graphical analysis and data-base management. A user’s manual 

Hilsenrath, Joseph; Molino, Bettijoyce Breen. Washington, D.C., National Bureau of Standards, National Measurement Laboratory, 1978, 294p (1978).

Beyond data retrieval: an outline of the unique data features of the NBS OMNIDATA System. Molino, Bettijoyce Breen; Hilsenrath, Joseph. Washington, D.C., National Bureau of Standards, 1979, 7p.

Offices held:

ASIS&T: President (1956)

Awards received:

Department of Commerce: Service Award (1962); Gold Medal (1971)

Joseph Hilsenrath Papers:

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (oral history, conducted by Joseph Cameron and W. Reeves Tilley, (Oct. 29, 1982); Abstract: Joseph Hilsenrath discusses his long and distinguished career at NBS.  He recalls his work in the Thermodynamic Tables Project where he developed the OMNITAB software system. He also recalls his contribution to the training program at NBS– in particular, the Post Doctoral Program.  Hilsenrath ends his interview with a discussion of the efforts which led to the establishment of electronic typesetting operations at NBS.)