Our People

Sciencelens DSF2617

Lucy Forde

Senior Research Scientist


Areas of expertise

• Length measurement standards / dimensional metrology
• Calibration of survey equipment (e.g., EDM) and of installations such as weigh stations (e.g., for levelness)
• Atomic force microscopy (AFM)
• Nanometrology
• Surface Roughness


• PhD (Physics), University of Cambridge, UK


Lucy joined the Length Standards area at MSL in 1999, working in general metrology and particularly on the development of capabilities in the metrology of surveying equipment, and more recently in nanometrology (especially atomic force microscopy).

Lucy grew up in Palmerston North and enjoyed studying the subjects of physics and botany at Massey University. For her Masters degree at Massey, she investigated the sources of contrast in NMR images of plant stems (mainly magnetic susceptibility, relaxation and diffusion effects at cell boundaries), and how these correlated with anatomical cell types. Lucy then moved to Cambridge to study terminal ballistic effects between rods and plates, examining material properties at high strain rate.

In her spare time Lucy is a keen whitewater kayaker and tramper, and enjoys travelling to far-flung parts of the world.

Professional activities

  • Member (and Committee Member) of the Royal Society of New Zealand Wellington Branch
  • Member of the APMP TCL (Technical Committee for Length)


• Forde, L.C.* 2017. The Potential Roles of Frequency Measurement in EDM Calibration., oral presentation at ‘Macroscale 2017 - Recent Developments in Traceable Dimensional Metrology’, Helsinki, Finland.
• Forde, L.C.* 2015. Traceable Particle Measurements with SEM., oral presentation at Microscopy NZ biennial conference at Otago University, Dunedin.
• Forde, L.C.* 2012. Use of a CMM in the manufacture and alignment of large optical systems., oral presentation at APMP, Wellington.
• Forde, L.C.* 2011. Back To Basics With AFM Metrology - Getting To Know Your AFM, Warts and All., invited oral presentation, Workshop on Dimensional Nanometrology with Atomic Force Microscopy’, NMIA, Sydney, 2011.
• Forde, L.C.* 2011. Factors Affecting Dimensional Measurements Made Using AFM., poster presentation at ‘AMN5: 5th International Conference on Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology’ in Wellington, NZ.
• Forde, L.C.*; Proud, W.G.; Walley, S.M.; Church, P.D.; Cullis, I.G. 2010. Ballistic impact studies of a borosilicate glass. International journal of impact engineering. Vol.37 no.5, p.568-578.
• Forde, L.C.*; Proud, W.G.; Walley, S.M. 2009. Symmetrical Taylor impact studies of copper. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical, physical and engineering sciences. Volume 465 no.2103, p.769-790.
• Forde, L.C.*; Walley, S.M; Peyton-Jones, M.; Proud, W.G.; Cullis, I.G.; Church, P.D. 2009. The use of symmetric Taylor impact to validate constitutive models for an fcc metal (copper) and a bcc alloy (RHA steel). DYMAT 2009. p.1245 - 1250.
• Forde, L.C.*; Howick, E.F.* 2003. Extension of traceable calibration for electronic distance measuring instruments beyond the length of the laboratory. Proc. SPIE, 5190, p289-299.
• Forde, L.C.*; Howick, E.F.* 2001. Development of a calibration system for electronic distance measuring instruments. Proc. SPIE, 4401, p99-106.