We are glad to introduce the Online Course of Measurement Uncertainty Estimation in Analytical Chemistry!

It has been set up at University of Tartu during 2013 and its version 1 is now accessible from the address
http://sisu.ut.ee/measurement/. This is an introductory course on estimation of measurement uncertainty, specifically related to chemical analysis. The course gives the main concepts and mathematical apparatus of measurement uncertainty estimation and explains in detail two principal approaches to measurement uncertainty estimation – the ISO GUM modeling approach (the “bottom-up” approach) and the single-lab validation approach as implemented by Nordtest (the “top-down”) approach. The course contains close to 50 short video lectures, practical examples and numerous tests and exercises for self-testing.

In spite of being introductory, the course intends to offer sufficient knowledge and skills for carrying out uncertainty estimation for the common analyses in routine laboratory environment. The examples or exercises currently include measurement uncertainty in acid-base titration, measurement uncertainty in Kjeldahl nitrogen determination, measurement uncertainty in UV-Vis spectrophotometry, measurement uncertainty in atomic absorption spectroscopy and measurement uncertainty in liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and more is coming. It is important to stress, however, that for successful measurement uncertainty estimation experience (both in analytical chemistry as such and also in uncertainty estimation) is crucial and this can be acquired only through practice.

This course can be used via web by anyone who wishes to improve the knowledge and skills in measurement uncertainty estimation. It will also be offered as a registered (i.e. giving credit points) free online course (interfaced with the Moodle study environment) starting from Spring semester of 2014 as to students from all over the world.

Needless to say, all feedback is most welcome!


3 Responses

  1. Paul De Bièvre says:

    Dear Ivo,

    Before I go into more detail: I strongly recommend to replace “Estimation” by “Evaluation” !!!

    Evaluation (the description of the overall process) means the assembling of the list of possible uncertainty sources by the analyst (it is step number 1).

    Then comes the quantification of each of these: that is estimation of the magnitude in whatever way (it is step nr 2).



    P.S. The added note should be about the Winkler measurement procedure instead of method … Consult the VIM.

  2. Clay Larson says:

    Dr. Leito,

    I am enjoying the on-line course on Measurement Uncertainty in Analytical Chemistry. I did note an error in the equation in Problem 1 of Self-test 3.4. There should be an equal sign between the two forms of the expressions representing the standard deviation of the mean.

    I’m in the United States (California). Much of current work in metrology and measurement uncertainty in analytical chemistry seems to be happening in Europe. Are you aware of individual metrologists or academic programs in the United States that are involved in chemical metrology.

    Clay Larson

  3. Ivo Leito says:

    Dear Clay,

    Thank you for pointing out the mistake! It will be corrected.

    As for chemical metrology in the USA: I have no contacts of chemical metrologists or programmes in the USA. However, in the list of registeres participants to our Measurement Uncertainty course there are already two persons from the USA (as you perhaps noticed this course will be offered as online course in Moodle environment during Mar 03 – Apr 13, 2014). I am not allowed to give you the contacts of those people, but what I can suggest: please register to the course and participate and then you will be able to communicate with all the participants.

    With all the best wishes,


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