Ian Robinson joined NPL in 1976 from Oxford University and worked on dc and low-frequency measurements of resistance and voltage. He worked on the first moving-coil watt balance, which played a key part in determining a worldwide consensus value for the maintained volt (or ampere) in 1990, by measuring electrical power in terms of the base units of the SI. This work has had many spin-offs including a low-noise optical fibre data bus, which is used in a number of NPL electrical measurement instruments used in measurement laboratories around the world.
Ian has published or presented over 50 papers and articles and chairs the Consultative Committee for Electricity and Magnetism working group on electrical methods to monitor the stability of the kilogram.
Ian's main focus is on the precise measurement of Planck's constant using a watt balance, in order to redefine the kilogram in terms of a fundamental constant.