Calibration and contract laboratory

Envical Syke

Photo: Timo Vänni


  • Envical Syke has released a new security patched version (v3.0.2) of the MUkit measurement uncertainty software and should be upgraded by all users.
  • Envical Syke has released new version (v3.0) of the MUkit measurement uncertainty software. Major updates in the new version are as follows:
  • The software calculates the repeatability component using the pooled standard deviation as presented in the latest edition (Ed.4) of Nordtest TR537 guide
  • Software info texts have been updated to match the chapters in the Nordtest guide
  • In addition to relative measurement uncertainty, also absolute measurement uncertainty calculation is available
  • Software can still be downloaded and used for free of charge, but the program source code will not be open anymore.
  • Compiled a Good Practice Guide for Improving Accuracy of Dissolved Oxygen Measurements

    In the scope of European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) project "Metrology for ocean salinity and acidity, ENV05", a Good Practice Guide for Improving Accuracy of Dissolved Oxygen Measurements was compiled. It consists of a set of observations and recommendations for the improvement of the performance of the measurement. Guidelines will help laboratories to better estimate their measurement uncertainty and bias and thus improve comparability of measurement results
    Good practice guide (pdf)
Envical Syke is focusing on the research and development of metrology in chemistry. Our activities include development of accurate and traceable calibration methods, testing the reliability of new measurement techniques and validation of methods of analysis and quality assurance.

The Syke calibration laboratory

The Finnish Environment Institute (Syke) accredited calibration laboratory (K054: EN ISO/IEC 17025, produces calibration results with high accuracy and traceability and is responsible for developing methods based on primary technologies.

ILAC-MRA logo.
FINAS K054 logo.

The Syke calibration laboratory contributes to the maintenance and development of the national measurement standard system and is responsible for the application of the SI system within the scope of the designated institute.

Our customer base consists of public and private parties requiring extremely precise and reliable measurement results for their water samples. For instance, we have produced traceable reference values for proficiency tests (PTs).

The Syke Designated Institute (DI)


A primary method of measurement is that with the highest metrological qualities, whose operation is fully described and understood, and for which a calculation of total uncertainty can be performed in terms of SI units. (J4/1999, ‘Ainemäärän kansallisen mittanormaalijärjestelmän toteuttamista ja organisaatiota koskeva selvitys’, MNK/MIKES).

Primary methods include:

  • isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS)
  • gravimetry
  • titrimetry
  • coulometry
  • freezing point depressio

In addition to maintenance of measurement standards' international traceability, the co-operation of Syke and VTT MIKES Metrology comprises national and international communication, publication, and training activity in the field of metrology. Upon request, we arrange customised training in the estimation of measurement uncertainties in chemical measurements or validation of analysis methods.

At present, the scope of designated institute accreditation includes:

  • Determination of mass fraction of total mercury in waste water samples after microwave assisted HNO3 digestion by exact matching double ID-CV-ICP-MS
  • Determination of mass fraction of soluble mercury in synthetic water samples and fresh natural water samples by exact matching double ID-CV-ICP-MS
  • Determination of mass fraction of soluble lead in synthetic water samples, fresh natural water samples and waste water samples by exact matching double ID-ICP-MS

The range of analyses is being complemented with tests for dissolved oxygen and also nickel and cadmium, listed as priority substances in the Water Framework Directive. The isotope dilution mass spectrometry technique is widely utilised by Syke also for analysis of organic chemical contaminants.

As a contract laboratory, Syke belongs to

  • the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (CIPM MRA) for national measurement standards and for calibration and measurement certificates issued by NMIs:
    CIPM Mutual Recognition Arrangement and the collaboration organisation of European countries’ national metrology institutes:
  • European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET).

Reliability of the measurements

The comparability of measurement results is internationally very important. Reliability and comparability of the measurement  results can be improved with the realistic measurement uncertainty estimation, validation of the measurement methods, and ensuring the traceability of measurement results.

Envical Syke is an experienced in research and development of the instrument’s reliability and procedures for measurement uncertainty estimation. We have constructed new tools for both laboratory measurements as well as portable and continuous field water quality measuring devices to indicate and improve the reliability of the measurement results. We also actively participate in organizing proficiency tests for water quality sensor measurements.

More information

  • Inorganic analysis:
    Development Manager Teemu Näykki, Finnish Environment Institute (Syke)
  • Inorganic analysis:
    Researcher Timo Sara-Aho, Finnish Environment Institute (Syke)
  • Organic analysis:
    Chemist Jari Nuutinen, Finnish Environment Institute (Syke)
Published 2020-10-09 at 8:50, updated 2023-11-28 at 14:21
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