Bypass Navigation
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Engineering $487,980,000

The FY 2003 Budget Request for Engineering (ENG) is $487.98 million, an increase of $15.66 million, or 3.3 percent, over the FY 2002 Current Plan of $472.32 million.

(Millions of Dollars)

 

FY 2001
Actual

FY 2002
Current
Plan

FY 2003
Request

Change

Amount

Percent

Bioengineering and Environmental Systems

39.47

41.79

43.87

2.08

5.0%

Chemical and Transport Systems

50.61

56.77

58.94

2.17

3.8%

Civil and Mechanical Systems

53.27

56.06

57.75

1.69

3.0%

Design, Manufacture, and Industrial Innovation

126.70

136.20

141.23

5.03

3.7%

Electrical and Communications Systems

53.84

64.83

66.70

1.87

2.9%

Engineering Education and Centers

109.48

116.67

119.49

2.82

2.4%

Total, ENG

$433.37

$472.32

$487.98

$15.66

3.3%

Totals may not add due to rounding.

The Engineering Activity supports fundamental research on engineering systems, devices, and materials, and the underpinning processes and methodologies. ENG investments contribute to technological innovation that is vital to the nation's future economic strength, security, and quality of life of its citizens. A major focus of ENG investments is in emerging technologies--nanotechnology, information technology and biotechnology. Support for research in these areas contributes to major advances in health care, manufacturing, business, education, and the service industry.

The ENG mission parallels NSF's strategic goals of People, Ideas, and Tools:

  • To invest in workforce development through focused programs designed to increase the knowledge and skill base of future engineers, and promote the natural connections between learning and discovery. The portfolio of activities supporting this goal spans undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral education. The purpose is to produce engineering graduates who will be leaders in currently emerging technology areas and position these graduates to push the frontiers of technology.

  • To provide a significant amount of fundamental engineering research support, as well as seed the foundation for investments in new and emerging industrial technologies, high risk and innovative research, and the expanding opportunities for discovery in NSF priority areas.

  • To identify and develop state-of-the-art tools for increasingly collaborative engineering research activities.

Four recent examples of ENG-supported projects underscore the connection between research and benefits to society:

  • Advances in genome research have led to a wealth of data that promises useful application. To find the applications of genomic data, researchers want to understand how genomics predict behavior. ENG supports behavior prediction research at the cellular level, focusing on better methods and tools for acquiring comprehensive detailed data to analyze linked gene expression and metabolic circuits (a cellular metabolic pathway), and compiling the data to create a system model with a specific characteristic. Genomic information describing a cell's capability for regulating and performing a biochemical process is used to reconstruct the metabolic pathway the cell uses to convert raw materials into the product. Increased production can then be predicted using mathematical algorithms and computational methods with information on the environmental factors that fuel this pathway (metabolites) and the cellular environment.

  • Pico-Newtons are microscopic chains of magnetized particles that may be precursors of materials that will protect buildings from earthquakes. Magnetorheolocial fluids are suspensions of particles that can be magnetized. These colloidal suspensions have the consistency of syrup, but when exposed to a magnetic field, the liquid solidifies as iron oxide particles in suspension aligned in cross-linking chains. This unique ability to rapidly change from liquid to solid makes magnetorheolocial fluids ideal for producing force transducers that can be tuned at will, using an external magnetic field. When the magnetic field is activated, the liquid becomes a load-bearing structure. The suspension can also be used in a feedback system to control vibration, thus producing a "smart" substance that can respond to vibration to absorb shock. The applications for materials with this property include active vibration dampening, braking, clutch, and shock absorption functions. This could result in applications as diverse as better vibration absorbers for the seats of long-haul truck drivers to building materials to resist the tremors of an earthquake.

  • An implantable biocapsule is being developed to release a steady insulin supply to the bloodstream of people with diabetes. This biocapsule features two innovations designed to overcome previous obstacles. A biological process allows the capsule to continuously produce insulin, rather than having a limited supply. The capsule material negates the problem of implant rejection. Containing insulin-secreting cells that borrow nutrients from the body to keep producing insulin indefinitely, the capsule acts as a bioreactor, and is covered by a silicon membrane with tiny uniform pores, each seven nanometers across. This membrane acts as a microfilter, allowing the secretion of insulin from the capsule, but blocking the entrance from antibodies. The membrane is fabricated with photolithograpic techniques commonly used for silicon microchips.

  • A rapid response from ENG enabled rapid recovery of critical evidence from the site of the collapsed World Trade Center (WTC) towers. Steel fragments from the WTC hold valuable clues for understanding why the buildings collapsed, including the relative contributions of impact and heat stresses. Amidst 40,000 tons of twisted steel, engineers located and recovered an internal column apparently hit by one of the planes. This piece of steel reveals what may have happened to internal columns when the planes collided with the buildings. Various analyses of the data obtained from the WTC buildings will provide clues to help prevent future tragedies by enabling construction of buildings more resistant to earthquakes, bombs, and other catastrophic forces.

ENG actively participates in five of the Foundation's six priority areas: Biocomplexity in the Environment, Information Technology Research, Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Learning for the 21st Century Workforce, and Mathematical Sciences.

Biocomplexity in the Environment (BE): In FY 2003, ENG will provide a total of $6.0 million to the Biocomplexity in the Environment priority area, a $2.31 million increase over FY 2002. Half of this amount will support the central competition, and the other half will support the Materials Use: Science, Engineering, and Society (MUSES) program.

Information Technology Research (ITR): In FY 2003, ENG will provide $11.17 million for ITR, a $940,000 increase over FY 2002. Areas for special emphasis within ITR include:

  • Computational simulation and modeling of complex materials, structures and processes; and
  • Research focused on developing high end computing tools to accelerate the design of next generation IT manufacturing techniques in areas such as photonic crystals, optical and electronic switching devices, sensors and detectors.

ENG also broadly supports other IT activities, such as quantum computing and molecular logic, domain-specific software, IT for the service sector, modeling and simulation, and real-time sensing and control.

Nanoscale Science and Engineering: In FY 2003, ENG will provide $94.35 million for Nanoscale Science and Engineering activities, an increase of $8.05 million over FY 2002. ENG will support comprehensive research on nanotechnology for functional nanostructures, processing and fabrication of nanostructured materials, new devices and architectures, tools for investigation at nanoscale, and technologies with applications ranging from biology to environmental sensing. The requested funds expand research in the following areas:

  • Manufacturing processes at the nanoscale;
  • Biochemical-radiological-explosive detection and protection;
  • Infrastructure; and
  • Education and societal implications.

Learning for the 21st Century Workforce: ENG will provide $4.87 million in FY 2003 for the Learning for the 21st Century Workforce priority area, including $2.0 million to support the Interagency Education Research Initiative (IERI), and $2.87 million to support the Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education program, an increase of $1.47 million over FY 2002.

Mathematical Sciences: ENG will provide $910,000 to initiate activities in the Mathematical Sciences priority area. Research supported will broadly incorporate math science and theory with numerous engineering activities, from modeling and control of non-linear biosystems, to molecular and process modeling, to scalable manufacturing enterprise systems.

STRATEGIC GOALS

ENG's support of ongoing and new activities contributes to NSF's strategic goals, as well as the administration and management to achieve those goals.

(Millions of Dollars)

   

FY 2002
Estimate

FY 2003
Estimate

Percent
Change

People

69.45

78.09

12.4%

Ideas

394.22

399.11

1.2%

Tools

2.80

4.30

53.6%

Administration and Management

5.85

6.47

10.6%

Total, ENG

$472.32

$487.98

3.3%

People

Across its programs, ENG supports approximately 12,640 people, including students, researchers, post-doctorates, and trainees. ENG is committed to maintaining this number, while progressing with the NSF goal of longer award durations and larger grants. Support for programs specifically addressing NSF's strategic goal of "People - A diverse, internationally competitive and globally-engaged workforce of scientists, engineers and well-prepared citizens" totals over $78.0 million in FY 2003, an increase of 12.4 percent over FY 2002. Research grants provide support for researchers and students, including approximately 6,690 postdoctoral researchers, trainees, and graduate and undergraduate students.

ENG also invests in focused human resources development and education activities to develop the next generation engineering and technological workforce and to enhance opportunities for women and minorities. Through these investments, ENG will cultivate engineering graduates that are leaders in currently emerging technology areas, and position these graduates to define new technological frontiers. In FY 2003, ENG will support focused activities, including Faculty Early Career Development, Research Experiences for Undergraduates, Research Experiences for Teachers, Graduate Research Fellowships for Women in Engineering, and Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeships.

In FY 2003, ENG will fund the recently developed Bridges for Engineering Education (BEE) program through the Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC). This funding will enable engineering schools to develop partnerships with schools of education and allow engineering departments to develop innovative curricula incorporating interdisciplinary knowledge.

Students also benefit from ENG-supported partnerships with industry and from ENG-supported centers.

ENG promotes partnerships with industry through the Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) program, the Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) and the Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) program. These partnerships give students an opportunity to interact with industrial researchers and to gain exposure to industrial operations. At ENG-supported centers, students participate in multi-disciplinary research teams and contribute to the development of new technologies.

(Millions of Dollars)

   

FY 2002
Estimate

FY 2003
Estimate

Percent
Change

Pre K-12

1.00

2.50

150.0%

Undergraduate

23.88

24.68

3.4%

Graduate and Professional

44.57

50.91

14.2%

Total, ENG

$69.45

$78.09

12.4%

Totals may not add due to rounding.

The FY 2003 request is $78.09 million, an $8.64 million increase over FY 2002. This funding will provide support for activities including:

  • Increasing annual stipend levels to $25,000 for three graduate fellowship programs:
    • $2.87 million, an increase of $1.47 million over FY 2002, to enhance support for the Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) program;
    • $5.22 million, an increase of $1.36 million, for support of the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program; and
    • $6.16 million, an increase of $2.36 million, for women graduate students pursuing doctoral studies in engineering through the Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF) program.

  • $2.50 million, an increase of $1.50 million, to the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) sites, as part of the REU sites program. These sites will allow K-12 teachers to participate in advanced technology research at engineering universities during the summer and the academic year. The RET, a three-year effort, enhances K-12 teachers' abilities to address emerging technologies in K-12 education.

  • $2.92 million for professional development to support ADVANCE, to further the participation of women in science and engineering, a $1.14 million increase over FY 2002.

Ideas

In FY 2003, support for discovery across the frontiers of science and engineering increases by $4.89 million to $399.11 million. These funds enable ENG to continue support of fundamental research in the engineering disciplines and to enhance funding for research in priority areas such as nanotechnology, information technology, and biotechnology.

In its core programs, ENG supports fundamental research on sensor technologies related to nano/micro-scale sensors; wireless communications; functional materials with selective absorption capabilities; nondestructive evaluations and remote sensing. ENG will increase funding in its core programs for sensor technologies that will enhance the nation's capabilities of homeland safety while producing a highly trained workforce knowledgeable in the operation and deployment of these sensor technologies. These technologies include: sensors with higher sensitivity and lower rate of false alarms in the detection of chemical and biological agents; sensing material properties and processes at the nano and micro scales under extreme conditions; sensors for detection, monitoring and control of engineering operations; sensor arrays for enhanced observation of natural and social environments; and imaging and sensing of complex systems, such as critical infrastructure, health and environment.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provides funding at the mandated level of 2.5 percent of extramural research, as required by Public Law 102-564. It will be funded at $78.98 million, an increase of $2.95 million over FY 2002. The program emphasizes commercialization of research results at small business enterprises through the support of high quality research across the entire spectrum of NSF disciplines. Recent improvements to the SBIR program include redefinition of research topics to address significant technologies and more emphasis on "commercialization potential" in the SBIR review process.

In FY 2003, ENG will provide $4.67 million, an increase of $170,000, for the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, which partners small businesses with academic institutions to promote industrial innovation.

Total ENG support of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction (NEHRP) program is $45.39 million, including support for fundamental research that leads to more earthquake-resistant buildings and facilities. Foundation-wide, support for NEHRP in FY 2003 is $57.39 million, including $12.0 million in the Geosciences Activity.

(Millions of Dollars)

 

FY 2002
Estimate

FY 2003
Estimate

Percent
Change

Engineering Research Centers & Groups

62.32

62.32

0.0%

Earthquake Engineering Research Centers

5.99

5.99

0.0%

Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers

5.18

5.29

2.1%

State/Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers

0.90

0.60

-33.3%

Total, ENG Centers

$74.39

$74.20

-0.3%

Totals may not add due to rounding.

The FY 2003 Budget Request includes:

  • $62.32 million to support a steady state of 22-23 university-based Engineering Research Centers (ERC) and a number of groups. NSF provides about 30 percent of the total support to the centers, with the remaining funding support coming from industry, other Federal agencies, universities, and the states.

  • $5.99 million to support three earthquake engineering research centers at approximately $2.0 million each per year. These centers endeavor to mitigate damage to the built environment; provide outreach to the private, educational, and government sectors; and educate professionals for cross-disciplinary careers.

  • $5.29 million for Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) and $600,000 for the State I/UCRCs. The I/UCRC program as a whole will support about 55 I/UCRCs and three State I/UCRCs. These highly leveraged centers form close-knit partnerships with their industrial members.

Tools

ENG continues to coordinate NSF support for the National Nanofabrication Users Network (NNUN), a network of five university user facilities that offer advanced nano- and micro-fabrication capabilities to researchers in all fields. The NNUN focuses research on the control of properties at the atomic/molecular level, their assembly into nanostructured materials, and the utilization of the improved materials as building blocks for engineering applications, such as thin films and coatings, advanced chemical catalysts, artificial biomaterials, and novel optoelectronic devices.

In FY 2003, ENG will maintain support of the existing NNUN at $2.80 million. ENG will also provide $1.50 million for the concurrent operation of an additional network, which will result from a new competition in FY 2003. NNUN has had a significant impact on the quantity and quality of research in micro- and nanostructures, serving users from 29 states and seven foreign countries. Over 600 projects and over 1,000 users have benefited from the use of NNUN facilities. In addition, hundreds of graduate students and dozens of undergraduate students have had opportunities to work in the state-of-the-art facilities gaining invaluable research experience. Support is also provided from NSF's Biological Sciences and Mathematical and Physical Sciences Activities.

Within the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) Account, $13.56 million is requested to continue the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), a project to construct, upgrade, network and integrate a complete system of test facilities in earthquake engineering. For additional information on this project, see the MREFC section.

Administration and Management

Administration and Management, supported at $6.47 million in FY 2003, provides for administrative activities necessary to enable NSF to achieve its strategic goals. This includes the cost of Intergovernmental Personnel Act appointments and contractors performing administrative functions.

Number of People Involved in ENG Activities

   

FY 2001
Actual

FY 2002
Estimate

FY 2003
Estimate

Senior Researchers

3,829

4,025

4,025

Other Professionals

928

925

925

Postdoctorates

385

550

550

Graduate Students

4,279

4,425

4,425

Undergraduate Students

2,000

2,500

2,500

K-12 Students

100

100

100

K-12 Teachers

100

115

115

Total Number of People

11,621

12,640

12,640

Totals may not add due to rounding.

ENG Funding Profile

       

FY 2001
Actual

FY 2002
Estimate

FY 2003
Estimate

Number of Requests for Funding

7,480

7,800

7,800

Dollars Requested (in millions)

$3,472

$3,500

$3,500

Total Number of Awards

2,911

3,100

3,100

         

Statistics for Competitive Awards:

 
 

Number

1,423

1,525

1,525

 

Funding Rate

24%

25%

25%

Statistics for Research Grants:

   
 

Number of Research Grants

820

850

850

 

Median Annualized Award Size1

$82,253

$83,000

$83,000

 

Average Annualized Award Size1

$101,356

$105,000

$105,000

 

Average Duration (yrs.)1,2

3.0

3.0

3.0

1 Statistics for award size and duration are for Research Grants only.
2 Includes SBIR Phase I awards that have a six month duration.

 
  Last Modified: Sep 17, 2004
 
   

 

Policies and Important Links

|

Privacy | FOIA | Help | Contact NSF | Contact Web Master | SiteMap  

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: (703) 292-5111, FIRS: (800) 877-8339 | TDD: (800) 281-8749

Last Updated:
09/17/04
Text Only
National Science Foundation Summary of FY 2003 Budget Request to Congress NSF Logo