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Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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Video showing gecko feet. Following in the Footsteps of Nature
Researchers move one step closer to nature with the development of polymers and directional adhesion that follow the workings of a gecko's foot
Released  February 9, 2010
Photo of the Seawall experiment in the Large Wave Flume at Oregon State University. Building Tsunami-resistant Cities
Mary Beth Oshnack describes her undergraduate and graduate research to understand tsunami wave forces and improve building construction in hazard-prone coastal communities
Released  October 20, 2009
Photo of Karen Smilowitz who helps nonprofit organizations streamline their work. Libraries, Food Banks Benefit From Transportation Modeling
NSF CAREER awardee Karen Smilowitz applies the art of operations research to find optimal solutions to problems in the nonprofit sector
Released  June 10, 2009
Illustration showing advanced chips In Industrial Manufacturing, Efficiency Falls as Technology Advances
A comprehensive study of old and new manufacturing processes, from machining metal to making carbon nanofibers, shows that the more advanced technologies are less efficient in their use of energy and materials per kilogram of output
Released  May 1, 2009
Eight thumbnail images and 2008 in Review 2008: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities that made news last year
Released  March 13, 2009
Photo of Afsaneh Rabiei who invented an ultra-strong and lightweight composite metal foam. Foamy Invention Could Save Energy and Lives
NSF CAREER awardee Afsaneh Rabiei's ultra-high-strength composite metal foam could revolutionize impact protection
Released  October 29, 2008
2007 In Review 2007: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities reported last year
Released  January 30, 2008
An artist's rendition of the proposed Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory design. Team Selected for the Proposed Design of the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory
Released  July 10, 2007
Researchers have created bricks from fly ash that look and perform like normal bricks. Follow the "Green" Brick Road?
Bricks made from coal-fired power plant waste pass safety test
Released  May 22, 2007
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have grown the world's longest carbon nanotube arrays. The Longest Carbon Nanotubes You've Ever Seen
Crafted with breakthrough manufacturing technique, centimeter-long fibers are visible to the naked eye
Released  May 10, 2007
2006 in Review 2006: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported activities highlighted last year
Released  January 9, 2007
Researchers have found that the molecules in "metallic" smells contain no metal. The Smell of Money
Research suggests an absence of metallic chemicals in the strong metallic odors that result from people handling coins and other metals
Released  November 20, 2006
A schematic representation of the miniaturization of the active building envelope (ABE) system. Self-Cooling Soda Bottles?
Researchers work to shrink technology that harnesses sun's energy to both heat and cool
Released  July 11, 2006
Geotechnical engineers inspect a portion of the floodwall along the Industrial Canal. Researchers Release Draft Final Report on New Orleans Levees
700-page report suggests mechanisms for levee failures
Released  May 22, 2006
Vesicle membranes that collapse when cooled may someday deliver minute payloads of medicines. Micro Pills Could Deliver Drugs on Demand
Temperature-sensitive capsules release chemicals at tightly controlled rates
Released  March 27, 2006
Video showing the RPI centrifuge experiment is available at http://www.rpi.edu/news/levees/ Large Centrifuge Helps Researchers Mimic Effects of Katrina on Levees
Part of nationwide "co-laboratory" of earthquake engineering facilities, the technology proves critical for studying soils beneath New Orleans
Released  March 21, 2006
Sally Mangold describes the original SAL Electronic Braille Tutor Teaches Independence
Bilingual system reborn in new hardware
Released  February 13, 2006
This image shows copper in ore and a penny. Managing Metal
New study raises questions about sustainability of metal resources
Released  January 17, 2006
Portrait of Benjamin Franklin by artist David Martin (1737-1797) Ben Franklin Web Portal Brings the Man to the Masses
Driven by search-engine technology, site highlights three centuries of revolutionary influence
Released  January 9, 2006
Destruction in Istanbul, Turkey, following the  August 17, 1999, Izmet earthquake Istanbul Overdue for Earthquake Retrofit
Researchers present concerns to Turkish Prime Minister
Released  January 5, 2006
This illustration compares the artificial cochlea to its mammalian counterpart. New Sensor Based on Human Organ Is No Tin Ear
Precision micromachining yields life-size, precise, artificial cochlea
Released  November 3, 2005
Remains of steel lockers and beds lie amidst other debris from the Celtiksuyu Boarding School. Earthquake Study Suggests Simple Building Fixes Can Save Lives
Code enforcement may have prevented dozens of deaths in Turkish temblor
Released  October 13, 2005
The new nanofountain probe produced these patterns; features are as thin as 40 nanometers The World’s Smallest Fountain Pen?
New microscope tips use capillary action to print patterns tens of nanometers across
Released  October 5, 2005
Penelope in surgery Robot Assistant Reports to Surgery
Machine lets nurses focus on patient care
Released  June 21, 2005
Screen capture from video showing surgeon and robot in an operating room Robots in the OR -- Stat!
Penelope the robot may free nurses to do more "human" tasks
Released  April 28, 2005
FAST-ACT crystals Nano-engineered Powders Tackle Toxic Chemicals
Thirsty grains act fast to clean up messes
Released  April 28, 2005
One of the search and rescue robots. Shoebox-sized Robots Deployed in Rescue Effort at Ground Zero
Graduate students and the experimental robots they helped to develop were among the early responders who joined the search and rescue efforts shortly after the Sept. 11 collapse of the World Trade Center towers.
Released  March 24, 2004
object printed directly from a mathematical model Reshaping Product Development: 3-D Printing Builds Models Directly from Computer Design
Imagine designing a product on your computer, pressing the print key, and the printer spits out a prototype. It's an apt analogy for Three-Dimensional Printing, a technology some observers believe will reshape industrial design, medicine and more.
Released  October 16, 2003

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