Summary of FY2002 Budget Request to Congress - National Science Foundation


The FY 2002 Budget Request for the Civil and Mechanical Systems Subactivity is $52.18 million, a decrease of $1.08 million, or 2.0 percent, below the FY 2001 Current Plan of $53.26 million.

(Millions of Dollars)

   FY 2000 Actual FY 2001
Current Plan
FY 2002 Request Change
Amount Percent
Civil and Mechanical Systems
Total, CMS

The Civil and Mechanical Systems (CMS) Subactivity has two major goals: to support research that provides the fundamental and quantitative underpinning for the engineering profession in application to civil and mechanical systems and the built environment, and to support the rapid development and deployment of new technology to industry and in service to the public. CMS research increases the knowledge base and intellectual growth in the disciplines of construction, geotechnology, structures, dynamics, sensors and control systems, engineering mechanics, and materials, as well as the reduction of risks induced by earthquakes and other natural and technological hazards. CMS encourages cross-disciplinary partnerships at the intersections of traditional disciplines. These partnerships promote discoveries using technologies such as integrated sensing and autoadaptive systems, nanotechnology, information technology and advanced experimentation and simulation to produce high-performance and innovative-engineered systems.

At the heart of the mission of CMS is the improved understanding and design of materials and structures across all physical scales, with the eventual goal of seamless and realistic modeling and experimentation at different scales from nano-level to mega-system integration-level. Research activities funded by CMS also include a strong focus on integrated experiments and modeling to enhance the fundamental understanding of the behavior of complex structures and systems. This model-based research extends from fundamental engineering concepts and mathematical theories for analysis through to simulation and control of complex, nonlinear dynamic systems and processes. The linkage between physical model experimentation and computational model simulation demands continued focus on development of the sensor technologies that are necessary for "smart" civil and mechanical systems and for assessment of safety and reliability of constructed facilities and infrastructure systems.

As an additional focus, CMS research aims to develop advanced information systems and technologies required to sustain the nation's infrastructure, including life-cycle engineering and theoretical bases for scalable approaches to civil systems construction and management. This research includes networking technology, internet-based data systems, communications technologies, and multimedia global information systems. Critical infrastructure system management and service reliability in urban environments is a major concern for the future. The complexity of the spatial distribution of these systems is an enormous problem for effective management, and this complexity introduces interferences that are often only realized when the effects of criticality cascade from one system to another. The opportunity exists now to develop system models, system sensing, and real-time data acquisition and visualization for infrastructure performance analysis and prediction.

The final major focus for CMS research is the mitigation of impacts from natural and technological hazards on constructed, natural, and human environments. Included in this focus is support for rapid-response reconnaissance and field investigation teams who are deployed as observers and who collect data following extreme events in the U.S. or abroad. Interdisciplinary and international studies involving hazard preparedness and response, societal and economic impacts, and decision theory are also a part of this focus area, and CMS interacts with Subactivities in the Geosciences and the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Activities of NSF. Reallocation within the base will provide enhanced funding in the following areas:

Information Technology Research (ITR): An increase of $500,000 for a total of $1.9 million to support computational simulation and modeling of complex materials, structures, and processes. Examples include bridging the materials scales from nano- to macro- scale for better application of materials in design; development of complex deployment schemes for sensors in infrastructure applications; complex experimental modeling to optimize expenditure of resources; and modeling of multi-modal transportation systems and of hazard resistance of complex structures for development of more economical and safe infrastructure.

Nanoscale Science and Engineering: An increase of $1.67 million for a total of $4.45 million for new capabilities to observe, create, and manipulate materials and surfaces at the nanoscale to develop the fundamental knowledge and techniques necessary to adapt advances in nanotechnology to CMS-related applications. Examples include superstrong materials for structural use, nanosensors, low-friction surfaces, and nanoscale motors and actuators.

Engineering the Service Sector: An increase of $1.0 million for a total of $5.0 million to support research for complex and integrated models of infrastructure systems, including physical distribution networks integrated with information networks that support sensing, communications, decision-making and real-time control; for enterprise information systems and supply chain management, including architecture for concurrent product, process and supply chains in construction and information management.

Sensor Technologies and Imaging: An increase of $1.0 million for a total of $5.0 million for development of innovative sensors and engineering microsystems for civil and mechanical systems, including sensors and systems that are reliable, low-power and wireless for deployment in civil and mechanical systems, and remote sensing technologies developed for subsurface, ground-based and satellite-based imaging.

Extreme Events and Hazards Mitigation: An increase of $1.0 million for a total of $15.0 million for development of knowledge and tools to enable true multi-hazard engineering and integration of financial engineering, risk assessment, mitigation, and socioeconomic impacts integrally into the decision making before, during, and after disasters. Focus will be on the development of new analytical and testing platforms that exploit advances in parallel computer simulations and analyses, large-scale structural control device/system developments, and development of reconstruction strategies through synthesis of experiences learned from damaging extreme events.

Within the Major Research Equipment account, $24.40 million has been 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. This national project will also promote international collaborations for earthquake engineering research. Oversight of this project will be provided through CMS. For additional information on this project, see the Major Research Equipment section.

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