Summary of FY2002 Budget Request to Congress - National Science Foundation


The FY 2002 Budget Request for the Engineering Education and Centers Subactivity is $107.48 million, equal to the FY 2001 Current Plan.

(Millions of Dollars)

   FY 2000
FY 2001
Current Plan
FY 2002
Amount Percent
Engineering Education and Centers
Total, EEC

The Engineering Education and Centers (EEC) Subactivity supports the collaboration of interdisciplinary teams of faculty, students, and industry engineers to produce new engineering knowledge and the educational programs needed to prepare future generations of engineers capable of rapid technology innovation. The subactivity invests in individuals, centers, groups, and coalitions of investigators to: integrate academic and industrial research approaches to advance cutting-edge knowledge, technology, and education; reshape engineering curricula to bring knowledge of the latest breakthroughs in science and technology to full-time students and practicing engineers; implement new educational technologies to give students greater flexibility in how, where and when they learn; promote partnerships among academe, industry, and the public sector across disciplines and between research and education; and attract talented students from diverse backgrounds to the engineering profession and enable them to develop rewarding and productive careers.

In FY 2002, EEC will provide $62.32 million for Engineering Research Centers and Groups, $5.99 million for Earthquake Engineering Centers, $5.18 million for Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers and $900,000 for State/Industry University Cooperative Research Centers. Support for centers and groups develop long-term, interdisciplinary partnerships between academe and industry to advance knowledge and technology and produce engineering graduates to lead industrial innovation

In FY 2000, the 53 I/UCRCs worked closely with industry to develop enabling technologies needed to effectively manage the electric power grid, improve manufacturing processes and information technologies, and innovate new product lines. EEC provides seed funds and program guidance to these highly leveraged centers, with States joining in many partnerships to expand the focus to include local economic development.

Engineering Research Centers (ERC) produce significant knowledge, technology and educational advances that strengthen industry and prepare a science and technology workforce that is capable of innovating in new fields of technology. Students are being prepared for careers in bioengineering, advanced multimedia, manufacturing, electronics and electronic packaging, and environmentally benign semiconductor manufacturing through curricula designed to integrate knowledge with technological innovation and industrial practice. The cross-disciplinary research experience and exposure to industrial practice prepares ERC students to take on leadership roles in industry early in their careers. For example, the ERC for Particle Science and Technology at the University of Florida focuses on the synthesis of new classes of nano-particulate materials. The Center collaborated with the School of Pharmacy to produce drug particles coated with a polymer layer 1000 times thinner than a human hair. The coated drug is delivered through a slow release asthma inhaler, which reduces the risk for an overdose. The ERC has collaborated with a spin-off company, Nanosphere, Inc., to develop these designer-coated asthma inhaler drugs for timed release and initial animal experiments have been very positive.

The three Earthquake Engineering Research Centers bring together multi-institutional teams of investigators to provide the knowledge and technology base for industry and public agencies to build and retrofit structures and other infrastructure to prevent damage from earthquakes. These centers take a system approach integrating engineering, seismological, and societal response knowledge. The centers integrate research and education and develop partnerships with industry and the public agencies responsible for earthquake hazard mitigation at the regional, state, and local levels. These centers are producing structural design models and earthquake hazard mitigation technology for buildings and transportation and lifeline systems and engaging designers and policy-makers in the development of hazard mitigation strategies for communities with earthquake risks.

EEC-funded educational innovations and human resource development programs attract students to engineering and give them the capacity to learn, lead, and innovate throughout their careers. Experiments are being conducted to expose students to the challenges and rewards of engineering at the pre-college and undergraduate levels and successful engineering education innovations are being disseminated to and adopted by a broad range of universities. Efforts are also directed at attracting underrepresented groups to engineering careers and increasing retention and graduation rates. Specific programs include the Engineering Education Coalitions, Combined Research-Curriculum Development and the Action Agenda for Engineering Curriculum Innovation. Programs for education and training, including Research Experiences for Undergraduates, Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training, and the Graduate Research Fellowship programs are supported.

The FY 2002 Budget Request for EEC is $107.48 million, level with the FY 2001 Current Plan. The FY 2002 budget reallocations within the base will support increases in the following activities:

  • Support for the Nanoscale Science and Engineering priority area increases $1.67 million for a total of $14.47 million. This increase will support 2-3 new Combined Research and Curriculum Development (CRCD) projects and one new Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site in the area of nanotechnology;

  • An increase of $880,000 over FY 2001, for a total of $3.86 million in support of the NSF-wide Integrative Graduate Education and Training (IGERT) Program;

  • Reallocation of the base will provide an additional $610,000 in support for the REU site program for a total of $7.0 million and $90,000 for the CRCD Program in areas other than nanotechnology;

  • $1.0 million to establish the first Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) site, a component of the REU program. This site will allow K-12 teachers to experience an extended university residency, working with faculty and students to conduct engineering research;

  • An increase of $1.01 million over FY 2001 for a total of $3.8 million for the NSF-wide Graduate Research Fellowship program; and

  • An increase of $700,000 for a total of $1.4 million for Graduate Teaching Fellowships for K-12 Education.

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