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The FY 2003 Budget Request for the Engineering Education and Centers Subactivity is $119.49 million, an increase of $2.82 million, or 2.4 percent, over the FY 2002 Current Plan of $116.67 million.

(Millions of Dollars)


FY 2001

FY 2002
Current Plan

FY 2003




Engineering Education and Centers






Total, EEC






The Engineering Education and Centers (EEC) Subactivity supports the efforts of U.S. engineering schools to adapt the engineering education and research enterprise to technological, economic, and social change, in partnership with government and the private sector. This evolution is required to ensure a diverse and highly capable technical workforce, which is achieved by giving students early experience in discovery through research and creation through design and by incorporating new learning theories, teaching methods, and new scientific disciplines into engineering curricula. EEC programs address interdisciplinary research, systemic curriculum and workforce development issues that are critical to all fields of engineering, benefit from a centralized management focus, and complement the research and education portfolios of the other divisions of ENG. Its programs benefit from a scope encompassing all of engineering and a scale that both facilitates the incorporation of new scientific knowledge into engineering and requires rigorous monitoring and evaluation systems.

In FY 2003, EEC will provide $62.32 million for Engineering Research Centers and Groups (ERC), $5.99 million for Earthquake Engineering Research Centers (EERC), $5.29 million for Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) and $600,000 for State/Industry/University Research Centers (S/I/UCRC). Industry and universities develop long-term, interdisciplinary partnerships in NSF-supported centers and groups, which spin off a broad range of fundamental knowledge and new invention. The stream of advanced technologies emanating from the centers is carried into industry by new generations of graduating engineers who have learned the skills needed to be effective leaders in technology innovation.

For example, the Engineering Research Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES), based at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, partners with North Carolina A&T State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, and University of Wisconsin, Madison. A consortium of industrial sponsors (including Intel, National Semiconductor, Texas Instruments, Intersil, Hitachi, Delta Electronics, Hipro, TDK, and Power One) funded research at CPES. As the number of transistors in succeeding generations of microprocessors skyrockets, power requirements increase, making efficient power delivery a key bottleneck. CPES research led to a new topology for multi-phase voltage regulator modules that has been adopted as an industry standard for the current generation of microprocessors. Work is being done on the next generation, which will deliver as much as 200 amperes to the chip. This is the current handling capacity of the primary electrical cable serving a large, single-family home.

In FY 2001, the 54 I/UCRCs worked closely with industry to develop enabling technologies needed to manage the electrical power system, improve manufacturing and biological processes, develop new materials, information and telecommunications technologies, and innovate new products and services. EEC provides modest seed funds and management expertise to these highly leveraged centers, with States joining in many partnerships to expand the centers' activities in local economic development.

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 systems 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, implement new educational technologies to give students greater flexibility in how, where and when they learn, and give them the capacity to learn, lead, and innovate throughout their careers. Experiments are being conducted to expose pre-college students and their current and future teachers to the challenges and rewards of engineering at the pre-college level and give undergraduates earlier and more relevant design and research experiences. 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.

Growth in the FY 2003 budget, with reallocations in the FY 2002 base, will support:

  • Engineering Research Centers and Groups, to fund nanoscale simulation network activities, along with education and outreach supplements to existing Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers;

  • An initial increment for the Mathematical Sciences priority area;

  • The Bridges for Engineering Education Program, to enable engineering schools to develop partnerships with schools of education and allow engineering departments to develop innovative curricula incorporating interdisciplinary knowledge;

  • The Research Experiences for Teachers program, establishing an additional two to four sites; and

  • Engineering students supported by the IGERT, GRF and GK-12 programs, allowing for higher stipends.
  Last Modified: Sep 17, 2004


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National Science Foundation Summary of FY 2003 Budget Request to Congress NSF Logo