This program has been archived.
Materials Engineering and Processing (MEP)
|Thomas F. Kuech
Important Information for Proposers
A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.
Materials Engineering and Processing (MEP)
The Materials Engineering and Processing (MEP) program supports fundamental research addressing the processing and performance of engineering materials by investigating the interrelationship of materials processing, structure, properties and/or life-cycle performance for targeted applications.
Materials processing proposals should focus on manufacturing processes that convert material into a useful form as either intermediate or final composition. These include processes such as extrusion, molding, casting, forming, deposition, sintering and printing. Proposed research should include the consideration of cost, performance, and feasibility of scale-up, as appropriate. Novel processes for the production of nanoscale materials (nanotubes, nanocrystals, etc.) are of interest. Process optimization studies without a fundamental scientific contribution are not supported. Research approaches which exploit knowledge of biological processes for the processing of non-biological materials, as well as the utilization of advanced computing techniques to enable major advances in Materials Engineering and Processing are encouraged.
Research proposals related to mechanical performance should be driven by a targeted application(s). Structural materials that, in service, bear mechanical load are of interest. These include materials such as metals, polymers, composites, biomaterials, ceramics and hybrids intended for applications ranging from the microscale (e.g., MEMS) to the macroscale (e.g., fiber reinforced composites). Research related to the deterioration of performance during service (e.g., corrosion and degradation) is also of interest.
In some cases, the performance of functional materials is also of interest. This includes materials that possess native properties and functions that can be controlled by external influences (e.g., temperature, light and pH) as well as responsive materials (e.g., piezoelectric, chromogenic, shape memory and self-healing). Research proposals on performance of electronic materials to be used for energy storage or conversion (e.g., fuel cells, batteries and PVs) are not appropriate for the MEP program. One exception to this would be for proposals related to multifunctional (versus a single function) material performance that include a consideration of mechanical performance; proposals on this topic are of interest. Research plans driven by scientific hypotheses are encouraged. Material structures across length scales ranging from nano to meso to macro are of interest. Research on materials in the bulk, thin films, or in special configurations such as surfaces or interfaces is appropriate as are research proposals related to surface engineering or tribology. Analytical, experimental, and/or numerical studies are supported. Collaborative proposals with industry (GOALI) are of interest.
Proposals related to additive manufacturing, laser processing or bonding/joining processes are welcome in CMMI and should be submitted to the Manufacturing Machines and Equipment (MME) program. Proposals addressing the manufacture (scale up, quality, reliability, etc.) of nanoscale materials, structures, devices and systems should be submitted to the Nanomanufacturing (NM) program. Proposals addressing atomic/molecular scale synthesis or thin film synthesis (as opposed to manufacturing) are not appropriate for the MEP program. Research proposals on electronic materials to be used for energy storage or conversion (e.g., fuel cells, batteries, PVs) are not appropriate for the MEP program unless there is new science being proposed about manufacturing processes for these materials. Proposals addressing fundamental research for civil infrastructure and architectural materials should be directed to the Structural and Architectural Engineering and Materials (SAEM) program. Research on the mechanics of solid materials should be directed to the Mechanics of Materials and Structures (MoMS) program. Investigators with proposals focused on design methodological approaches and theory enabling the accelerated development and insertion of materials should consider the Design of Engineering Material Systems (DEMS) program. In response to the Materials Genome Initiative, there is a special initiative for research on a combined theoretical and experimental approach to accelerate materials discovery and development; such proposals should be directed to the Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) opportunity.
PIs are encouraged to email a one-page project summary to email@example.com at least four weeks before the proposal submission deadline to determine if the research topic aligns with the MEP program.
Investigators wishing to serve on a proposal review panel should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a short biographical sketch, a list of areas of expertise and a link to their home page.