Archives for July 24, 2015

NSF Energy for Sustainability

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Directorate for Engineering (ENG)
The goal of the Energy for Sustainability program is to support fundamental engineering research and education that will enable innovative processes for the sustainable production of electricity and transportation fuels.Processes for sustainable energy production must be environmentally benign, reduce greenhouse gas production, and utilize renewable resources.

Current topics of interest in sustainable energy technologies are:
– Biomass Conversion, Biofuels & Bioenergy: Fundamental research on innovative approaches that lead to the intensification of biofuel and bioenergy processes is an emphasis area of this program. Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to: biological, thermochemical, or thermocatalytic routes for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to advanced biofuels beyond cellulosic ethanol; microbial fuel cells for direct production of electricity from renewable carbon sources; hydrogen production from autotrophic or heterotrophic microorganisms; hydrocarbons and lipids from phototrophic or heterotrophic microorganisms. Proposals that focus primarily on chemical reactor analysis related to biomass conversion should be submitted to Process and Reaction Engineering (CBET 1403), and proposals related to the combustion of biomass should be sent to Combustion and Fire Systems (CBET 1407). Proposals that focus on the fundamentals of catalysis or biocatalysis should be submitted to Catalysis and Biocatalysis (CBET 1401).
– Photovoltaic Solar Energy: Fundamental research on innovative processes for the fabrication and theory-based characterization of future PV devices is an emphasis area of this program. Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to: nano-enabled PV devices containing nanostructured semiconductors, plasmonic materials, photonic structures, or conducting polymers; earth-abundant and environmentally benign materials for photovoltaic devices; photocatalytic or photoelectrochemical processes for the splitting of water into H2 gas, or for the reduction of CO2 to liquid or gaseous fuels. Proposals that focus on the fundamentals of photocatalysis should be submitted to Catalysis and Biocatalysis (CBET 1401). The generation of thermal energy by solar radiation is not an area supported by this program, but may be considered by Thermal Transport Processes (CBET 1406).
– Advanced Batteries for Transportation and Renewable Energy Storage: Radically new battery systems or breakthroughs based on existing systems can move the US more rapidly toward a more sustainable transportation future. The focus is on high-energy density and high-power density batteries suitable for transportation and renewable energy storage applications. Advanced systems such as lithium-air, sodium-ion, as well as lithium-ion electrochemical energy storage are appropriate. Work on commercially available systems such as lead-acid and nickel-metal hydride batteries will not be considered by this program. Fuel-cell related proposals should be directed to other CBET programs, depending on emphasis: electrocatalysis (Catalysis and Biocatalysis, CBET 1401); membranes (Chemical and Biological Separations, CBET 1417); systems (Process and Reaction Engineering, CBET 1403).
– Wind Energy: This program no longer supports wind, wave, tidal, or hydrokinetic energy research. The proposer is encouraged to contact the program director for suggestions on a possible program home for proposal submission.

NOTE: For proposals involving any aspect of chemistry, including but not limited to biochemistry or physical chemistry, consider making proposal submissions to this program (7644) with the Proposal Title as: `SusChEM: Name of Your Proposal’. For more information on SusChEM-related proposals visit this link. The same applies for proposals involving sustainable

NSF Fluid Dynamics

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Directorate for Engineering (ENG)
The Fluid Dynamics program supports fundamental research and education on mechanisms and phenomena governing fluid flow. Proposed research should contribute to basic understanding; thus enabling the better design;predictability; efficiency; and control of systems that involve fluids. Encouraged are proposals that address innovative uses of fluids in materials development; manufacturing; biotechnology; nanotechnology; clinical diagnostics and drug delivery; sensor development and integration; energy and the environment. While the research should focus on fundamentals, a clear connection to potential application should be outlined.

Major areas of interest and activity in the program include:
1. Bio-inspired Fluid Mechanics and Bio-flows: biomimetics; intracellular flows; fluid-structure interactions; hemodynamics; swimmers; insect flight; fins; biological flow processes; flows in biomedical devices; drug delivery.
2. Flow of Complex Fluids: non-Newtonian fluid mechanics; viscoelasticity; flow of polymer solutions and melts; gelation; flow-induced structuring; DNA dynamics; new fluid materials.
3. Micro- and Nano-fluidics: micro-and nano-scale flow phenomena; biomedical microdevices; effects of nano-inclusions on rheological properties; molecular dynamics simulations; optofluidics.
4. Turbulence and Transition: theory; high Reynolds number experiments; large eddy simulation; direct numerical simulation; transition to turbulence; 3-D boundary layers; multi-phase turbulent flows; flow control and drag reduction.
5. Interfacial Interactions and Instabilities: hydrodynamic stability; gas-liquid interfaces; splashing; jetting; droplet interactions; atomization; wetting.
6. Instrumentation and Flow Diagnostics: Instrument development; MEMS; shear stress sensors; novel flow imaging; velocimetry.

Proposals on wind and ocean energy harvesting and on environmental flows could be submitted to the program when the proposed research is focused on fundamental fluid dynamics phenomena or on the development of novel computational fluid dynamics approaches, rather than applications or devices and materials.

Innovative proposals outside of these specific interest areas may be considered. However, prior to submission, it is recommended that the PI contact the Program Director to avoid the possibility of the proposal being returned without review.

Proposals should address the novelty and/or potentially transformative nature of the proposed work compared to previous work in the field. Also, it is important to address why the proposed work is important in terms of engineering science, as well as to also project the potential impact on society and/or industry of success in the research. The novelty or potentially transformative nature of the research should be included, as a minimum, in the Project Summary of each proposal.

NSF Combustion and Fire Systems

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Directorate for Engineering (ENG)
The goal of the Combustion and Fire Systems program is to generate cleaner global and local environments, enhance public safety, improve energy and homeland security, manufacture new materials, and create more efficientmanufacturing.

The program endeavors to provide basic engineering knowledge that is needed to develop useful combustion applications (such as flame-assisted synthesis of novel materials) and for mitigating the effects of fire. Broad-based tools – experimental, diagnostic, and computational – that can be applied to a variety of problems in combustion and fire systems are the major products of this program.

Some desired outcomes from this program include: science & technology for clean and efficient generation of power, both stationary and mobile; combustion science and technology for energy-efficient manufacturing; research that enables clean global and local environments (reduction in combustion generated pollutants – GHGs, NOx, Soot, etc.); enhanced public safety and homeland security through research on fire growth, inhibition and suppression; and, educate and train an innovative workforce for power, transportation, and manufacturing industries.

Research areas of interest for this program include:
– Basic Combustion Science: Laminar and turbulent combustion of gas, liquid, and solid fuels in premixed, non-premixed, partially premixed, and homogeneous modes over a broad range of temperatures, pressures and length scales. Burning of novel and synthetic fuels. Development of models and diagnostic tools.
– Combustion Science related to Climate-change: Increasing efficiency and reducing pollutants. Production and use of renewable fuels. Technologies such as oxy-fuel combustion and chemical looping combustion for carbon sequestration.
– Fire Prevention: Improved understanding of fires to prevent their spread, inhibit their growth, and suppress them.
– Turbulent Combustion Modeling and Validation: This is a NSF-AFOSR (Air Force Office Scientific Research) joint funding area focusing on team efforts closely coordinating experimental and modeling efforts for validating fundamental turbulent combustion model assumptions.

Innovative proposals outside of these specific interest areas may be considered. However, prior to submission, it is recommended that the PI contact the Program Director to avoid the possibility of the proposal being returned without review.

NSF Environmental Sustainability

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Directorate for Engineering (ENG)
The goal of the Environmental Sustainability program is to promote sustainable engineered systems that support human well-being and that are also compatible with sustaining natural (environmental) systems. Thesesystems provide ecological services vital for human survival. Research efforts supported by the program typically consider long time horizons and may incorporate contributions from the social sciences and ethics. The program supports engineering research that seeks to balance society’s need to provide ecological protection and maintain stable economic conditions.

There are four principal general research areas that are supported:
– Industrial Ecology: Topics of interest in Industrial Ecology include advancements in modeling such as life cycle assessment, materials flow analysis, input/output economic models, and novel metrics for measuring sustainable systems. Innovations in industrial ecology are encouraged.
– Green Engineering: Research is encouraged to advance the sustainability of manufacturing processes, green buildings, and infrastructure. Many programs in the Engineering Directorate support research in environmentally benign manufacturing or chemical processes. The Environmental Sustainability program supports research that would affect more than one chemical or manufacturing process or that takes a systems or holistic approach to green engineering for infrastructure or green buildings. Improvements in distribution and collection systems that will advance smart growth strategies and ameliorate effects of growth are research areas that are supported by Environmental Sustainability. Innovations in management of storm water, recycling and reuse of drinking water, and other green engineering techniques to support sustainability may also be fruitful areas for research.
– Ecological Engineering: Topics should focus on the engineering aspects of restoring ecological function to natural systems. Engineering research in enhancement of natural capital to foster sustainable development is encouraged.
– Earth Systems Engineering: Earth Systems Engineering considers aspects of large scale engineering research that involve mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to climate change, and other global scale concerns.

All proposed research should be driven by engineering principles, and be presented explicitly in an environmental sustainability context. Proposals should include involvement in engineering research of at least one graduate student, as well as undergraduates. Incorporation of aspects of social, behavioral, and economic sciences is welcomed. Innovative proposals outside the scope of the four core areas mentioned above may be considered. However, prior to submission, it is recommended that the PI contact the Program Director to avoid the possibility of the proposal being returned without review.

NSF Environmental Engineering Program

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Directorate for Engineering (ENG)
The goal of the Environmental Engineering program is to encourage transformative research which applies scientific and engineering principles to avoid or minimize solid, liquid, and gaseous discharges, resulting fromhuman activity, in land, inland and coastal waters, and air, while promoting resource and energy conservation and recovery. The program also fosters cutting-edge scientific research for identifying, evaluating, and monitoring the waste assimilative capacity of the natural environment and for removing or reducing contaminants from polluted air, water, and soils. Any proposal investigating sensors, materials or devices that does not integrate these products with an environmental engineering activity or area of research may be returned without review.

Major areas of interest and activity in the program include:
– Enhancing the availability of high quality water supplies: Develop innovative biological, chemical and physical treatment processes to meet the growing demand for water; investigate processes that remove and degrade contaminants, remediate contaminated soil and groundwater, and convert wastewaters into water suitable for reuse; investigate environmental engineering aspects of urban watersheds, reservoirs, estuaries and storm water management; investigate biogeochemical and transport processes driving water quality in the aquatic and subsurface environment. (Please note that research targeting the chemical or physical separation process should be submitted to the Chemical and Biological Separations Program) .
– Fate and transport of contaminants of emerging concern in air, water, and soils: Investigate the fate, transport and remediation of potentially harmful contaminants and their by-products. (Please note that research concerning the environmental health and safety of nanomaterials should be submitted to the Environmental Health and Safety of Nanotechnology program).

July 2015

Friday July 31 2015     Friday July 24 2015