Archives for March 2016

NSF: Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS)


The goal of the CPS program is to develop the core system science needed to engineer complex cyber-physical systems that people can use or interact with and depend upon. Some of these may require high-confidence or provable behaviors. The program aims to foster a research community committed to advancing research and education in CPS and to transitioning CPS science and technology into engineering practice. By abstracting from the particulars of specific systems and application domains, the CPS program seeks to reveal cross-cutting fundamental scientific and engineering principles that underpin the integration of cyber and physical elements across all application sectors. To expedite and accelerate the realization of cyber-physical systems in a wide range of applications, the CPS program also supports the development of methods, tools, and hardware and software components based upon these cross-cutting principles, along with validation of the principles via prototypes and testbeds. We have also seen a convergence of CPS technologies and research thrusts that underpin Smart & Connected Communities (S&CC) and the Internet of Things (IoT). These domains offer new and exciting challenges for foundational research and provide opportunities for maturation at multiple time horizons.

Three classes of research and education projects — differing in scope and goals — will be considered through this solicitation:
– Breakthrough projects must offer a significant advance in fundamental CPS science, engineering and/or technology that has the potential to change the field. This category focuses on new approaches to bridge computing, communication, and control.
– Synergy projects must demonstrate innovation at the intersection of multiple disciplines, to accomplish a clear goal that requires an integrated perspective spanning the disciplines.
– Frontier projects must address clearly identified critical CPS challenges that cannot be achieved by a set of smaller projects.

NSF: Petrology and Geochemistry


The Petrology and Geochemistry Program supports basic research on the formation of planet Earth, including its accretion, early differentiation, and subsequent petrologic and geochemical modification via igneous andmetamorphic processes. Proposals in this program generally address the petrology and high-temperature geochemistry of igneous and metamorphic rocks (including mantle samples), mineral physics, economic geology, and volcanology. Proposals that are focused on the development of analytical tools, theoretical and computational models, and experimental techniques for applications by the igneous and metamorphic petrology, and high temperature geochemistry and geochronology communities are also invited

NSF: GeoPRISMS Program


GeoPRISMS (Geodynamic Processes at Rifting and Subducting Margins) is the successor to the MARGINS Program. GeoPRISMS will investigate the coupled geodynamics, earth surface processes, and climate interactions that build and modify continental margins over a wide range of timescales. These interactions cross the shoreline and have applications to margin evolution and dynamics, construction of stratigraphic architecture, accumulation of economic resources, and associated geologic hazards and environmental management. The GeoPRISMS Program includes two broadly integrated science initiatives (Subduction Cycles and Deformation and Rift Initiation and Evolution), linked by five overarching scientific topics and themes, where transformative advances are likely to occur in the next decade, and where a focused scientific program could be most effective. These overarching science topics include 1) Origin and evolution of continental crust; 2) Fluids, magmas and their interactions; 3) Climate-surface-tectonics feedbacks; 3) Geochemical cycles; and 5) Plate boundary deformation and geodynamics. Each of the initiatives has identified primary sites for focused investigations, as well as thematic studies that will complement primary site studies.

Further information and a science plan for the program detailing each initiative and the associated thematic studies, as well as the overarching themes, can be found on the GeoPRISMS website at

NASA: Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) – Early Career Fellowship Program


The Early Career Fellowship (ECF) program supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the areas supported by the Planetary Sciences Division. This Program is based on the idea that supporting key individuals is a critical mechanism for achieving high impact science that will lead the field forward with new concepts, technologies, and methods.

This NRA covers all aspects of basic and applied supporting research and technology in space and Earth sciences, including, but not limited to: theory, modeling, and analysis of SMD science data; aircraft, scientific balloon, sounding rocket, International Space Station, CubeSat and suborbital reusable launch vehicle investigations; development of experiment techniques suitable for future SMD space missions; development of concepts for future SMD space missions; development of advanced technologies relevant to SMD missions; development of techniques for and the laboratory analysis of both extraterrestrial samples returned by spacecraft, as well as terrestrial samples that support or otherwise help verify observations from SMD Earth system science missions; determination of atomic and composition parameters needed to analyze space data, as well as returned samples from the Earth or space; Earth surface observations and field campaigns that support SMD science missions; development of integrated Earth system models; development of systems for applying Earth science research data to societal needs; and development of applied information data.

Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center (RMERC) Graduate Gathering

Anyone is welcome to attend, and please, feel free to bring a friend!

Our presenter for this Friday, March 25, 2016  is as follows:

Presenter:  Guest- Mr. Michael Johnson, PhD Candidate in Nuclear Engineering; University of Leeds, UK

 Title:  “An X-Ray Tomography Study of Gas Retention and Release From Nuclear Legacy Waste”

 Abstract:  The retention and periodic release of flammable gases from corroded magnox sludge waste at Sellafield, UK and from secondary reprocessing waste at Hanford, USA has significant economic and safety implications for decommissioning various nuclear legacy buildings. Decommissioning two of these legacy buildings, the Magnox Swarf Storage Silos and First Generation Magnox Storage Pond accounts for a quarter of Sellafield’s $3billion annual budget. Magnesium hydroxide is the primary precipitation product from the corrosion of first generation nuclear fuel cladding in the UK, with hydrogen gas produced as a reaction by-product. Depending on the bed microstructure, particle wettability and shear yield stress behavior, some consolidated sediments of these corrosion products are able to trap a substantial volume of gas, sufficient in some instances for the bed to become buoyant with respect to a water supernatant and resulting in an undesirable upward transfer of radioactive material from the consolidated bed. From a series of x-ray tomography tests, the transient size distribution of retained bubbles has been determined for sediments within a shear yield stress range of 7-234 Pa. With increased yield stress, larger bubbles are increasingly deformed by the sediment matrix, promoting fracturing and enhanced gas release in stronger beds. The homogeneity of gas generation has been observed to be a key parameter in the capacity of the sediment bed to achieve large voidages, with localized, non-homogeneous gas generation promoting the formation of submerged pathways for gas transport from the bed.

NETL: Development of Technologies for Sensing, Analyzing, and Utilizing Novel Subsurface Signals in Support of the Subsurface Technology and Engineering (SubTER) Crosscut Initiative


The purpose of this FOA is to competitively solicit and award research and development projects that will, deploy and validate prototype carbon storage Monitoring, Verification and Accounting technologies in an operational field environment and identify and validate new subsurface signals to characterize and image the subsurface advancing the state of knowledge in geothermal exploration.

NETL: Innovative Concepts for Modular Oxygen Production in Fossil Energy Gasification Systems


The objective is to solicit and competitively award research projects to develop advanced energy systems that will make substantial progress toward enabling cost-competitive, fossil-based power generation with near-zero emissions.

DHS: first responders discuss technology needs

Dept Homeland Security S&T to Host Next Generation First Responder Facebook Town Hall


LAS VEGAS – On March 23, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), will host a Facebook Town Hall with first responders nationwide to discuss the technologies necessary to better protect and connect the Next Generation First Responder.The Facebook town hall will be held online 11:00-11:30 p.m. PDT, but the conversation won’t stop when we sign off. At 3:00 p.m. PDT, our panel will take the stage at the International Wireless Communications Expo in Las Vegas, to continue the conversation. Those are not attending the Expo can follow along at @dhsscitech on Twitter and participate using the hashtag #AskNGFR.


S&T’s Next Generation First Responder program works to leverage new technology that better protects and connects our nation’s first responders, maximizing their awareness and safety.


Wednesday, March 23

11:00 AM PDT           S&T Next Generation First Responder program manager John Merrill will lead a Facebook Town Hall.

Panelists include: Dion Rodriguez, communication chief for the 314th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion in Las Vegas; Howard Shelton, assistant chief of operations for the Nellis-Creech Fire and Emergency Services Flight at Nellis Air Force Base; Jack Hanagriff, Director of the Houston Regional Risk and Critical Infrastructure Protection Program; Kyle Lemmon, Clark County Fire Department; Adam Miller, Huntingdon County (Pennsylvania) deputy sheriff ; and Ashanti Gray, Las Vegas Fire Department Communications Training Officer.

Access the event through the S&T Facebook Event page.


The Town Hall discussion will be continued in person at the International Wireless Communications Expo in Las Vegas at 3:00 p.m. PDT.

Dimitri Feys

nice article in the S&T news about the research of Dimitri Feys assistant professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering

S&T undergraduates to exhibit research to state legislators

S&T news notes our students sowing off their research accomplishments