Environmental Engineering and Sustainability cluster includes: 1) the Environmental Engineering program; and 2) the Environmental Sustainability program PD 21-7643; 3) Nanoscale Interactions program PD-21-1179.
The goal of the Nanoscale Interactions program PD-21-1179 https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505696 is to support research to advance fundamental and quantitative understanding of the interactions of nanomaterials and nanosystems with biological and environmental media.
Materials of interest include one- to three-dimensional nanostructures, heterogeneous nano-bio hybrid assemblies, dendritic and micelle structures, quantum dots, and other nanoparticles. Such nanomaterials and systems frequently exhibit novel physical, chemical, photonic, electronic, and biological behavior as compared to the bulk scale. Collaborative and interdisciplinary proposals are encouraged. Research areas supported by the program include:
- Characterization of interactions at the interfaces of nanomaterials and nanosystems, including both simple nanoparticles and complex and/or heterogeneous composites and nanosystems, with surrounding biological and environmental media;
- Development of predictive tools based on the fundamental behavior of nanostructures to advance cost-effective and environmentally benign processing and engineering solutions over full-life material cycles;
- Examination of the transport, interaction, and impact of nanostructured materials and nanosystems on biological systems and the environment;
- Simulations of nanoparticle behavior at interfaces, in conjunction with experimental comparisons, and new theories and simulation approaches for determining the transport and transformation of nanoparticles in various media; and
- Investigations of quantum vibronic and spin phenomena with correlations to nano phenomena.
The goal of the Environmental Sustainability program PD 21-7643 https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505695 is to promote sustainable engineered systems that support human well-being and that are also compatible with sustaining natural (environmental) systems. These systems 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 include advancements in modeling such as life cycle assessment, materials flow analysis, net energy 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: Proposals should focus on the engineering aspects of restoring ecological function to natural systems. Engineering research in the 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 concerns.