Environmental Sustainability (347328)

National Science Foundation (NSF)

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Deadline: Rolling

Grant amount: Up to US $7,066,000

Fields of work: Sustainability Environmental Engineering Recycling Carbon / Greenhouse Gas Reduction Engineering Manufacturing Engineering Green Infrastructure Show all

Applicant type: Organizations

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

Overview:

NOTE: Full proposal accepted anytime.

The Environmental Sustainability program is part of the Environmental Engineering and Sustainability cluster together with:

  • the Environmental Engineering program and 
  • the Nanoscale Interactions program.

The goal of theEnvironmental Sustainability program 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 five principal general research areas that are supported.

  • Circular Bioeconomy Engineering:This area includes research that enables sustainable societal use of food, energy, water, nitrogen, phosphorus, and materials, with the reduction and eventual elimination of fossil fuel combustion that lacks carbon capture. The program encourages research that helps build the raw material basis for the functioning of society principally on biomass, drawing heavily on sustainable agriculture and forestry. Additionally, material flows must reduce or preferably eliminate waste, with an emphasis on closed-loop or “circular” processing.
  • 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.

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. 

More information can be found here.

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This page was last reviewed February 26, 2024 and last updated June 14, 2023