The Engineering for Civil Infrastructure (ECI) program supports fundamental research that will shape the future of our nation's constructed civil infrastructure, subjected to and interacting with the natural environment, to meet the needs of humans.
In this context, research driven by radical
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rethinking of traditional civil infrastructure in response to emerging technological innovations, changing population demographics, and evolving societal needs is encouraged.
The ECI program focuses on the physical infrastructure, such as the soil-foundation-structure-envelope-nonstructural building system; geostructures; and underground facilities.
It seeks proposals that advance knowledge and methodologies within geotechnical, structural, architectural, materials, coastal, and construction engineering, especially that include collaboration with researchers from other fields, including, for example, biomimetics, bioinspired design, advanced computation, data science, materials science, additive manufacturing, robotics, and control theory.
Research may explore holistic building systems that view construction, geotechnical, structural, and architectural design as an integrated system; adaptive building envelope systems; nonconventional building materials; breakthroughs in remediated geological materials; and transformational construction processes.
Principal investigators are encouraged to consider civil infrastructure subjected to and interacting with the natural environment under “normal” operating conditions; intermediate stress conditions (such as deterioration, and severe locational and climate conditions); and extreme single or multi natural hazard events (including earthquakes, windstorms, tsunamis, storm surges, sinkholes, subsidence, and landslides).
Principal investigators are expected to bear in mind broader impacts associated with, for example, economic, environmental, habitant comfort, and societal benefits, which may include implications for resource and energy efficiency, life cycle, adaptability and resilience, and reduced dependence on municipal services and utilities.
Principal Investigators are encouraged to leverage NSF’s investments in the national experimental facilities of the National Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) program https://www.designsafe-ci.org/.
Principal Investigators are also urged to make full use of resources available through the NHERI Cyberinfrastructure and NHERI Computational Modeling and Simulation Center awards, especially to both use and share experimental and simulation data, as well as computational models and simulation tools, to accelerate advances in engineering the constructed environment.
The ECI Program does not support research on mission agency responsibilities, such as nuclear power plants and energy-related infrastructure, transportation infrastructure (e.g., bridges and pavements), and natural resource exploration or recovery.
The ECI Program also does not support research on:
hazard characterization for and hazard mitigation of the impact of explosions, fire, blast loading, flooding, and solar wind and storms on civil infrastructure; sensor and measurement technologies; field instrumentation and monitoring; induced seismicity; and construction safety.
Research on natural hazard characterization is supported through programs in the NSF Directorate for Geosciences.