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NIST Announces 2012 Measurement Science & Engineering Research Grants Programs

January 10th, 2012 / in research horizons, resources / by Erwin Gianchandani

NIST Announces its FY 2012 Grant Programs [image courtesy NIST].Last month, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced its FY 2012 Measurement Science and Engineering Research Grants Programs, with an emphasis on a number of areas of computing, including cyber-physical systems, intelligent systems, and systems integration. A key domain for NIST is energy and the environment, including the smart grid.

According to the funding opportunity, relevant work supported by NIST’s Engineering Laboratory (EL) will include:

Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program. The program’s primary objective is to promote U.S.  innovation and industrial competitiveness in areas of critical national priority by anticipating and meeting the measurement science and standards needs for cyber-physical systems, such as smart grid, in ways that enhance economic prosperity and improve the quality of life. The contact person is David Wollman and he may be reached at (301) 975-2433.


Energy and Environment Division. The primary objective is to collaborate with or conduct research consistent with the laboratory programs in areas related to measurement science needed to enable Net Zero High Performance Green Buildings. The breadth of this area includes measurement science associated with the building envelope, HVAC equipment, renewable energy systems, building controls/building automation systems, and equipment used to achieve acceptable indoor air quality. In particular, applications for financial assistance are sought that would:


  1. Enable building energy-use reduction through in-situ performance measurements. Measurement systems are required that can provide detailed, ongoing information on how energy is being used within a building, thus encouraging owners/occupants to make informed energy use decisions. Non-destructive measurement systems are also needed to identify construction defects, such as insulation voids, and to identify performance degradations in equipment such as heating and cooling systems.
  2. Enable energy-use reduction through embedded intelligence in building controls. The key to realizing design potentials is combining new measurement technology and performance metrics with analysis techniques that can be implemented in building automation and control products. The resulting systems have a distributed, embedded intelligence that can detect and respond to faults and operational errors and inefficiencies.
  3. Provide measurement science for emerging building technologies. Potential users of building energy technologies require actual, as opposed to advertised or rated performance measures and data before making capital investments. Credible performance measures and data will create market demand for emerging building energy technologies, economies of scale, and reduced cost.
  4. Develop carbon footprint metrics/tools for building sustainability evaluation. Next-generation metrics and tools enabling rigorous carbon footprint assessment over the building service life are needed to link green building technology innovation to environmental/economic benefits.


The contact person for this division is Dr. A. Hunter Fanney and he may be reached at (301) 975-5864. Details on these various activities are available at


Systems Integration Division. Pursues state-of-the-art, information technology-based solutions to manufacturing systems integration problems. Solutions should support the development of new types of interface standards and new methods for testing the implementation of those standards. Research is to be conducted in collaboration with NIST programs in areas that include supply chain logistics, supplier discovery, distributed manufacturing simulation, systems dynamics to support sustainable manufacturing, product and process information models, product lifecycle analysis tools, lifecycle engineering assessments for energy efficiency and environmental performance, lifecycle engineering for green manufacturing and construction applications, metrics for sustainable manufacturing, model-based engineering, long-term knowledge retention, simulation integration, and engineering analysis. The contact person for this division is Vijay Srinivasan and he may be reached at (301) 975-3508.


Intelligent Systems Division. The primary objective is to collaborate with or conduct research consistent with NIST laboratory programs and research in manufacturing process and equipment interoperability, industrial control system security, intelligent systems and robotics, and intelligent control of mobility systems; machine tool and machining process metrology; smart manufacturing systems; and sensor networking and integration. The contact person for this division is Albert Wavering and he may be reached at (301) 975-3418 or by e-mail at


Disaster and Failure Studies Program. The primary objective is to collaborate with or conduct research consistent with the laboratory programs in the areas of disaster and failure studies. This work includes the creation of a Disaster and Failure Events Data Repository which will host a national archival database of selected hazard events, data collection standards, data collection technology and innovation, data management/archiving and geographic information systems. The contact person is: Eric Letvin who can be reached at 301-975-5412.

And NIST’s Information Technology Laboratory (ITL):

The ITL Grant Program provides financial assistance to support research in the broad areas of advanced network technologies, cloud computing, complex systems, computer forensics; information access, cybersecurity, health information technology, mathematical and computational sciences, pervasive information technologies, smart grid, software testing, and virtual measurements. Specific objectives of interest in these areas of research include: quantum information theory; computational materials science; network science; mathematical foundations of measurement science for information systems; mathematical knowledge management; visual data analysis; verification, validation, and uncertainty quantification for computer models; computational biology; systems biology; image analysis; semantics; software testing; software assurance for small applications; metadata; biometrics; human language technology; human factors and usability; interactive systems; multimedia technology; voting systems standards; information visualization; grid computing; service oriented architecture; IPv6; post quantum public key cryptography; secure distributed computation; very efficient cryptography; leakage resistant computation for cloud computing; homomorphic encryption; mobile platform security; trusted ad hoc networks; device identity and authentication; and device mobility among heterogeneous networks. For details on these various activities, see the ITL Web site at Financial support may be provided for conferences, workshops, or other technical research meetings that are relevant to the mission of ITL. The contact person for the ITL Grant Program is Kamie Roberts and she may be reached at (301) 975-2901.

Through the grant programs captured in this solicitation, the EL anticipates funding individual projects in the $5,000 – $500,000 range, with project performance periods of up to five years. ITL’s funding level is similar, in the $10,000 – $500,000 range for up to five years. (In FY 2011, the EL funded 11 new awards totaling $2,200,000; ITL’s investment included 23 new awards totaling $4,500,000.)

To learn more, including instructions for submitting proposals, check out the funding opportunity in its entirety — or visit the NIST website.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

NIST Announces 2012 Measurement Science & Engineering Research Grants Programs