Research Programs and Emerging Opportunities and Trends in Electrical and Computer Engineering
February 19, 2010
Dr. Robert J. Trew
Electrical, Communications, and Cyber-Systems Division
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is an independent Federal agency established in 1950 "to promote the progress of science, advance national health, prosperity, and welfare, and to secure the national defense." NSF provides financial support for fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. Support funds are provided primarily through the grant mechanism. NSF functions with a discipline-based structure with seven Directorates, with numerous cross-disciplinary initiatives established as focus areas become identified. Program Directors consist of both permanent NSF employees, and "rotators", generally university faculty. The NSF budget for Research and Related Activities (R&RA) for FY2010 is $5.6B, and the recently announced budget request for FY2011 is $6B, representing about a 7.1% increase. The Engineering Directorate consists of three discipline oriented divisions: Electrical, Communications, and Cyber-Systems (ECCS), Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET), and Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI). There is a separate division for Engineering, Education, and Centers (EEC), and a division for Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP). The Directorate also includes the Office for Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI). The FY2010 Engineering budget is $744M and the FY2011 request is $807M, an 8.5% increase. NSF identifies focus areas for research and a variety of programs are established. Focus areas for the ECCS Division include: energy and power including photovoltaics, alternate energy, the Smart Grid, and related technologies; cyber-physical systems (CPS); science and engineering beyond Moore's Law (SEBML); and low-energy electronics. In addition, there is significant current interest in funding translation research directed towards innovation. In this presentation the organization and programs of NSF will be described and some emerging trends and opportunities for research will be presented. Some high priority focus areas will be identified and described.
Robert J. Trew is currently serving as the Director of the Electrical, Communications, and Cyber-Systems Division in the Engineering Director of the National Science Foundation. He received the Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan in 1975. Dr. Trew is the Alton and Mildred Lancaster Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University, Raleigh. He has served as the ECE Department Head at North Carolina State University, Virginia Tech, and Case Western Reserve University. From 1997-2001 he was Director of Research for the U.S. Department of Defense, with management oversight responsibility for the $1.3 billion yearly basic research programs of DoD. Dr. Trew served as Vice-Chair of the U.S. Government interagency committee that planned the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). Dr. Trew is a Fellow of the IEEE, and was the 2004 President of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Proceedings and previously served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques and was founding Co-Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Microwave Magazine. Dr Trew was twice named an MTT Society Microwave Distinguished Lecturer. Awards received by Dr. Trew include the 2001 IEEE-USA Harry Diamond Memorial Award, an IEEE Third Millennium Medal Award, the 1998 IEEE MTT Society Distinguished Educator Award, the 1991 Alcoa Foundation Distinguished Engineering Research Award, and a 1992 NCSU Distinguished Scholarly Achievement Award. He received an Engineering Alumni Society Merit Award in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2003. He has published over 170 articles, 20 book chapters, and has given over 390 conference/workshop presentations. Dr. Trew has 11 patents.