Creating solutions to pressing environmental and sustainability challenges will require input and imaginative approaches from various fields, perspectives, and disciplines. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), in their report "Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century: Addressing Grand Challenges," identified five critical challenges society must address:
- Sustainably supply food, water, and energy
- Curb climate change and adapt to its impacts
- Design a future without pollution and waste
- Create efficient, healthy, and resilient cities
- Foster informed decisions and actions
The report further states, "The challenges provide focal points for evolving environmental engineering education, research, and practice toward increased contributions and a greater impact. Implementing this new model will require modifications in educational curriculum and creative approaches to foster interdisciplinary research on complex social and environmental problems."
This solicitation aims to address these grand challenges by supporting a collaborative research model that seamlessly integrates sustainability, environmental engineering, and process science and engineering.
Accordingly, the Environmental Convergence Opportunities in Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (ECO-CBET) solicitation will support activities that confront vexing environmental engineering and sustainability problems by uncovering and incorporating fundamental knowledge to design new processes, materials, and devices from a systems-level perspective.
Projects should be compelling and reflect sustained, coordinated efforts from interdisciplinary research teams. A key objective of the solicitation is to encourage conversations and robust collaborations amongst the chemical process, transport phenomena, bioengineering, and environmental and sustainability research communities such that unanticipated solutions may arise. Furthermore, training the future workforce to actively engage and be successful in interdisciplinary research will be necessary to continually innovate given the scope of the environmental problems faced by our global community.
The 2020 fiscal year solicitation emphasizes research topics related to:
- greenhouse gas mitigation
- managing the nitrogen cycle
Assuming sufficient funding is provided in the NSF budget, it is anticipated this competition will continue annually. Research topic priorities are subject to change in subsequent years
None is available.