Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Seminar


Current and Emerging Trends at National Science Foundation Directorate for Engineering


Dr. Steven McKnight


The National Science Foundation


Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 11:30:00 AM


MRDC Building, Room 4211


Dr. Thomas Kurfess


The National Science Foundation is the primary source of support for scientific and engineering basic research and education at U.S. universities. At NSF, the Directorate for Engineering (ENG) supports fundamental research and discovery across all engineering disciplines. Research support from NSF ENG is broad and comprehensive ranging from exploratory seed funding for highly innovative research concepts in specific disciplines to awards for early career development (CAREER) to large multi-university research centers that promote interdisciplinary research with a systems focus. The presentation will provide a brief overview of these and other ENG Directorates activities. Specifically, the presentation will highlight the current ENG leadership and organizational structure, current and future budget initiatives, details on ENG operations, and emerging opportunities and challenges facing NSF and our research community. The presentation is meant to be interactive and informal in order to promote a two-way dialogue between NSF and the Georgia Institute of Technology engineering research community and point interested parties towards sources of additional information.


Since 2009, Steven H. McKnight has served as Director of the Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation Division (CMMI) within the Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF). He has also served as Acting Deputy Assistant Director for Engineering during periods of 2012-2013. During his tenure with NSF, he has continued the Divisionís support of fundamental research activities that are directed at advances in civil, mechanical, industrial, materials design, and manufacturing engineering. He has also been instrumental in promoting greater emphasis on interdisciplinary and collaborative research endeavors and ensured CMMI participation in cross-Foundational programs and interagency initiatives. Dr. McKnight also represents NSF on several Office of Science and Technology Policy committees, subcommittees, and interagency working groups and has been instrumental in establishing NSF participation in the Materials Genome Initiative and other Advanced Manufacturing efforts. Before joining NSF, McKnight leadership positions at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. Notably, he directed the Army Research Laboratoryís (ARL) Materials Division overseeing a large internal and extramural research program focused on advanced materials and manufacturing technologies. His personal research focuses on advanced polymer composite materials and polymer adhesion. McKnight has advised graduate and post-graduate researchers at the University of Delaware Center for Composite Materials, where he holds a visiting scientist appointment. He has twice won Army R&D Achievement Awards as well as the Paul A. Siple Memorial Award for outstanding research presented at the U.S. Army Science Conference. Dr. McKnight earned a B.S. in materials engineering from Virginia Tech and his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Delaware.


Refreshments will be served.