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APPENDIX A Detailed Recommendations for Funding CURRENT FUNDING PATTERNS More than 18 separate federal agencies funded chemical engineering research in FY 1985, the most recent fiscal year for which actual ex- penditure data are available for all government agencies (Table A.11. Their support to all per- formers of chemical engineering research-ac- ademic, private, and federal exceeded $254 million. Much of this funding, though, was for research in federal and private laboratories. $120 $110 $100 $90 - cn o ._ ._ - o Q ~= $60 co c' Cal a) on a) $80 $70 $50 $40 $30 $20 $10 Industry Support ~ Other Support ~ . jr :jr, ,. ./'.2jJ . /'''//'~ P;:::::::::::::ir. :::::::::::::~..:::::::::::::~..::::::::::: .,~,,..~.../,.../ :,:,:',:,:,:,: :,:,:,:',: :j*': :,:,:,:.:,j'. :,:,:,:, .,.,.,/ ,;<,,.,.,,~,.2,'.~. it. '.,','.:/2.,'.'.:~ ".2.2,2/...",.': :::::::::::;~::::::::::::::;,~:.:::: :::,,:::::: .''.'X'"'X'.',.~.. ..,,./,.'.~..,2,/............. ::~ '.".,,^.,',',":~2,'.2,2,:/2.'.' :_}^ ,.,..,,,./,,,.,/.,.,./,.,..:y, ,..: / :,:,:',:.: / :,:.:,:.:'< :':,:,:,: ~ :': ·: a:: :':':: a.':: :':':':~.: :':':': a.':':':: .,,'.,.,, //// /.""''/.2'.2''/.'.2'~ : /"..,'.',/"..2/.,.,.~....... / '.'"2.,./'''.''.'/ 2~',.',.'. .22'.'/ ',,2,',/ ',.',"~' ' ) _ ~ _ ~III`il'' 'it ''ll~illl '` $0 1980 1982 1984 1986 . Fiscal Year FIGURE A.1 Industrial support of academic chemical engineering nearly quadrupled from 1980 to 1986 and is the major factor behind growth in academic funding in this period. Data from Council for Chemical Research. 185 Nearly 90 percent of federal support for aca- demic basic and applied research came from only two agencies: NSF and DOE. This narrow funding base is not good for the health of academic research, which is best served by pluralism among funding sources. Neither is it in the best interest of applied and developmental federal programs that depend on chemical en- gineering. As was observed at a recent confer- ence on research and national priorities: A good development man- ager inevitably runs into fun- damental problems requir- ing a research solution. The road to a solution is easier if the manager has close ties to the research community. The way to maintain such ties is through the mainte- nance of an ongoing basic research program in fields underlying the development activity. ~ This principle underlies indus- try's support of academic chem- ical engineering research. In the last 6 years, industrial support has nearly quadrupled; it has been the main engine for funding growth in academic chemical en- gineering (Figure A. 11. Chemical engineering now leads all engi- neering disciplines in the pro- portion of academic support coming from industry and other nonfederal sources (Figure A.21.2 Industry is often stereotyped as
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~6 TABLE A.1 Federal Support for Basic and Applied Chemical Engineering Research in FY 1985 (thousands of dollars) Sponsoring Agency and Subdivision - Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Cooperative State Research Service Department of Defense Department of the Army Department of the Navy Department of the Air Force Defense Agencies Department of Commerce (NBS) Department of Energy Department of Health and Human Services (NIH) Department of the Interior Bureau of Mines Geological Surveys Minerals Management Service Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration Federal Railroad Administration Research and Special Programs Administration Environmental Protection Agency Federal Emergency Management Agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration National Science Foundation Arms Control and Disarmament Agency APPLE ~ Support to All Performers Support to Academia TOTAL 3,267 2,353 26,689 24,790 1,673 126 1,660 136,625 4,264 500 200 341 60 18,026 200 674 32,606 80 c c 254,134a o 2,353a 1,072 414 332 250b 15,182 c c o o o 520b N/A 674 27,957 N/A 48,754a a Estimate. b Academic data includes development as well as research. c Data for chemical engineering not broken out from data for all engineering research or "engineering, not elsewhere classified." Includes the Office of Water Research and Technology. SOURCE: National Science Foundation.3 4 being more oriented toward applications and less interested in basic research than federal agencies. Yet the chemical processing industries have invested in academia in a very enlightened manner, even during a major recession in the early 1980s and several quarters of reduced profits or slow growth. Presumably, they are supporting basic research because they believe it will yield insights essential to the long-term profitability of their businesses. Unfortunately, federal support of academic chemical engineering has grown at only meager rates in the last 6 years. Thus, among engi- neering disciplines, chemical engineering has simultaneously experienced the second highest rate of growth in industrial support and the lowest rate of growth in federal support (Figure A.3~. This is a puzzling pattern to encounter at a time when government support for basic research is widely seen as a way of promoting the international competitiveness of U.S. in- dustry. Balancing a portfolio of funding sources is always a good idea, but it assumes even more importance as chemical engineering depart- ments seek to expand into new areas. This appendix outlines initiatives for growth in fed- eral programs to respond to the opportunities facing chemical engineers. The initiatives at- tempt to match research priorities with the missions and purposes of each agency.
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AlOpE^yDIX ~ TABLE A.2 Costs of Doing Frontier Research in Chemical Engineering Annual Level of Efforta JO A B C D NSFb Faculty summer salary (2 mo). $4,500/mo Postdoctoral, $27,000/yr Graduate students, $11,000/yr Supplies, $6,000/yr/FTE Services or other personnel, $3,500/yr/FTE Equipment and small instru- ments Indirect costs (34%) TOTAL 2 18.0 1 27.0 8 88.0 (g) 54.0 (9) 31.5 10.0 77.7 306.2 1 6 (7) (7) 9.0 27.0 66.0 42.0 24.5 8.0 60.0 236.5 9.0 0.5 13.5 4 44.0 (5) 30.0 (5) 17.5 6.0 40.0 160.7 9.0 0.5 2 (3) (3) 13.5 22.0 18.0 10.5 5.0 26.5 104.5 8.6 1.2 12.6 8.5 5.1 4.9 13.9 54.8 ~ Under each level of effort are two columns. The first gives multipliers for each budget category, and the second gives subtotals and totals in thousands of dollars. b This column shows the breakdown of costs for the average grant in FY 1986 from the NSF Division of Chemical, Biochemical, and Thermal Engineering (CBTE). The 506 grants made by CBTE supported 508 senior investigators for a total of 95 man-years (2.25 months per investigator) at a cost of $4,340,340; 43 postdoctorate (0.085 per grant) for a total of $622,322 of support; 722 graduate students (1.53 per grant) for a total of $6,396,492 of support; $2,567,871 of other personnel costs; $2,451,796 of equipment and instrumentation; and $4,294,378 of other direct costs. The average indirect cost rate for the CBTE grants was 34 percent. SOURCE: NSF Directorate of Engineering. THE COST OF FRONTIER RESEARCH Before the detailed agency recommendations are presented, some general comments will be made about future research costs. Pursuing the frontiers described in this report will require more resources than have been needed in the past. Problems of greater com- plexity require larger research groups to make optimal progress. Access to more sophisticated instrumentation and facilities is costly. Table A.2 presents a range of grant sizes that will be required to perform frontier research efficiently in the future. The estimates in this table for stipends and salaries are reasonable estimates of current costs in chemical engineering de- partments at major universities. Estimates in the table for costs of services, supplies, and ordinary equipment are close to current NSF averages in chemical engineering. Four different levels of effort are shown, along with the level of effort supported by the current average grant from the NSF Division of Chemical, Biochemical, and Thermal Engi- neering (CBTE). Level A shows the costs of a substantial cross-disciplinary partnership be tween two research groups. Levels B and C show the costs of large and moderate-sized research groups led by single principal investi- gators. A group that wants to tackle important research problems at the frontiers of the disci- p~line will probably need to be about the size of Level D to maintain both vitality and continuity. Throughout the following sections, the cost figures in Table A.2 will be used to derive target budgets for proposed initiatives. It should be stressed, though, that the levels of effort shown in Table A.2 are not meant to imply that there are only four ways to organize a research effort, or to suggest that an explicitly multitiered sys- tem of support should be introduced. These levels are meant only to be illustrative of the resources needed today to conduct state-of-the- art research in chemical engineering. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION The National Science Foundation is the larg- est source of federal support for academic chemical engineering research (see Table A.11. Its support of the discipline comes through a variety of programs and divisions (Table A.31.
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188 These programs have a logical role in each of the priority areas spelled out in this report, and increased support from NSF is vital to the goal of expanding chemical engineering into new areas. The committee proposes the following new initiatives for the Foundation. Biotechnology and Biomedicine Since publication of a prelim- inary report by this committee in 1984,5 NSF has increased its support of biochemical engineer- ing by putting in place a new program in biotechnology in its Division of Emerging and Criti- cal [Engineering Systems, by funding an Engineering Research Center focused on biotechnology processing, and by increasing support to the CBTE program on biochemical and biomass en- gineering. The committee ap- plauds this progress and strongly encourages NSF to sustain the growth and quality of its research support in this area. NSF Initiative I The committee recommends that NSF include biochemical and biomedical engineering in a larger program of 5-year cross-disciplinary pi- oneer awards (see Chapter 10 for a description). The overall program would be open to candi- dates from any other discipline with an interest in chemical engineering, and a steady-state program of 25 awards would be achieved over 5 years. The committee recommends that such awards be funded at least at Level D (see Table A.2) with the opportunity to grow to Level C if warranted. This would mean an initial award in the range of $100,000, and a program total of at least $2.5 million at steady state. All candi- dates for cross-disciplinary pioneer awards would compete in one pool, regardless of their area of interest within chemical engineering. It is likely, however, that some of the awards would be APPENDIX A At! Engineering Aero/Astro Chemical civil Electrical Mechanical Other, n.e.c ~ Non-Federal Support \\\\\\\\ K. .~. ~. X. .\ ~ X. .\ ~ ~ .\ ~ in. ., x .~.~. ~.x x.~.~.x \ ~ : 1 ~\\\\~\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\~ a\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\~ , ~\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\~\\\\\\\\\4 1 1 1 1 0% 10% 20% 30% 1 1 1 1 140% 50% 60% 1 Fraction of Support AVER. FIGURE A.2 Chemical engineering currently leads all engineering disciplines in the fraction of its support coming from nonfederal sources. Data from National Science Foundation.' made to researchers with biological back- grounds who are interested in chemical engi- neer~ng. Materials For materials-related priority areas, the com- mittee recommends small groups or cooperative efforts among small groups as the preferred mode of research organization. There are sev- eral reasons for this: ~ Many of the frontier research questions outlined in Chapters 4 and 5 can be profitably attacked by adequately supported groups led by a single principal investigator or by multi- disciplinary collaborations between small re- search groups. ~ Some important types of research questions
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APP3ENDiX ~ ~ Non-Federal Support ~ Federal Support All Engineering ~\\\~\~\ 1 Aero/Astro ~\\\\\~1 ~1 1 l 1 Chemical Civil Electrical Mechanical Other, n.e.c ~\~\\~\\\\1 1 1 ~ \//\//\//\/// 1'\\\~\\\\\: 1 :\\~\\\~: I 1 ~\\\R~\\\~1 I//////////// 1 ' ' ' '1 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 1 ~ ~ , . . . 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120% 140% 1 1 aver. aver. Percentage Growth FY 80 - 85 FIGURE A.3 Paradox. Among engineering disciplines, chemical engineering enjoyed the second largest percentage growth in nonfederal support from FY 1980 to FY 1985. Dunng this same period, it also experienced the lowest percentage growth infederal support. Data from National Science Foundation.' require expensive instrumentation and equip- ment that must be modified extensively by the research team in order to perform its experi- ments. In such cases, sharing even the same type of equipment among groups with different experimental objectives becomes impossible. · Creating small groups or collaborations among groups at institutions that have Materials Research Laboratories (MRLs) can be a cost- effective way to add chemical engineering ex- pertise and insights to existing NSF-supported efforts. There is a perception in the chemical engineering community that the MRLs are more directed toward physics and perhaps not open to significant participation by chemical engineers. It may be less expensive for NSF to inves- tigate the reasons for this per- ception and to facilitate access by chemical engineers to existing facilities at their home institu- tions than to create new centers. · There already is a significant demand in the materials and elec- tronics industry for chemical en- gineers. These personnel needs are likely to grow as future in- ternational competition focuses on materials processing. The ex- isting and anticipated demand for materials-oriented chemical en- gineers will be most effectively met by a broad-based pattern of support, rather than one concen- trated in a few large centers. NSF Initiative 2 In FY 1986, there were only 15 NSF-supported chemical en- gineering groups working on the problems of electronic, pho- tonic, and recording materials and devices. Thirteen of these were supported by the Directo- rate of Engineering and shared a total budget of $755,152. The other two were in the Division of Materials Research of the Direc- torate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Their budgets totaled $211,200. Six of these 15 groups are led by Presidential Young Investi- gators. A 5-year initiative should be put in place to double the number of groups working in this critical area. This is an achievable goal if the best existing groups are allowed to expand in size to produce more faculty candidates, if existing chemical engineering researchers with interests in this area are given the resources to shift their programs, and if some researchers from related disciplines elect to become cross
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^~^~X ~ TABLE A.3 NSF Support of Chemical Engineering in FY 1986 (thousands of dollars Directorate, Division, and Program Total Directorate of Engineering Office of the Assistant Director Electrical, Communications, and Systems Engineenng Chemical, Biochemical, and Thermal Engineering Kinetics and Catalysis Biochemical and Biomass Engineering Process and Reaction Engineering Multiphase and Interfacial Phenomena Separation and Purification Processes Thermodynamics and Transport Phenomena Thermal Systems and Engineering Mechanics, Structures, and Materials Engineering Design, Manufacturing, and Computer Engineering Emerging and Critical Engineering Systems Biotechnology Bioengineering Cross-Disciplinary Research Engineering Research Centers Industry-University Cooperative Research Projects Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences Chemistry Materials Research TOTAL 247 54 2,841 2,731 3,248 2,156 2,870 4,322 2,381 1,125 377 2,667 15 3,638 243 508 425 3,133 32,981 a NSF support of chemical engineering research by all performers. SOURCE: NSF Directorate of Engineering and NSF Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. disciplinary pioneers in chemical engineering departments. An appropriate steady-state group size for research in this area would be some- where between Levels B and C. This might result in an eventual production of about 40 Ph.D. researchers per year with expertise in the broad range of materials and devices for infor- mation storage and handling. It is somewhat surprising that the average size of the 13 Engineering Directorate grants in this area is only about $58,000. The PYIs are obviously getting industry co-funding, but the total size of individual programs in this area must still be below the optimum level. A min- imum target for research support, apart from special instrumentation and facilities, should be about $6 million by the end of the proposed initiative. Industrial co-funding could be re- quired to obtain state-of-the-art equipment or to upgrade facilities. NSF Initiative 3 The chemical engineering of polymers or composites was the subject of at least 34 grants in the Directorate of Engineering in FY 1986 (totaling $2.37 million), 12 in the Division of Materials Research of MPS (totaling $2.83 mil- lion), and an Engineering Research Center grant of $1.25 million. In contrast, there was virtually no identifiable NSF support in FY 1986 for the chemical engineering of ceramics. In addition to continued growth in support for research on polymers and polymeric composites, a major new thrust is recommended in the chemical engineering of ceramics. An initial thrust might be to solicit proposals to establish a number of university-based centers on the chemical engi- neering of ceramics that could then lay the foundation for a more broadly based research effort. Cross-disciplinary interaction between
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~ ~ ,! 6:,: I, ~ ~ chemists, chemical engineers, and ceramists would have to be a key feature of these centers. One could imagine such centers being about twice the size of a Level A research group. If six to eight such centers were set up over the next 5 years, their steady-state cost (less special equipment and instruments) would be in the range of $4 million per year. In addition to centers, cross-disciplinary pioneers should be supported in this area. Processing of Energy and Natural Resources NSF Initiative 4 National Science Foundation programs in catalysis; multiphase systems; separations; dy- namics of solids transport and handling; and methodologies for design, scale-up, and control play a key role in supporting more applied research on processing of energy and natural resources. These NSF programs must be sus- tained and nurtured. A recent report from the National Research Council recommends that the NSF Separation and Purification Processes Program receive a substantial increment in its budget over the next 5 years.6 The committee endorses those rec- ommendations. Environmental Protection, Process Safety, and Hazardous Waste Management NSF Initiative 5 The National Science Foundation should strongly support growth in this research area, with a special focus on engineering design and control methodology for process safety and waste minimization. In FY 1986, only three chemical engineering groups working in this area were supported by NSF, with combined support of less than $240,000. Computer-Assisted Process and Control Engineering NSF Initiative 6 Chemical process systems is one focus of an Engineering Research Center at the University of Maryland established in 1985. In FY 1986, NSF support of the chemical engineering re- search at this center was reported to be $2.24 million. However, this is the total support re- ceived by that center in 1986, and only about 25 percent of the work being carried out is in chemical engineering. In 1986, an Engineering Research Center on design was established at Carnegie Mellon University with an initial grant from NSF of $2.0 million. Again, about 25 percent of the center's effort is in chemical engineering. Thus, NSF has committed to an- nually fund about $1 million in chemical engi- neering research in design methodology over the next few years through these two ERCs. Twenty-two other research groups in com- puter-assisted process and control engineering, six of which are led by PYIs, received $1.91 million in funding from NSF in FY 1986. While the average grant size for this group of inves- tigators (about $86,800) is much larger than the average grant size for the CBTE Division, a comparison with the levels of effort in Table A.2 shows that in absolute terms these grants still do not provide for a very substantial pro- gram. The committee recommends a major initiative for NSF: a 5-year pattern of growth from the current 22 Level D grants to 35 Level B grants. These groups will also need access to state-of-the-art workstations, software, and computer networks. Strong co-funding from industry in addition to the NSF Level B grants will help to meet this need, as well as the need for periodic upgrades. At the end of 5 years, the NSF investment in this area, exclusive of the ERCs, should be at a total level of about $8 million. At steady state, this initiative will produce about 50 new Ph.D.s per year with expertise in computer-assisted design, control, and operations. They will have an immense impact on chemical engineering education and practice. Surface and Interfacial Engineering NSF Initiative 7 The National Science Foundation should ex- pand its support to surface and interracial en- gineering, focusing on surface chemistry, ca- talysis, electrochemistry, colloid and interracial
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192 phenomena, and plasma chemistry. State-of- the-art research in these areas is very costly, because- experimental apparatus must be tai- lored to individual experiments. Expensive in- struments ($200,000 to $500,000) are often ex- tensively modified in the course of studies and become, for all purposes, instruments dedicated to a particular group. For such studies, there are few financial savings to be realized from assembling investigators into centers. The com- mittee recommends that the NSF provide funds for chemical engineering groups to acquire sophisticated instrumentation for studying sur- faces, interfaces, and microstructures. The committee estimates that, in a given year, somewhere between 10 and 25 of the active groups in surface and interracial engineering will need to acquire a major instrument for adaptation and use. A funding level of $5 million per year for major dedicated instrumentation can meet most of these needs. Research Excellence Awards NSF Initiative 8 The committee recommends that a steady- state program of 15 research excellence awards in chemical engineering be achieved over 3 years. This new mechanism is described in Chapter 10. Because these awards are intended to fund speculative high-potential research, they will probably work best in the milieu of a small research group. Thus, the committee recom- mends that they be funded at about Level D. The steady-state cost of the initiative would be $1.5 million. Conclusion The committee's recommendations for NSF target about $22 million in growth over the next 5 years in six major initiatives, and a less determinate amount of growth in the other two initiatives. The six major initiatives would add 84 new research groups to chemical engineering over 5 years, a 17 percent increase in the number of groups funded. In terms of dollars, the initiatives would amount to a rough doubling of the amount that chemical engineering research received from the CBTE Division in FY 1986. AP~PENDIX ~ DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY The Department of Energy has wide-ranging programmatic interests to which chemical en- gineering can make important contributions. These include familiar areas of fossil resource production and processing, catalysis, separa- tions, and nuclear energy. They also include less familiar areas such as materials, process design and control, and molecular biology. In-Situ Processing of Energy and Mineral Resources DOE Initiative The committee's prime initiative for DOE is the support of research on fundamental phe- nomena important for in-situ processing of hy- drocarbon resources. (A related initiative for the Bureau of Mines is discussed later in this appendix.) The important fundamental prob- lems in this area are outlined in Chapter 6. The size and extreme complexity of the environ- ments in which these phenomena occur will require expensive, large-scale, prolonged field experiments. Such large-scale research, though, will be quite different from the demonstration projects funded by DOE in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Rather than demonstrating the maturity of technologies and their readiness for commercial application (an activity in which, it has been argued, the federal government should not be involved), the focus of large-scale fun- damental research proposed for this initiative would be to build a nonproprietary knowledge base relating experimental results on the smaller scales of test systems and equipment to results obtained in the larger and more complex systems found in the field. A variety of support mechanisms for carrying out such research could be envisioned that would include sponsorship of individual re- search projects in academia or federal labora- tories, where appropriate; a DOE equivalent of the NSF Engineering Research Centers, but with more cooperative involvement from in- dustry; and stimulation by DOE of industrial consortia both to carry out joint research among companies on nonproprietary topics and to support relevant research in academia. The
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APPENDIX ~ importance of this research is such that sub- stantial interest in cooperative research might be generated in industry if DOE took a lead role in providing stimulus and partial funding. Liquid Fuels for the Future DOE Initiative 2 A second research initiative for DOE centers on facilitating progress towards the next gen- eration of liquid fuels. This is a very broad topic, encompassing many areas including ca- talysis (see Chapter 9), solids processing, sep- arations, materials development, and advanced scale-up and design techniques. The Office of Energy Research (OER) and the Office of Fossil Energy should work together to coordinate research in these areas. Some research areas, notably solids processing, may require the same type of large-scale fundamental research called for in the previous research initiative. The mechanisms proposed there for stimulating large- scale research may be applicable here, as well. Advanced Computational Methods and Process Control DOE Initiative 3 The Division of Engineering and Geosciences in OER supports cutting-edge research in fluid dynamics and process design and control. These programs should be sustained as a vital part of the balanced portfolio of support for these areas within chemical engineering. Process design, scale-up, and control have already been men- tioned as important keys to in-situ processing. The Office of Fossil Energy should consider setting up a research program in this area that would support fundamental process design and control research that would be particularly ap- plicable to large-scale projects. Surface and Interfacial Engineering DOE Initiative 4 193 program has been in the areas of catalysis and separations. Given the broad range of energy applications in which the structure and chem- istry of interfaces is important, the committee recommends that the Division undertake an initiative in the chemical control of surfaces, interfaces, and microstructures. This would in- clude support of work by both chemists and chemical engineers in the areas of surface chem- istry, plasma chemistry, and colloid and inter- facial chemistry. Microstructured Materials DOE Initiative 5 Materials in general, and ceramics in partic- ular, are heavily emphasized in the DOE Divi- sion of Material Sciences. Up to now, this program has had relatively little involvement from chemical engineers. Given that chemical processing approaches to ceramics have a bright future, both for structural applications and pos- sibly for ceramic superconductors, the OER should consider a major thrust in chemical processing of materials, with a view towards the more facile production of defect-free ce- ramics for energy and energy-saving applica- tions. Biotechnology DOE Initiative 6 Bioprocessing is of interest to the DOE Di- vision of Energy Conversion and Utilization Technologies (ECUTJ, which is concerned with increasing the efficiency of energy conversion and the use of renewable resources. A recent report of the National Research Council pro- poses a comprehensive program in this area for ECUT, involving both chemical engineering and the life sciences, and funded for 10 years at an annual level of $10 millions The committee endorses these recommendations and urges their . . Implementation. ... . . .NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH The Division of Chemical Sciences in OER supports basic chemical research. The primary The National Institutes of Health is the pre involvement of chemical engineers with this mier sponsor of health-related research in the
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/^~4 'i;- - ~ ~ United States. Its long-term support of the basic biosciences is responsible for the advances that have made biotechnology possible. Sophisti- cated engineering will be needed, though, if biotechnology is to make its full potential con- tribution to the nation's health. NIH supports a great deal of research aimed at elucidating molecular processes in living systems; identi- fying molecules of potential therapeutic value; and developing potential routes to them, whether via synthetic chemistry or recombinant DNA organisms. It provides less support to the prob- lem of turning these potential synthetic routes into practical, economic processes. In part this is because NIH has traditionally focused on basic science, leaving commercialization of dis- coveries to others. But there is a knowledge gap in the basic engineering science for bio- technology and biomedicine that is not being filled by industry. This gap impedes the full conversion of new biological knowledge into products and therapies for improving human health. There is a role for NIH, consistent with its historical mission and philosophy, to (1) expand the base of fundamental knowledge in the chemical engineering of biological systems and (2) train a new generation of chemical engineers to be more conversant with the bio- logical sciences. Both steps will allow chemical engineers of the future to expertly apply engi- neering principles to biological problems. NIH Initiative 1 The committee recommends that NIH un- dertake an initiative to bring chemical engi- neering researchers into more effective contact with biological and medical researchers. The mechanism for accomplishing this would be through cross-disciplinary partnerships in re- search, with groups ranging upwards in size from a traditional research project led by two co-principal investigators one from chemical engineering and one from the life sciences to program projects and perhaps even centers involving many investigators from engineering, biology, and medicine. At the low end of this spectrum, a level of funding similar to Level A in Table A.2 would allow for a substantial interdisciplinary effort. I/ ~,~ 1 FIT Jay r T? ~ NIH Initiative 2 The National Institutes of Health could also play a vital role in shaping the biological chem- ical engineers of the future by using Institutional National Research Service Awards to provide biochemical engineering graduate students with a greater exposure to the life sciences. A sig- nificant limiting factor in expanding the graduate curriculum in this way is the problem of sup- porting students for an additional year prior to their immersion into grant-supported research. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE The chemical engineering research frontiers of most relevance to the Department of Defense are in materials. Faster electronic devices, more reliable communication systems, and stronger structural components are all needed by DOD in order to fulfill its mission. Chemical process- ing is a valuable tool to tailor these materials for specific military uses. A special strength of the DOD research in- frastructure is its vertical integration from basic research, through applied and exploratory re- search, to advanced testing and evaluation of technologies in the field. The committee rec- ommends that DOD exploit this strength by formulating integrated initiatives around topics where advances in chemical processing can exert leverage. The development of more secure signal and communication systems might be one such topic. Chemical processing plays an im- portant role in the manufacture of both glass- based and polymer-based optical fibers. The latter are more easily fit to connectors and attached to one another. They might be most appropriate for defense systems requiring trans- mission of data over short distances (measured in meters) rather than long distances. An initi- ative to develop practical polymer-based com- munications systems would require a significant basic research effort in polymer chemistry and chemical engineering to resolve materials chal- lenges to low-loss optical transmission in poly- mers, a significant effort in chemical engineering to provide the fundamental insights needed to fabricate optical-quality polymer lenses, split- ters, and connectors, as well as research in related disciplines (e.g., electrical engineering)
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PPEl~iD~: ~ to develop overall system concepts and design and to produce a system that could be integrated into existing hardware. The potential payoffs of success in this initiative would be enormous, both in terms of national security (e.g., secure optically based communications systems cheap enough to install nationwide) and in terms of society's need for rapid, efficient transmission of data (e.g., optically based local telephone systems and local area networks capable of simultaneously transmitting enormous quan- tities of digitized voice and data signals). This is just one example of several such DOD initiatives that might be built around scenarios that assume that basic chemical problems in materials could be solved by concentration of resources on fundamental research. One can just as easily imagine other initiatives, such as the following: · The high strength of Kevlar'¢ fibers is due to the way in which they are processed, rather than their intrinsic chemical composition. If processes could be found that were capable of creating in other materials the highly ordered structure seen in Kevlar~, it might be possible to fabricate extremely durable treads for use in modern infantry vehicles and tanks. Such a practical focus might be used as an organizing focus for a substantial program of fundamental research on polymer processing for high strength and toughness. · Most composites used in aircraft must be "laid up" by hand, because a reliable manufac- turing technology for composites has yet to be discovered. Chemical processing combined with textile engineering could be used to achieve major advances in the manufacture of reliable composites for major structural components of aircraft. · Another composites problem is joining and repairing these materials. Unlike metals, where patches can literally be bolted onto a system without substantially degrading performance, performance in composites is very sensitive to the means by which composite components are joined to each other, or repaired. The practical problem of repairing the composite aircraft of the future could be the focus of a significant fundamental chemical engineering effort to elu cidate joining and repair on the molecular level, and to integrate new insights from the molecular level into the contributions that would be made on the systems level by other disciplines (e.g., materials, mechanical, and aerospace engineer- ing). ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY EPA Initiative 1 The Environmental Protection Agency needs a strong basic research program, especially in chemical science and technology. The commit- tee urges EPA to revitalize its research grant program in the Office of Exploratory Research. As part of this revitalization, EPA should seek to fund the best chemical engineering research groups investigating important ongoing chal- lenges to environmental quality: · fundamental chemical processes important in the generation and control of toxic substances by combustion, ~ chemical processes involved in the trans- port and fate of hazardous substances in the environment, and ~ design methodologies that could result in waste and process hazard minimization in chem- ical manufacturing plants. These areas all promise substantial advances in improving our environment, but will not yield that promise in an atmosphere of on-again, off- again funding. Stability in the EPA research program over several years is needed to attract the best scientific and engineering research talents to these problems and to allow them to work efficiently on their solution. EPA Initiative 2 The EPA should consider establishing a na- tional Center for Engineering Research on En- vironmental Protection and Process Safety (CERES), modeled on the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Chemical and process engineering researchers would benefit from a special collection of state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and computational resources dedicated to research on environmental protection, pro
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cess safety, and hazardous waste management. As a centralized facility, CERES could serve a coordinating role to enhance cooperation in research across institutional boundaries and to diffuse rapidly into industry research advances made in academic and other laboratories. The specific tasks and possible organization of such a center, as well as its potential relationship with a new NSF center on hazardous waste management, should be the subject of an in- depth study by EPA and any competition for siting and operating this center should be open to the most meritorious proposal, whether it originates from a university, a federal labora- tory, the nonprofit sector, or some combination of the three. NATIONALBUREAU OF STANDARDS The National Bureau of Standards has a unique role to play in supporting the field of chemical engineering. It should be the focal point for providing evaluated data and predictive models for data to facilitate the design, the scale-up, and even the selection of chemical processes for specific applications. Despite the plethora of data in the scientific literature on thermophysical quantities of sub- stances and mixtures, many important data gaps exist. Predictive capabilities have been devel- oped for problems such as vapor-liquid equilib- rium properties, gas-phase and less accu- rately liquid-phase diffusivities, and solubilities of nonelectrolytes. Yet there are many areas where improved predictive models would be of great value. An accurate and reliable predictive model can obviate the need for costly, extensive experimental measurements of properties that are critical in chemical manufacturing process es. Particular attention should be given by NBS to data needs in the emerging technology areas served by chemical engineering (i.e., biotech- nology and materials). In the area of biotech- nology, the NBS is attempting to identify and assign priority to the thermophysical properties of greatest importance to scale-up and com- mercialization, and to identify promising theo- retical approaches that could lead to generic predictive models for the types of complex APPEiV~\ ~ mixtures found in bioprocessing systems. The committee endorses this effort and encourages the NBS to provide the needed level of funds for an optimal effort. In the materials area, the need for international standards for advanced materials, such as polymer blends and ceramics, is acute. Again, the NBS has started an effort in this area as part of the international Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Systems (VAMAS). Currently, about 100 U.S. research- ers are involved in VAMAS-related research, in both industry and academia. The amount of federal funding for this effort, though, is less than $500,000. This type of project is extremely important to the rapid worldwide development of advanced materials, and should be funded at a level more commensurate with that impor- tance. BUREAU OF MINES The Bureau of Mines, within the Department of the Interior, funds a substantial amount of chemical engineering research in its in-house laboratories, particularly in the area of hydro- metallurgical separation processes. The U.S. minerals industry is currently in a depressed state typified by diminished research efforts within industrial laboratories and, in some cases, wholesale termination of research operations. As a result, new researchers have bleak pros- pects for industrial employment. At the same time, the United States cannot afford to lose a professional generation of research personnel in an area that would be of critical importance if foreign supplies of certain metals were inter- rupted. The committee recommends that the Bureau fund a modest number of university-based cen- ters focused on in-situ processing of dilute resources. This initiative would complement the major one proposed for DOE. Such centers should explicitly focus on generic themes, such as separations from highly dilute solutions, multiphase flow though porous media, or the development of sensors and other instrumen- tation. The goal of the centers program would be to stimulate fresh ideas and insights in metals- related processing research and to train a new generation of research engineers flexible enough
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APPE.,J~IX ~ either to move into a revitalized minerals in- dustry or to find employment in the broader sector of process industries. NOTES National Academy of Sciences, Government-Uni- versity-Industry Research Roundtable. What Re- search Strategies Best Serve the National Interest in a Time of Budgetary Stress? Report of a Conference. Washington, D.C.: National Acad- emy Press, 1986. 2. National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Studies. Academic SciencelEngineer- ing: R&D Funds, Fiscal Year 1985. Washington, D.C.: National Science Foundation, 1986. 3. National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Studies. Federal Funds for Research and Development, Fiscal Years 1985, 1986, and 1987, Volume XXXV (Detailed Statistical Tables). Washington, D.C.: National Science Foundation, 1986 4. National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Studies. Federal Support to Universi- ties, Colleges, and Selected Nonprofit Institu- tions, Fiscal Year 1985. Washington, D.C.: Na- tional Science Foundation, 1987. 5. National Academy of Sciences-National Academy of Engineering-Institute of Medicine, Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. "Re- port of the Research Briefing Panel on Chemical and Process Engineering for Biotechnology," in Research Briefings 1984. Washington, D.C.: Na- tional Academy Press, 1984. 6. National Research Council, Committee on Sepa- ration Science and Technology. Separation and Purification: Critical Needs and Opportunities. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1987. 7. National Research Council, National Materials Advisory Board. Bioprocessing for the Energy- Efficient Production of Chemicals. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1986.
Representative terms from entire chapter: