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Engineering Laboratory (EL) Grant Program

Program Description: The EL Grant Program provides financial assistance consistent with the EL’s mission to support research in the following fields: machine tool and machining process metrology; advanced manufacturing; intelligent systems and information systems integration for applications in manufacturing; structures, construction metrology and automation; inorganic materials; polymeric materials; heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC & R) equipment performance; mechanical systems and controls; heat transfer and alternative energy systems; computer integrated building processes; indoor air quality and ventilation; earthquake risk reduction for buildings and infrastructure; smart grid; windstorm impact reduction; applied economics; and fire research. Financial support may be provided for conferences, workshops, or other technical research meetings that are relevant to the mission of EL.

EL’s Grant Program promotes the development and dissemination of advanced manufacturing and construction technologies, guidelines, and services to the U.S. manufacturing and construction industries through activities including measurement science research, performance metrics, tools and methodologies for engineering applications, and critical technical contributions to standards and codes development.

All applications submitted must be in accordance with the program objectives listed below. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the appropriate EL Program Manager for each EL field of research that follows for clarification of the program objectives and to determine the extent of interest prior to preparation of a detailed application. The contact person for the EL Grant Program is Karla Sims and she may be reached at (301)-975-4878 or by e-mail at   

Applied Economics Office. The office provides standardized methods, economic models, training programs and materials and expert technical consulting in support of resource allocation decisions and uses techniques such as benefit-cost analysis, life-cycle costing, multi-criteria decision analysis and econometrics to evaluate new technologies. The contact person for this division is Robert Chapman and he may be reached at (301) 975-2723 or by email at

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 or by email at

Materials and Structural Systems Division. The primary objective is to collaborate with or conduct research consistent with the division’s programs in the areas of structures, inorganic materials, and polymeric materials (including safety, security, and sustainability of building and physical infrastructure, service-life performance of building materials, and construction cycle time reductions). In particular, applications for financial assistance are sought that would:

(1) Provide measurement science to: (1) predict structural performance up to failure under extreme loading conditions; (2) predict disaster resilience at the building and community scale; (3) assess and evaluate the ability of existing structures to withstand extreme loads; and, (4) design new buildings and retrofit existing buildings using cost-effective, performance-based methods. The program enhances the resilience and robustness of structures by focusing on: prevention of disproportionate structural collapse, fire resistance of structures, and measures of disaster resilience.

(2) Provide the measurement science needed to support standards used to classify and specify materials used in infrastructure, construction, and manufacturing to ensure sustainable performance. This materials program approaches the solution of this problem from the perspective of service life prediction, a crucial sustainability metric, and applies this concept to polymer composites and concrete. These two material thrusts will develop measurement science composed of a combination of characterization, performance measurement, accelerated durability tests, and modeling to develop standards that will be used by industry and specified by end-users in these broad application areas to enable service life prediction and thus help to ensure sustainable materials performance.

The contact person for this division is Jason Averill and he may be reached at (301) 975-2585 or by email at

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) Provide measurement science for net-zero energy, high-performance buildings. Measurement systems, approaches, and predictive models are required that can provide detailed information to enable net-zero energy, high-performance buildings. A primary objective is to develop, measurement methods and approaches, data, and predictive models to assess the effectiveness of building enclosures from a thermal and airtightness perspective, the performance of vapor compression systems, the performance of photovoltaics and other renewable energy systems, and indoor air quality. Additionally, an objective is to develop technique that will provide measurement science required to assess buildings on a whole-building scale. These techniques could relate to building standards, should consider system interactions, and could deal with factors beyond energy use. The contact person - is William Healy and he may be reached at (301) 975-4922 or by email at

(2) Enable energy-use reduction through embedded intelligence in building controls. Next-generation metrics and tools are needed that enable the development and deployment of building automation and control systems with embedded intelligence that reduce energy consumption through improvements to building system operation. A primary objective is to develop measurement methods, models, and algorithms/tools suitable for embedding in building control system products that enable better or more automated system commissioning, automated fault detection and diagnostics, improved system-level optimization, and integration of building systems with a smart electrical grid. Additionally, an objective is to conduct research that provides a basis for new industry standards for embedded intelligence systems. The contact person is Steven Bushby and he may be reached at (301) 975-5873 or by email at

(3) Develop metrics/tools for building sustainability evaluation. Next-generation metrics and tools enabling rigorous sustainability assessment over the building service life are needed to link green building technology innovation to environmental/economic benefits. A primary objective is the development of databases and/or models for estimating component and system costs for existing and emerging energy-related technologies in new commercial buildings. Additionally, an objective is to develop techniques for performing life-cycle impact assessments of emerging technologies for achieving low energy and/or net zero energy performance in new commercial buildings. The contact person is Robert Chapman and he may be reached at (301) 975-2723 or by email at

Systems Integration Division. Pursues measurement science research to facilitate solutions to systems integration problems in the manufacturing sector. Research supports the development of mathematically sound, model-based, integration standards and new science-based methods and tools for validating compliance to those standards. Research topic areas include system architectures; systems engineering; production network integration; service-based manufacturing; distributed manufacturing simulation; methods and tools for assessing material and energy efficiency; data analytics; systems assurance methods and tools; model-based engineering, including multi-physics modeling, process modeling, requirements modeling, information modeling, material modeling, assembly modeling, sustainability modeling, and model composability and compositionality The contact person for this division is Vijay Srinivasan and he may be reached at (301) 975-3508 or by e-mail at

Intelligent Systems Division. The primary objective is to collaborate with or conduct research consistent with Division programs and research in measurement science for intelligent systems. Areas of particular interest include:

(1) Robotic systems for smart manufacturing (including measurement science for perception,

dexterous manipulation, mobility, human-robot and robot-robot collaboration, rapid re-tasking, and robot system integration)

(2) Additive manufacturing (including characterization of additive manufacturing materials, modeling and real-time control of additive manufacturing processes, and measurement science supporting the qualification of additive manufacturing materials, processes, and parts)

(3) Sensing and control for smart manufacturing

(4) Industrial wireless networking

(5) Industrial control system cybersecurity

(6) Real-time diagnostics and prognostics for smart manufacturing

(7) Emergency response robot performance metrics and standards

Additional information regarding Intelligent Systems Division research programs and projects can be found at The contact person for this division is Albert Wavering and he may be reached at (301) 975-3418 or by e-mail at

National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program. The primary objective is to collaborate with or conduct research consistent with the laboratory programs in the areas of windstorm and coastal inundation impact reduction (including engineering for extreme winds, storm surge, and tsunami). The contact person is: Dr. Marc Levitan who can be reached at 301-975-5340 or

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. [KAS1] The contact person is Long Phan who can be reached at 301-975-6077 or More information about the Disaster and Failure Studies Program can be found here at

Prospective proposers are encouraged to contact the above researchers to determine the extent of interest prior to preparation of a detailed proposal.


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Electronic filing is accepted through  

Cover page should include a statement indicating that the technical proposal is for the Engineering Laboratory Grant Program.

List of awards made in the EL Grants Program during fiscal year 2013


Karla Sims
Phone: 301-975-4878