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Engineering Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

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Nurses next to a robotic patient in a hospital bed How robots can help build better doctors
Research seeks to make better 'human patient simulators'
Released  April 7, 2015
Image showing a neuron with a ray of light and the text photo gallery Exploring the unknown frontier of the brain
James L. Olds, head of NSF's Directorate for Biological Sciences and the Shelley Krasnow University Professor of Molecular Neuroscience at George Mason University describes why and how NSF-funded researchers are working to understand the healthy brain
Released  April 2, 2015
power lines Smarter smart grids
ExoGENI testbed helps researchers develop methods for monitoring, controlling and troubleshooting power grids
Released  March 18, 2015
Visualizations of future nano-transistors From massive supercomputers come tiniest transistors
Purdue researchers use Blue Waters supercomputer to design the building blocks of future nano-computing technologies
Released  March 3, 2015
two images of a snowflake Road safety through snowflake imaging
Technology that delivers incredible mid-air snowflake images may now help improve road safety
Released  March 2, 2015
Composite image of the northeast United States during an energy blackout. Creating the energy Internet
How leaders in research, industry and engineering education are working to create the energy network of the future
Released  February 25, 2015
Video of the ignition of pine needles by contact with a hot steel particle Engineering the spark that starts the wildfire
Understanding how hot metal shards cast off by infrastructure ignite wildfires
Released  February 10, 2015
animated map of transit systems Walking, driving and riding in a winter wonderland
Using big data techniques, engineers more accurately model how people adapt to snowstorms and other disruptions
Released  February 5, 2015
People working under a bridge Warding off failure
Tiny, self-powered sensors push the limits of health and usage monitoring
Released  February 4, 2015
Photo of Bob Bea After the lecture: Bob Bea and a lifetime spent outwitting disaster
Nearly 10 years post-Katrina, the engineer who co-led a team that investigated the New Orleans levee system reflects on what it takes to have resilient and sustainable infrastructure -- and the next generation of engineers
Released  February 4, 2015
Wind turbine on snow Floating wind turbines bring electricity where it's needed
Altaeros Energies' research into advanced materials enables new heights for wind energy
Released  February 3, 2015
Electric vehicle and charging station. Improving electric vehicle sales may require solving unique chicken and egg problem
Subsidizing construction of charging stations possibly a cheaper way to reach US sales goals than tax incentives
Released  January 29, 2015
animation of a humanoid robot walking Firmer footing for robots with smart walking sticks
SupraPed robotic platform designed at Stanford uses smart staffs to improve balance, mobility
Released  November 25, 2014
Ohio State's Adaptive Suspension Vehicle (ASV) and engineers A foundation for robotics
NSF celebrates more than 40 years supporting U.S. robotics research
Released  November 21, 2014
A humanoid robot from MIT lab A day in the life of Robotina
What might daily life be like for a research robot that's training to work closely with humans?
Released  November 20, 2014
illustration showing wall of a wood cell New technology uses natural wood fibers to reinforce plastic materials
Research offers sustainable solutions that may have strong benefits to building, construction, automobile and aircraft industries
Released  November 19, 2014
Sunny Shah Testing for pathogens
Innovation Corps researchers focus on medical applications rather than food safety in response to customer needs
Released  October 30, 2014
cropping patterns over north Texas Selling and buying water rights
NSF Innovation Corps awardees founded the company Mammoth Trading to provide a neutral, centralized resource
Released  October 29, 2014
Blue mussel larvae settled on a rope. How to grow mussels
Researchers optimize growing conditions and practices to improve mussel farming
Released  September 25, 2014
Researchers study plants in a greenhouse. Building the framework for the future of biofuels
Do plant-based fuels offer a realistic reprieve from a fossil-powered future? An ASU engineer examines the full cycle
Released  September 24, 2014
Photo of dried kenaf, a plant similar to bamboo Plant-based building materials may boost energy savings
Insulation for homes of the future may be harvested from fields of kenaf, an alternative to fiberglass
Released  September 23, 2014
People stand in a food bank storage area. Engineering a better food bank
Key nodes in a vast national food distribution system, food banks manage complex logistics that help connect families to farms
Released  September 22, 2014
bacteria infected by a virus Harnessing the power of viruses to improve wastewater treatment
Researcher developing a system to isolate and replicate a natural phenomenon that removes pollutants and other contaminants
Released  September 11, 2014
stack of liquid metal droplets Changing the shape and function of liquid metal
Researchers study gallium to design adjustable electronic components, including new types of antennas
Released  August 26, 2014
Linxia Gu with a stent catheter and a doctoral student Studying the changes that cells and tissue undergo when a stent is introduced
Research could improve prevention and treatment option for restenosis
Released  August 7, 2014
monitor showing heart rate Health care that follows you from home to hospital and back
University of Missouri researcher links fall detection system with other medical technologies at Smart America Expo
Released  July 31, 2014
man with unmanned vehicle (UAV) Drones for disaster relief
Texas researchers demonstrate unmanned aerial vehicles capable of providing wireless communications to storm-ravaged areas
Released  July 29, 2014
3-D Printer Local 3-D printing hubs bring manufacturing back to US
NSF-supported startup demonstrates method for finding, printing parts locally
Released  July 28, 2014
A black beetle with water droplets on its back Quenching the world's water and energy crises, one tiny droplet at a time
In pursuit of beetle biomimicry, NSF-funded engineers develop new, textured materials to trap and channel small amounts of liquid
Released  July 24, 2014
robot Tele-robotics puts robot power at your fingertips
University of Washington research enables robot-assisted surgery and underwater spill prevention
Released  July 23, 2014

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