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National Science Foundation HomeNational Science Foundation - Directorate for Engineering (ENG)
Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS)
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Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems Division (ECCS)

The Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) addresses fundamental research issues underlying device and component technologies, power, controls, computation, networking, communications and cyber technologies. ECCS supports the integration and networking of intelligent systems principles at the nano, micro and macro scales for a variety of application domains in healthcare, homeland security, disaster mitigation, energy, telecommunications, environment, transportation, manufacturing, and other systems-related areas. ECCS envisions a research community that will address major technological challenges for the next generation of devices and systems due to convergence of technologies and increased emphasis on interdisciplinary research to achieve the goals of the American Competitiveness Initiative in leading the world in innovation.

ECCS has a goal to integrate education into its research programs to ensure the preparation of a diverse workforce for the 21 st Century that can enable innovative advances in emerging technologies as drivers of the global economy. This vision is encouraged and strengthened by the Engineer of 2020 report of the National Academy of Engineering that foresees a “bewildering array of new technologies” confronting an engineering profession that must be educated in research, design and development, as well as possessing the attributes of strong analytical skills, creativity, ingenuity, professionalism, and leadership. ECCS strengthens its programs through linkages to other areas of engineering, science, industry, and government.

The ECCS Division is organized around the following three programs that focus on research and educational issues of device and component technologies, network and computational technologies, and systems engineering:

The management of these programs involves a team approach by the Division Director, Senior Engineering Advisor, Program Directors and staff of the ECCS division, to reflect the increasing convergence of traditional disciplinary topics and the need for interdisciplinary approaches to new problem areas.

The strategic development of ECCS programs in research and education supports NSF themes in nanotechnology, biocomplexity in the environment, human and social dynamics, and mathematical sciences. ECCS also encourages proposals addressing implications of nanotechnology on environment, health, and safety issues including predictive approaches for toxicity risk assessment and management that pertain to devices, systems, and networks. ECCS provides support for specialized resources and infrastructure that facilitate research and educational activities, including the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers (NSEC), Nanoscale Science Engineering and Education (NSEE), Centers and Photonic Technology Access Program (PTAP). ECCS supports people through Foundation-wide programs such as Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER), ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers, and through Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) and Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) supplements. ECCS actively participates in the development and management of interdisciplinary and cross-cutting programs.

ECCS places emphasis on diversity in its core programs and plans to continue support of Graduate Research Supplements (GRS) to existing grants in order to broaden participation of underrepresented students majoring in electrical engineering. The goal is to increase the number of women and minority students in advanced academic and professional careers. ECCS encourages industry collaborations through the Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison (GOALI) program. ECCS also encourages international collaborations.

ECCS holds grantees workshops to assess the results of research and education grants and to encourage interaction among principal investigators, as well as focused workshops to assess research and technology areas of current and future importance. ECCS encourages their grantees to submit the highlights of their research as they become available. ECCS also encourages participation of reviewers from university, industry, and government. Researchers are encouraged to contact Program Directors in their area of expertise.

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