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Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation

Structural and Architectural Engineering and Materials  (SAE)


Name Email Phone Room
Richard  J. Fragaszy rfragasz@nsf.gov (703) 292-7011   
Joy  M. Pauschke jpauschk@nsf.gov (703) 292-7024   


Apply to PD 15-1637 as follows:

For full proposals submitted via FastLane: standard Grant Proposal Guide proposal preparation guidelines apply.
For full proposals submitted via Grants.gov: the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide; A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov Guidelines applies. (Note: The NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=grantsgovguide)

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 16-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 16-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Window:  February 1, 2016 - February 16, 2016

February 1 - February 15, Annually Thereafter

Full Proposal Window:  September 1, 2016 - September 15, 2016

September 1 - September 15, Annually Thereafter

Due dates repeat annually. Please reference the CMMI main page for further specifics concerning unsolicited proposal submission windows.


The overall goal of the Structural and Architectural Engineering and Materials (SAEM) program is to enable sustainable buildings and other structures that can be continuously occupied and/or operated during the structure’s useful life. The SAEM program supports fundamental research for advancing knowledge and innovation in structural and architectural engineering and materials that promotes a holistic approach to analysis and design, construction, operation, maintenance, retrofit, and repair of structures. For buildings, all components including the foundation-structure-envelope (the façade, curtain-wall and roofing) and interior systems, are of interest to the program.

Research in new engineering concepts and design paradigms for buildings that have significantly reduced dependence and interdependence on municipal infrastructure through, for example, self-hydrating (closed-loop water system) and self-heating-cooling-ventilating (energy usage) is encouraged. In addition, the program targets research in the building systems that are reconfigurable for rapid construction, disassembly and disposal, are reliable and resilient, and are less complex.

Research topics of interest for sustainable structures include the following: strategies for structures that over their lifecycle are cost-effective, make efficient use of resources and energy, and incorporate sustainable structural and architectural materials; mitigation of deterioration due to fatigue and corrosion; serviceability related to large deflections and vibrations; and advances in physics-based computational modeling and simulation. Research is encouraged that integrates discoveries from other science and engineering fields, such as materials science, building science, mechanics of materials, dynamic systems and control, reliability, risk analysis, architecture, economics and human factors. The program also supports research in sustainable foundation-structure-envelope-nonstructural systems and materials as described in the following report:

National Science and Technology Council, High Performance Buildings; Final Report: Federal R & D Agenda for Net Zero Energy, High-Performance Green Buildings. Building Technology Research and Development (BTRD) Subcommittee, OSTP, U.S. Government, September 2008. http://www.bfrl.nist.gov/buildingtechnology/documents/FederalRDAgendaforNetZeroEnergyHighPerformanceGreenBuildings.pdf

Structural health monitoring that focuses on decision-making systems for civil structures is of interest; however, research for new sensor technologies and data collection should be submitted to other programs. Proposals that focus on the performance and mitigation of structures subjected to natural hazards, such as earthquakes, windstorms (tornadoes and hurricanes), tsunamis, and landslides, should be submitted to the Engineering for Natural Hazards Program. Research addressing blast loads and fire effects on building systems and data-enabled science and engineering are not supported by SAEM. The SAEM program does not support non-fundamental research that is more appropriate for mission oriented federal agencies, such as nuclear power plants and transportation structures.

Within this programmatic focus, materials research of interest includes fundamental investigations into new sustainable structural and architectural materials that are multifunctional and integral to lifetime serviceability of the structure, and extend beyond conventional uses of mature or current infrastructure construction materials such as concrete, steel, and masonry. Examples of research priorities are fundamental studies of biological and bio-inspired materials, materials produced from recycled materials and/or are easily recyclable, materials with low embedded carbon footprints, and smart materials that change properties in reaction to environmental changes. Parametric studies of commonly used construction materials are not appropriate for this or other CMMI programs. Materials research not specifically related to civil infrastructure should be submitted to the MEP Program in CMMI or the Division of Materials Research in the MPS Directorate.

The SAEM program encourages knowledge dissemination and technology transfer activities that can lead to broader societal benefit and implementation for provision of sustainable structures.


What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program




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