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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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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    
Tele-robotics puts robot power at your fingertips   
University of Washington research enables robot-assisted surgery and underwater spill prevention
Released  July 23, 2014    
Dogs Dispatches from a connected future   
Researchers from academia, government and industry team up to create networked solutions to society's problems
Released  July 22, 2014    
discarded coconut husks Transforming waste in order to transform people's lives   
Essentium Materials converts coconut husk fibers into materials for cars and homes
Released  July 22, 2014    
John Patten and Deepak Ravindra New tool, savings for manufacturing hard materials   
Laser device could have major impact for manufacturing electronics, computer chips, lenses, windows and mirrors
Released  July 16, 2014    
a sample of charged iron in a recipient New, high-energy rechargeable batteries   
Researchers develop molten air battery with commercial potential
Released  June 27, 2014    
iron oxide nanoparticle binding to a cell membrane Chemical engineer studies how to design the best materials with the least environmental impact   
Researcher examines nanoparticle-membrane interactions to determine safety
Released  June 27, 2014    
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