This cluster represents research areas in urban ecology and sustainability, advanced materials and nanotechnologies, and smart manufacturing systems. The urban ecology and sustainability area emphasizes sustainable infrastructure, ecological communities, urban modelling and simulation. The area also focuses on the water-energy nexus to investigate the impact of ocean levels on the environment, as well as the development of technologies for clean water and energy resources such as biofuel cells. The scope of nanotechnology is to understand all scientific and engineering phenomena at the minutest and fundamental levels to develop technologies for environmental and pharmaceutical applications. The interdisciplinary group on engineered material and particulates focuses on technology development for the preparation, processing and use of engineered particulate materials and their composites for a spectrum of applications.
Research in the manufacturing systems group is focused on developing new methods and technologies for design innovation and process automation. A specific emphasis is to develop new processes and tools for pharmaceutical manufacturing. The NSF report reveals more than $8 billion in university R&D expenditures in 2011 for sustainable energy, renewable energy and community resilience. NAE and NAS Grand Challenges within the scope of this proposed cluster include solar energy, energy from fusion, clean water and urban infrastructure.
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