Helicon reactor used for experimental plasma etching. Photo by Bruce Fritz.


NSF Engineering Research Centers Program

In 1985, the National Science Foundation established the Engineering Research Centers Program which sponsors major cross-disciplinary research and education at various universities. Using the latest laboratory and computational tools, American academia has made great strides in basing modern engineering on advanced scientific knowledge. Yet engineering education has not sufficiently emphasized the design of manufacturing processes and products to keep pace with the increasingly sophisticated consumer demands around the world. The Engineering Research Centers program was specifically designed to address these issues.

Cross-disciplinary research, focused on technological advancement from an engineering systems perspective, is imperative in preparing engineering graduates with the diversity and quality of education needed by United States industry. The goal of the NSF program is to advance science/engineering knowledge and technology, thus enhancing competitiveness of U.S. industry. The Engineering Research Centers were established as three-way partnerships involving academia, industry and the National Science Foundation. On an annual basis, each center is funded at the multi-million dollar level. There are currently 18 existing centers located throughout the U.S., with each center conducting research in a particular engineering field. More information on NSF Centers is contained on ERC related web pages at the NSF web site.



Last Modified: Friday, August 22, 1997 02:23 PM
This page is best viewed by browsers that support background colors in tables.
All photographs 1997 Engineering Research Center for Plasma-Aided Manufacturing.
Address comments to