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Building Engineered Complex Systems (BECS)

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived.

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.


The Directorate for Engineering (ENG) and the Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) are collaborating in this solicitation to provide "seed funding" for small teams of innovative engineers and mathematical scientists (mathematicians or statisticians) to seek and develop a  theoretical basis of complex systems, with the aim of developing formal methods for the design of engineered complex systems.  A complex system is characterized by its display of patterns of structure or behavior at one level of organization of the system that are diagnostic of interactions among parts of the system at other levels; the emergent behaviors or structures are not evident from considering only the system's separate components.  This solicitation has been motivated by the observation that many natural, social, and engineered systems have been recognized to be complex systems, in which the traditional reductionist approach to science and engineering fails to predict and explain the patterns and behaviors that emerge from the functioning of these systems.  Many engineered systems fall into this category and unexpected failures and other consequences have been experienced as these systems function near the edge of their expected performance capacity, for example in power grids, traffic systems, critical civil infrastructures, materials, chemical industrial systems, manufacturing and service enterprises, and environmental systems.   Although these unexpected behaviors can be undesirable, it has also been recognized that complex systems with their ability to display emergent behaviors can be designed to be resilient and robust, features that are desirable in engineered systems. 

The proposals submitted in response to this solicitation must meet the requirements delineated in this solicitation.

Program contacts

Eduardo A. Misawa
emisawa@nsf.gov (703) 292-5353 OD
Michael Steuerwalt
msteuerw@nsf.gov (703) 292-4860
James Alexander
jaalexan@nsf.gov (703) 292-8104
Maria K. Burka
mburka@nsf.gov (703) 292-7030
Rathindra DasGupta
rdasgupt@nsf.gov (703) 292-8353
Semahat S. Demir
sdemir@nsf.gov (703) 292-7950
Suhada Jayasuriya
sjayasur@nsf.gov (703) 292-7014
Dagmar Niebur
dniebur@nsf.gov (703) 292-8339
Lynn Preston
lpreston@nsf.gov (703) 292-5358
Thomas F. Russell
trussell@nsf.gov (703) 292-4863
Robert L. Smith
rlsmith@nsf.gov (703) 292-7902
Andreas Weisshaar
aweissha@nsf.gov (703) 292-8339

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