JoAnn S. Lighty, Director of the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET) in the Directorate for Engineering – University of Utah
Presenting: Overview of Research Opportunities at NSF and in the Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems Division

The National Science Foundation supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. In Fiscal Year 2016, it applied a budget of approximately $7.6 billion to fund 12,000 awards after merit review of 48,000 proposals. The Engineering Directorate has five divisions, including CBET. CBET, with a budget of approximately $183 million, funds proposals for a diverse range of engineering fundamental research including reactions, transport phenomena, process design and control, biotechnology, biomedical engineering, nanotechnology, and environmental sustainability. 75% of the CBET funding goes to Chemical Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Bioengineers, and Civil/Environmental Engineers. In addition, it participates in many initiatives that cut across the Engineering Directorate and the other NSF directorates. This presentation will survey some of these opportunities as well as summarize present research trends within the division.

Speaker Profile

JoAnn Lighty

JoAnn S. Lighty, director of the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET) in the Directorate for Engineering, is also professor of the department of chemical engineering at the University of Utah. She joined the National Science Foundation (NSF) in October 2013. The division supports fundamental engineering research, in areas such as advanced biomanufacturing, clean energy, sustainability, transport and reaction fundamentals, synthetic biology, and neuroengineering, with an annual budget of approximately $180M. JoAnn also serves as a key architect for Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems. Lighty has received numerous honors and recognitions, including educator awards from the Society of Women Engineers and the Utah Engineering Council, university service awards for her work in broadening participation, and election to Fellow by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

At the University of Utah, Lighty served in a variety of leadership capacities. She led the department of chemical engineering from 2007 to 2013 and served as associate dean for academic affairs for the College of Engineering from 1997 to 2004. During the intervening years, Lighty directed the Institute for Combustion and Energy Studies (now the Institute for Clean and Secure Energy). Lighty’s research has focused on the formation of fine particulate matter; the fate of mercury in combustion; carbon capture technologies; and on the formation and oxidation of soot. While serving on committees for the EPA and the National Research Council, she contributed to reports on national issues including air quality, hazardous waste management, and water quality.