RESEARCH ROUNDUP: NSF update, ASEE call for papers

Here's an update letter from Kon-Well Wang, division director for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC):

First, as an introduction, I started in January 2019 as the new division director of the EEC Division, coming with an IPA (Intergovernmental Personnel Act) appointment from the University of Michigan. My first few months at NSF have been interesting and exciting. After experiencing a lapse in appropriations and then a continuing resolution, NSF is now funded throughout the fiscal year and happy to be settling back into its normal operations.

Despite the lapse, the proposal review process for the next-generation Engineering Research Center (Gen-4 ERC) program is progressing well and on track. The Gen-4 ERC program is placing greater emphasis on large-scale center research that leads to societal impact, including convergent approaches, engaging stakeholder communities, and strengthening team formation.

A new solicitation for ERC planning grant proposals in 2019 has recently been released: The planning grant program is designed to foster and facilitate the engineering community’s thinking about how to form convergent research collaborations. However, to participate in a forthcoming ERC competition, one is not required to submit a planning grant proposal nor to receive a planning grant.

On the front of large-scale educational efforts, the PFE:RED (Professional Formation of Engineers: Revolutionizing Engineering Departments) program is supporting two tracks this year: the original RED Innovation track and a new track called RED Adaptation and Implementation (RED-A&I), with the goal to further propagate the transformation of engineering education.

As for core programs with unsolicited proposals, the Engineering Directorate is halfway through our first year of no deadlines. We thus continue to encourage submissions at any time throughout the year. One thing to consider in this age of no deadlines is the funding cycle of our fiscal year (Oct 1 – Sept 30). For a given fiscal year, we must make our funding recommendations by mid-July in order to obligate funds from that fiscal year. So, if you would like your project to start in the fall term, you should plan to submit your proposal well before early May, otherwise it may be considered in the next fiscal year.

EEC currently has IPA program director position openings in the Engineering Research Center program and in the Engineering Education program. If you are interested in serving as a program director, please check out our openings posted at: This is a great opportunity for you to spend time at NSF and interact with the researchers at the forefront of the field.

Thank you for your kind attention. I look forward to working with you to elevate our community to the next level of excellence in research and education!


Kon-Well Wang, Ph.D.
Division Director
Division of Engineering Education and Centers
Directorate for Engineering
National Science Foundation
2415 Eisenhower Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22314

- - - - - - -
The ASEE Midwest Section has issued a conference call for papers due May 31. If you are working on a proposal, Dr. Peteranetz <>, Learning Assessment Coordinator at the Engineering and Computing Education Core, could support you with both designing and reviewing the educational methods followed.

This is the call:

Dear section members,
The Midwest Section of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) invites manuscript submissions for the 2019 ASEE Midwest Section Conference, to be held Sept. 15-17, 2019 at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas.

Please visit our conference website for submission details and important dates:

The submission website is:

Important Dates:
*Draft paper submission deadline: May 31

*Reviewer comments deadline: June 28

*Final paper submission deadline: July 12

*Early bird registration deadline for all attendees: August 16


Yanwu Ding
ASEE Midwest Conference Chair