Enabling / Cross-cutting Applications and R&D
Issue Background

Engineers have a long-standing professional interest in applying Science & Technology (S&T) to improve the environment and human health. Mechanical engineers increasingly collaborate with other professionals to develop innovative and cost-effective environmental technologies and systems.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plays an essential role in the nation’s efforts to protect human health and safeguard the environment, and EPA’s S&T research and development (R&D) activities are instrumental in improving environmental protection in a sound, sustainable, and cost-effective manner. R&D efforts are needed to improve environmental health and ecology, environmental monitoring, environmental technology development and implementation. Additionally, pollution prevention is also necessary in order to address the emerging concerns of climate change, as well as the environmental issues of homeland security and infrastructure protection.

The U.S. must invest in both the research and education that will empower engineers to solve looming environmental challenges such as air pollution, climate change, and water shortages. The research portion of the federal budget provides the largest share of support for U.S. graduate students in fundamental science and engineering disciplines through fellowships and research grants to universities. In areas such as environmental science and national defense, a broad view across agencies, rather than a programmatic view, is necessary to ensure sufficient graduates and continuing quality in graduate programs.


No legislative action at this time

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