Rendering of the South Elevation of the Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory at Georgia Institute of Technology. This facility was among several awarded $123 million grants as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Rendering courtesy of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today awarded more than $123 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants to support the construction of new scientific research facilities at 11 universities and one non-profit research organization.

With ultimate research targets ranging from off-shore wind power and coral reef ecology to quantum physics and nanotechnology, the 12 projects will launch more than $250 million in new laboratory construction projects beginning early this year, including many fluid handling-specific research initiatives.

The 12 construction project awards, the result of a competition announced by NIST last May, include:

In addition to satisfying the core objectives of the Recovery Act — creating and saving jobs and investment in infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits — the projects were chosen on the basis of the scientific and technical merit of the proposals, the need for federal funding, design quality and suitability for the intended purpose, as well as the strength of the project-management plan.

The new facilities also support research goals of the Commerce Department, NIST and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), including the study of advanced materials, coral reefs, hurricanes, quantum physics, nanoscience and metrology.

Information on other NIST activities under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is available on the Web at