research grants administered by the AFOSR, some accommodation of university programs must take place if continued advances in structural materials for propulsion are to be expected.

Finding: Structural materials education and research at U.S. universities have declined, and this decline is threatening the strength of the domestic structural materials engineering workforce.

Although the overall funding for the general field of MSE increased somewhat during the 1990s as is demonstrated in Figure 2.13, the general impression among educators working on structural materials, as expressed by one such educator on this committee, is that since 1997 the funding in all of MSE has remained essentially level. At the same time, the number of areas of research in MSE has greatly increased, and so the funds going specifically toward structural materials have decreased.

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