December 12, 2019
“We truly appreciate the NSF support and are very excited about this great opportunity to engage both Secondary / Community College Teachers and industries to promote STEM research and education. This also provide excellent opportunities for PNW CIVS and School of Engineering to showcase faculty and students’ real-world research projects, as well as to build a pathway for high school and community college students to pursue engineering degrees at PNW”, said PI: Dr. Chenn Zhou (CIVS & SMSVC Director, ME Professor); CO-PIs: Dr. Chien-Chun Chen (Associate Professor of Civil Engineering), and Dr. Donald Gray (Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering).
Related RET News:
Northwest Indiana Business Magazine: https://nwindianabusiness.com/community/business-news-bits/purdue-university-northwest-lands-592681-national-science-foundation-research-grant-to-enhance-stem-education/
Inside Indiana Business (in Indianapolis): https://www.insideindianabusiness.com/story/41393593/purdue-northwest-awarded-grant
NWI Life: https://nwi.life/print/?article=22721
PNW Engineering Facebook: https://z-m-www.facebook.com/PNWENGINE/posts/1440978756052709
December 6, 2019
Steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal and Purdue University Northwest (PNW) are partnering with Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, IL, on a research project funded under the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) Program. The research project, “Application of High-Performance Computing (HPC) to Optimize Reheat Furnace Efficiency in Steel Manufacturing,” will focus on improving steel reheat furnace efficiency by simulating furnace and process phenomena and developing databases of criteria for optimized furnace operation.
PNW’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) will conduct computational modeling to simulate reheat furnace operation under a variety of conditions, to balance the many factors involved in consistently bringing steel slabs to target temperatures, maintaining desired metallurgical properties, and optimizing production schedules—while also minimizing fuel use. Using data and process insights provided by ArcelorMittal and other members of PNW’s Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (SMSVC), students at CIVS will perform process modeling and simulation, and conduct studies on different factors influencing operation performance and output quality.
DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) will provide the high-performance computing facilities needed to yield comprehensive and detailed computational analyses, and further support the project with added expertise in computer science and energy analysis.
“The HPC4Mfg Program aims to help U.S. manufacturers become more productive and competitive, through advancement of energy-efficient and cleaner production technologies,” said Argonne Technical Representative May Wu. “With this research project, we hope to develop synergies by using expertise from all three organizations to advance science and engineering, while contributing to the growth of the steel manufacturing industry.”
CIVS and SMSVC Director Chenn Zhou, who will serve as PNW’s Principal Investigator for this project, summarized the research as follows: “Reheat furnaces have an essential role in steel production, but their operation is both energy-intensive and complex. This collaborative research will use advanced simulation and computing technologies to investigate ways that steel manufacturers can improve slab quality, increase productivity, and reduce energy consumption. We look forward to working together to generate great outcomes and impacts.”
Speaking on behalf of the Steel Manufacturing Simulation & Visualization Consortium (SMSVC), David White, director of Process Research at ArcelorMittal’s East Chicago Research Center, said, “We are excited to be able to combine the tremendous computing resources of Argonne National Laboratory with the process modeling expertise of Purdue Northwest on this project. Reheat furnaces are common to all steelmakers, and their efficient operation directly transfers to lower energy costs and higher product quality for our industry.”read more ... PNW, Argonne, and ArcelorMittal Partner for Manufacturing Research
November 6, 2019
November 6, 2019
The 8th International Conference on Modeling and Simulation of Metallurgical Processes in Steelmaking (STEELSIM 2019) took place on August 13–15 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. AIST and the conference’s 35-member Scientific Committee assisted with organizing the symposium. According to AIST, “SteelSIM 2019 was truly global in scale, welcoming 171 attendees from 22 different countries and 98 universities and companies.” The conference underlined the importance of the continuing digital technology transformation to the steel industry. Purdue University Northwest’s significant links to steel manufacturing and to process simulation research also gleamed throughout the conference, as 12 PNW and CIVS faculty, limited-term lecturer, visiting scholar, staff, and students (5 students!) attended the conference.
Advancing modeling and simulation to meet the demands of Industry 4.0 was on the minds of many of the presentersat SteelSim 2019. The technical program consisted of three tracks, which provided a deep dive into the modeling and simulation work being done in the areas of ironmaking, steelmaking, casting, rolling, processing and the metallurgy of complex grade development.
Researchers from around the world discussed a wide spectrum of problems, from the very visible optimization of trucking distribution and traffic patterns to the
microscopic kinetics of inclusion evolution and flotation at the ladle furnace. Sessions delved into the use of advanced tools like artificial neural networks for applications such as predicting critical maintenance failures before they happen. There were also extensive discussions about the amount of computing power needed to run these sizable simulations and how to practically define the parameters of a problem.
October 30, 2019
CIVS Director Chenn Zhou and Senior Research Scientist John Moreland traveled to Washington D.C. for the National Science Foundation’s Annual ATE PI Conference, held October 23-25. CIVS showcased their Advanced Technological Education project titled “Troubleshooting and Safety Simulator for Wind Turbine Technician Education”, which is being developed in collaboration with community colleges. The has developed a 3D virtual wind turbine simulator, which community college students use to learn and practice troubleshooting skills on a virtual wind farm. A variety of scenarios is included which notify students of a wind turbine fault. They must use tools such as a SCADA system and virtual multi-meter, to visit the faulted wind turbine, investigate the issue, and return the wind turbine to normal working condition. Safety hazards are present along the way, so students must also plan for working at height and consider other issues to safely perform the work.
The ATE PI Conference is held by the American Association of Community Colleges, with the support of the National Science Foundation (NSF). This is the 26 th year of the conference, and it was held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. The conference is by invitation only and brought together approximately 850 NSF ATE grantees and their project partners to focus on the critical issues related to advanced technological education.read more ... Wind Simulators Demonstrated at NSF ATE PI Conference in Washington, D.C.
October 30, 2019
The Girl (Em)Powered Summit exceeded all imagination today! The panel of 15 highly successful, diverse, career women took Portage high school’s new Learning Center by storm, and shared their expertise and experience with 42 energetic young ladies from grades 4 through 12.
The day began with a “meet and greet”, formal introductions, a Keynote address by the PTS Superintendent, and a video of the recent, historic, all-women spacewalk.
Next, was speed networking, career sharing, and activity stations with the highly successful women guests. The young ladies got minds and hand on, engaging and connecting with the presenters. After several rotations, the large group enjoyed a break for some great food and conversation.
After lunch, the Panel discussion got real! Moderated by the She Can Tech women’s STEM group, heartfelt and tough questions by the young ladies were openly discussed by the panel. Their experiences, insights, and advice captivated the room leaving the kids inspired and empowered to pursue their passions.
The lives of the presenters and students alike were positively impacted, and perhaps changed today.
The event was co-hosted by Portage Robotics, the Porta-Botz! and She Can Tech, and made possible by a contingent generous student and parent volunteers. The Summit experience was the only one of its kind for northwest Indiana.
It is the mission of Portage Robotics to engage the community at multiple levels, actively promote STEM, and to pursue and involve traditionally under-represented populations in the STEM fields.
October 30, 2019
The Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium will be holding its largest ever annual meeting at PNW’s CIVS facilities on November 13 th and 14 th . The consortium has expanded in 2019 to a record 16 members, bringing together professionals and experts in iron and steel manufacturing from around the world to pool their knowledge and provide guidance to student researchers working to improve process efficiency, safety, and more throughout the industry. New consortium members will attend the meeting alongside longtime contributors to review ongoing research projects in areas throughout the iron and steel manufacturing process, introduce their companies, and contribute their feedback and direction to the ongoing cutting-edge research taking place in the SMSVC.read more ... SMSVC Grows to 16 Member Companies
October 23, 2019
The School of Engineering at Purdue University Northwest is #PNWEngineeringProud of graduate Ryan Natzke! He is a double Bachelor of Science degree holder from PNW, received his Master of Science degree from PNW, and is a current electrical engineer at Rolls-Royce Corporation.
Thornton Fractional South
- Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (June 2010)
- Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (June 2010)
- Master of Science in Engineering, Interdisciplinary Engineering (June 2012)
Why did you choose your field of study?
I chose engineering due to my strong interests in math, cars, music, and problem solving. Engineering gives you skills to have a deeper understanding of all of those functions.
Why did you choose to attend PNW?
I chose PNW due to the fact their engineering degree had a great value for the cost when compared to other universities. It also helped that there was a path for me to get two engineering degrees.
What was your most rewarding academic experience at PNW?
My most rewarding academic experience was being a part of the SAE Mini-Baja Team. This extracurricular activity introduced me to a whole bunch of life lessons. It also helped tie in how what I learned in the classroom related to real-world challenges. Getting involved in such a team gave me excellent talking points in interviews. I also had a lot of fun getting to know a great bunch of people, developing relationships with professors, and learning in general how to lead a team.
Any specific classroom projects/learning experiences at PNW that were beneficial to you?
The SAE Mini-Baja experience was really beneficial as it provided a lot of real-world experiences. The Moonbuggy project was also really great to work on. I was also a Supplemental Instruction Leader, which was really rewarding in helping other students with classes, as well as, improve my knowledge and insight on a topic. To be honest, there were a lot of experiences that PNW had to offer for which I am truly grateful.
- SAE Mini-Baja
- Moonbuggy (NASA Rover)
- Supplemental Instruction Leader
Faculty and/or staff members who helped you along your journey at PNW:
I would like to thank Bill Baginski for being my advisor. He was really great at asking the right questions that guided me through college. I always knew what path to take after talking with Bill!
I would also like to thank Dr. Chenn Zhou for the guidance and opportunities that she provided me during my academic career. I would not have gotten my master’s without her, which I will forever be grateful.
I would also like to thank Rick Rickerson for the guidance, mentoring, helping me through the stress and late nights of Mini-Baja, and for being overall a great friend during my time at PNW.
Awards received at PNW:
- “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges,” 2008 and 2009
Current company and position:
I am an Electrical Engineer at Rolls-Royce Corporation located in Indianapolis, IN. I design and test the Electronic Engine Controllers (EEC) and Engine Health Monitors (EHM) for gas turbine engines that are used on multiple aircraft, like the V-22 Osprey and the C-130J Hercules.
How has PNW helped prepare you for your future?
PNW provided all of the courses and extracurricular activities so that I had enough knowledge and experience to make the transition from student to full-time engineer an easy one. In my whole career, I have not felt unprepared for the technical challenges at hand.
Final thoughts about your PNW education:
I will admit that the coursework and extracurricular activities made college life stressful, but it was worth it. The experiences at PNW that I had really shaped me as an engineer and as an individual. I would encourage others to pursue extracurricular activities since they provide a great deal of experience and lots of lessons on how to overcome a variety of challenges.read more ... PNW is #EngineeringProud of Ryan Natzke
October 21, 2019
Purdue University Northwest Professor Chenn Zhou, who runs the university’s 3D simulation labs, won the Association for Iron & Steel Technology Foundation’s first Digital Transformation Technologies Grant.
The Pennsylvania-based nonprofit foundation, which aims to attract more technology-oriented professionals to the steel industry, established the grant award of $20,000 this year. The award aims to “challenge university teams from engineering, scientific and mathematical departments at North American universities to submit proposals for grant funding in the theme area of digital technology within the steel industry, including machine learning, big data, simulation, augmented reality, cloud computing, additive manufacturing, system integration, autonomous robotics, Industrial Internet of Things and cybersecurity, among other related technologies.”
The goal is to support college professors who promote the steel industry to students who are interested in careers working with digital technology.
Zhou, a professor of mechanical engineering, directs the Center for Innovation Through Visualization and Simulation and the Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium at Purdue University Northwest’s Hammond campus. They use 3D simulation technology to solve technical problems at blast furnaces and other industrial operations in the Region and beyond.
She proposed plans to develop a new tool that delves into steel casting temperature in the ladle process in her pitch “Smart Ladle: AI-Based Tool for Optimizing Casting Temperature.”
“I really appreciate AIST’s vision and support for promoting digital transformation to the steel industry and to engineering education,” she said. “We look forward to working with this exciting smart ladle project in collaboration with our mentors in the Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium. This grant provides great opportunities for our students to learn digital technologies through solving real-world problems in the steel industry.”
October 21, 2019
Twenty-four students from CIVS contributed to a near-capacity attendance for the AIST Midwest Chapter’s annual Kick-off Dinner Meeting, held at the Avalon Manor in Merrillville, Indiana, on Tuesday, October 8, 2019.
Keynote speaker John Mengel, Vice President & General Manager, ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor spoke on processes for change over castors and the design behind them occurring at ArcelorMittal. The current state of American steel manufacturing was overviewed and outlined in U.S. Steel’s commitment to modernizing and investing in their Gary Works facilities—including use of advanced technologies for integrated mill systems, processes, and workforce development, topics always of interest to students working on CIVS and SMSVC projects.
Students also took advantage of opportunities to network with attendees from numerous local and regional steel and steel-related/equipment manufacturers and supported companies. Over time the attendees have gotten to know important figures like John Mengel, as shown in the picture above.
“This was not only an awesome learning experience, but it was a great networking opportunity for both the students and professionals involved,” –said CIVS Research Assistant John Resa.read more ... 24 Students Attended AIST Meeting
October 14, 2019
The list of member companies participating in the Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (SMSVC) continues to grow with the addition of EVRAZ North America. Discussions between CIVS and SMSVC Director Dr. Chenn Zhou and EVRAZ NA engineers at AIST’s SteelSIM 2019 conference played a role in expanding collaborations, particularly with regard to improving processes such as the electric arc furnace, reheating furnace, and more.
EVRAZ North America Research Engineer Dr. Bikram Konar said, “EVRAZ North America is excited to become a member of the SMSVC and looking forward to participating and contributing to the group as well as benefiting from utilizing the knowledge and resources the consortium offers.”
Headquartered in nearby Chicago, IL, EVRAZ North America has production sites located in Oregon and Colorado in the United States and Saskatchewan and Alberta in Canada. EVRAZ produces a variety of specialty steel products including plate, coiled plate, rail, and more, with leading positions in the West Coast plate and Western Canada oil country tubular goods markets.
The Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (SMSVC) is an industry-led, self-sustained consortium that was launched in 2016 through a US Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) initiative aimed at establishing new or strengthening existing industry-driven consortia to promote advanced manufacturing. The SMSVC is housed at Purdue University Northwest’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) and encompasses steel producers, raw materials and energy/utility suppliers, and steel users.read more ... EVRAZ North America Welcomed to SMSVC
October 7, 2019
While Purdue University Northwest’s Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (SMSVC) continues to draw attention and research collaborators from far and wide, the Consortium’s 15th member, NLMK Indiana, comes from “our own backyard—right here in the Burns Harbor/Portage area,” SMSVC Director Chenn Zhou said.
“We’re very pleased to have another steel manufacturer to enhance the Consortium’s focus and research on EAF operations, ladle metallurgy, and especially casting,” Zhou continued, “and we’re equally pleased that our PNW campus and their facilities are so geographically close.
“The on-site visit and tour that NLMK hosted for us last May (1st) was informative for our end, and the Consortium research presentations that I and CIVS researchers Haibo Ma and Nick Walla delivered were received well and with thoughtful questions in return. We look forward to many fruitful collaborations with NLMK to benefit the steel industry and further research into steel manufacturing.”
H.B. Kincaid, Vice President of Operations for NLMK Indiana stated:
“NLMK Indiana is excited to become a member of Purdue University Northwest’s Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium, (SMSVC). It is an opportunity for our company to engage in research conducted on new Steel Making technologies and to expand our use of computerized modeling on technical subjects and processes leading to continuous improvement and operational efficiency. NLMK also welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with the members of SMSVC on best practices in our dynamic industry.”
Through its electric arc furnace (EAF), ladle metallurgy furnace, continuous slab casting, and hot strip mill operations, NLMK Indiana is a prime supplier of hot-rolled products for major markets such as pipe and tube, energy, automotive and service centers, agriculture, and construction industries. NLMK facilities are strategically located in the Port of Indiana area on the shores of Lake Michigan, enabling barge shipment as well and truck and rail.read more ... SMSVC Welcomes NLMK Indiana
September 5, 2019
Steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal and Purdue University Northwest (PNW) are partnering with Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, on a research project funded under the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) Program. The research project, “Application of High-Performance Computing (HPC) to Optimize Reheat Furnace Efficiency in Steel Manufacturing,” will focus on improving steel reheat furnace efficiency by simulating furnace and process phenomena and developing databases of criteria for optimized furnace operation.
Purdue University Northwest’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) will conduct computational modeling to simulate reheat furnace operation under a variety of conditions, to balance the many factors involved in consistently bringing steel slabs to target temperatures, maintaining desired metallurgical properties, and optimizing production schedules—while also minimizing fuel use. Using data and process insights provided by ArcelorMittal and other members of PNW’s Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (SMSVC), students at CIVS will perform process modeling and simulation, and conduct studies on different factors influencing operation performance and output quality.read more ... PNW to Partner with National Laboratory, ArcelorMittal for HPC Research
August 22, 2019
The 8th International Conference on Modeling and Simulation of Metallurgical Processes in Steelmaking (aka STEELSIM 2019) took place on August 13–15 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and attendees came from 22 countries worldwide to exchange recent research and development findings on advanced technological applications for the steel industry. With a total of nearly 170 attendees from 98 companies and universities internationally, the importance of the continuing digital technology transformation to the steel industry was made clear, as “almost everybody sent somebody” to the conference.
Purdue University Northwest’s significant links to steel manufacturing and to process simulation research also gleamed throughout the conference, as fully 12 PNW and CIVS faculty, limited-term lecturer, visiting scholar, staff, and students (5 students!) attended the conference—the most by any single company or university. Nearby McMaster University, another stalwart in steel industry research, meanwhile contributed one Assistant Professor and 5 Master’s/Ph.D. students to the attendance list.read more ... Purdue Northwest Casts Significant Presence at STEELSIM 2019
August 14, 2019
Around 35 region high school students toured CIVS facilities, learned about basic principles and engineering & educational advances in energy generation technologies, and experimented with virtual reality environments on Thursday, August 8, 2019, as part of the NIPSCO-sponsored Energy Ambassador Program for Lake and LaPorte counties.read more ... NIPSCO “Energy Ambassadors” Students Delve into CIVS Labs
July 30, 2019
Increased use of simulation and visualization technologies by steel manufacturers, along with increased recognition of the economic and operational benefits derived from those technologies, has helped increase interest and membership in PNW’s Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (SMSVC) yet again, as Charter Steel officially joined the Consortium in July 2019.read more ... SMSVC Welcomes Charter Steel
July 15, 2019
“If the research presentation format we just experienced at Gerdau was anything to go by, we can expect Gerdau’s contributions to the Steel Consortium to include a lot of to-the-point, practical project questions, and an efficient way of structuring interactions.” So summarized CIVS Associate Research Engineer Kyle Toth, on a five-member CIVS tour and presentation event at Gerdau facilities in Jackson, Michigan, on July 10, 2019.
“There were around 25 people at any time in the conference room we presented in,” Toth explained, “but the presentations were being streamed to upwards of 75 or so people who were participating remotely.”read more ... Gerdau (Internally) Live-Streams CIVS Steel Research Presentations
July 9, 2019
In June of 2019, Purdue Northwest’s Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (SMSVC) gained its second new member of the calendar year, as Gerdau was accepted for membership.
“Gerdau is more than just a steel company,” said Adam Tabor, Gerdau Vice President of Order Fulfillment, S&OP, IT & Logistics. “Our greater purpose is to empower people who build the future, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with Purdue, and the consortium, to help build the future together.”read more ... SMSVC Welcomes Gerdau North America
June 27, 2019
At the combined American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) & Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA) annual meeting, “Steel in Washington 2019,” held June 3-5 in Washington, DC, CIVS and SMSVC Director Chenn Zhou gave a 75-minute presentation on the importance of Industry 4.0 / technology advancements for the future of steel, as part of the Joint AISI & SMA Associate Members Program.
Attendants at the three-day event included member-company CEOs, members of Congress, industry and market-sector experts, and top Administration officials, such as the Honorable Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce; and the Honorable Andrew Wheeler, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—who gave a presentation on “Commitment to Modernizing and Improving Environmental Protections.”read more ... CIVS Invited to AISI, SMA Annual Meeting
June 25, 2019
Purdue Northwest’s NSF ATE – funded project, “Development of an Educational Wind Turbine Troubleshooting and Safety Simulator,” was the title subject for both the poster presented at, and technical paper now available from, the 126th Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), held in Tampa, Florida, from June 16 – 19, 2019.
CIVS Associate Research Engineer Kyle Toth traveled to Tampa to represent PNW and the multi-educational institution project at the NSF Grantees Poster Session on Monday, June 17.read more ... NSF ATE Wind Turbine Simulator Project Featured at 2019 ASEE