January 27, 2015
During Summer 2014, CIVS and Purdue University Calumet worked with United Way, Congressman Pete Visclosky, and the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana to host a “Canstruction” event, which involved a competition between groups of area youth to build 7-foot structures out of canned goods, which were later donated to the Food Bank. CIVS taught kids about 3D modeling and helped them to plan and visualize their Canstructions in 3D and Virtual Reality. United Way released a video compilation of the event, which can be viewed below. Planning is now underway for tthe 2015 event. More details are available at http://www.unitedwaypc.org/canstruction
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNoZXJJeg1sread more ... CIVS and Purdue Calumet featured in Canstruction Video
January 12, 2015
The Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation hosted Boy Scout Troop 276 and demonstrated some of the center’s many technological capabilities on Tuesday, Jan. 13. The demo included an introduction to visualization and simulation, exposure to 3D printing technology and its applications, and video game design. The center hopes to encourage the scouts to pursue education in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.read more ... CIVS Hosts Demonstration in Hope of Encouraging STEM Education
January 8, 2015
Several unprecedented national achievements, the awarding of its 50,000th degree and preliminary planning to unify with Purdue University North Central highlighted a momentous 2014 for Purdue University Calumet.read more ... Purdue University Calumet 2014 Year in Review
January 8, 2015
The Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) was one of six papers to be featured in the December 2014 edition of Iron & Steel Technology. The paper used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to study the relationship between iron ore reducibility, coke reactivity, and blast furnace operations. The paper’s findings will help the iron and steel industry better understand the processes involved in the blast furnace and the effects that the different components have on those processes.
Iron & Steel Technology
Iron & Steel Technology magazine is the monthly publication of the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST) and is a technical journal for the iron and steel industry. The magazine consists of many articles and papers addressing and discussing current issues and concerns in the iron and steel industry. It also includes highlights of industry successes, professionals who help improve the industry, events, conferences, and workshops.
The Association for Iron & Steel Technology
The Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST) is a non-profit organization with 17,000 members from more than 70 countries. With 29 Technology Committees and 22 Local Members Chapters, AIST represents an incomparable network of steel industry knowledge and expertise.read more ... CIVS Research Paper Featured in Iron & Steel Technology
January 5, 2015
HAMMOND | Some 85 Hammond High School students and their teachers visited Purdue University Calumet’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) earlier this month to participate in a simulated learning experience designed to advance insights about distributive justice.
The students explored circumstances described in the nonfiction book, “Full Body Burden” by Kristen Iverson. The book is about a small Colorado town and the toxic, radioactive effect its citizens experience from Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant located nearby. Governmental attempts to conceal the plant’s destructive impact and local residents’ efforts to seek justice also are described in the book.
Utilizing PUC’s CIVS facility, an interdisciplinary applied research center that combines advanced simulation techniques with 3-D visualization and virtual reality technologies, the Hammond High students participated in an interactive video game. The game engaged the students to apply distributive justice—fair allocation of resources among diverse members of a community—by distributing $100 million in virtual compensation to town residents.
While participating in the game, students learned about and applied ideas of distributive justice to significant social issues.
According to CIVS Director, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor and Professor of Mechanical Engineering Chenn Zhou, “CIVS worked with Dr. (Howard) Cohen (chancellor emeritus, who developed the game) to convert the readings and concepts of a pencil and paper classroom exercise into an interactive multimedia game using programming and graphics. The game was modified for the case of Rocky Flats.”
An idea by Hammond High teachers Jacqueline Brasseur, Cynthia Cavanaugh, Bianca Gomez, Theresa Knipe and Thomas Harkenrider inspired the game’s nuclear variant. The teachers developed an educational model to introduce their students to “Full Body Burden” in language/composition class and coordinate related activities in biology, chemistry and environmental science classes.
Approaching the book’s study in a cross-curriculum manner is an effort to enable students to explore ethics, literature and composition, while also learning about the biology of health effects, the chemistry of nuclear products and the environmental impact of contamination.read more ... PUC Hosts Simulated Learning Experience for Hammond Students
January 5, 2015
HAMMOND | The dawn of the Atomic Age in the 1940s unleashed a power that could be used to destroy and create.
More than 80 Hammond High School students in Advanced Placement English and science classes tackled the issues of how nuclear power — and exposure to nuclear waste, such as plutonium — affects everything from the environment and food to health.
They took part in a cross-curriculum project last semester funded by Hammond Education Foundation.
Students enrolled in five AP science and English classes began their journey by reading the book, “Full Body Burden,” by Kristen Iverson, about growing up near Rocky Flats, Colo., where a secret nuclear weapons plant smelted plutonium into triggers for nuclear bombs during the Cold War of the late 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. Iverson chronicles the effects of toxic and radioactive waste on generations of residents.
“As part of this project, we partnered with Purdue Calumet’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation and (Dr.) Howard Cohen to develop an interactive distributive-justice simulation based on the book,” said Jackie Brasseur, science department chairman at Hammond High, who also teaches AP biology classes.
The students recently visited Purdue’s CIVS to play an interactive simulation game and take part in digital scavenger hunts on the Hammond campus.
“In my experience, students learn more thoroughly when they are engaged in structured problem-solving that involves interaction with others,” said Cohen, professor of philosophy at PUC and former chancellor. “This game is designed to put complex abstract concepts to use – and so to make them more meaningful to students.”
Cross-discipline research fosters knowledge
Born after the Cold War and the nuclear power plant disasters at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania and Chernobyl in Ukraine, the Hammond High juniors and seniors used the book as a start for environmental research.
In AP biology classes, students learned about cancers that result from exposure to plutonium.
“Students in my classes studied the effects of radioactivity on air, water and land called bio-magnification,” said Thomas Hardenrider, AP environmental science teacher.
Cindy Cavanaugh, AP English teacher, said students in her classes explored “the effects of nuclear meltdowns and government involvement and about whistleblower laws.”
They also watched the 2000 film, “Erin Brockovich,” the true story of a woman who fought against a California energy corporation.
In Bianca Gomez’s AP English literature and composition class, students selected and wrote about poems with universal themes such as pain, judgment and the duality of good and evil. Then they created art projects or wrote children’s books that reflected their interpretation of the issues in Iverson’s book.
Part of the game called “Justice for Rocky Flats” was an exercise in how to fairly distribute $100 million in compensation to residents of Rocky Flats, said Don Lail, a programmer at CIVS.
“The students really got involved,” Lail said. “They argued with each other and were really passionate.”
Recently, the 83 students presented their findings and projects at Hammond High’s “Survival of the Sickest” event.
Travonte Marley, 16, and Xavier Gates, 17, researched the effects of plutonium on plants and animals. Their display showed how plutonium can cause genetic changes in animals that can lead to defects.
“It’s a cycle,” said Marley, pointing to a photo of a two-headed lamb. “If an animal drinks from water polluted with plutonium, the defect happens in its offspring.”
For their AP English lit and composition class, Felipe Hernandez, 17, and Gerardo Lemus, 16, created an art project – a large model of the Earth, split into light and darkness, good and evil, with a split=face, and the hand on the evil side covered with blood.
“It’s based on a poem, ‘The World,’ with universal themes about accepting the truth, that there is good and evil in our world,” Hernandez said.read more ... Hammond High AP Students Explore Nuclear Power
December 23, 2014
The vast, complex field of energy consists not only of those who produce it, but also of those who consume and are responsible for the creation and maintenance of suitable methods and conduits through which consumers receive it.
Academic programs, such as those found at Purdue University-Calumet in Hammond, provide the very best in innovative methods and research.
Dr. Chenn Q. Zhou really loves her job. As a professor of mechanical engineering and the director of Purdue Calumet’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Stimulation, Zhou first came into the field as a promising young student in China.
“They (teachers) thought I was good at math, physics and chemistry so I should be an excellent scientist or engineer,” she said.
Purdue University and Ivy Tech Community College are among the post-secondary institutions in Indiana that provide support for energy and utility-related careers for line workers, power plant operators and substation mechanics, and wind turbine operators and technicians. Those interested in these fields can earn certificates and degrees in areas such as home technology integration/auditing, renewable energy systems technology and natural gas technology.
“I’ve worked in this field for over 32 years. Everyday people ask me, ‘Why are you so happy?’ ” she said, laughing. “Then I started to teach seeing how the knowledge is transferred to students, to future generations. That is my passion.”
Tyamo Okosun, a CIVS student in his third year of doctoral study, pursued mechanical engineering for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees.
“My primary career interest has always been aircraft and aerospace design. I wanted to pursue higher education that would allow me to work in those fields,” he said. “While a degree in aeronautical/aerospace engineering would have been tailored specifically towards those interests, it also would have limited my career possibilities. I decided that pursuing degrees in mechanical engineering would allow me to broaden my skill set while maintaining the ability to work in my fields of interest.”
Purdue-Calumet’s mechanical engineering program, which houses both mechanical and civil engineering studies, equips students to work in a variety of fields including; computational fluid dynamics, manufacturing design and development, and structural metals manufacturing, each of which can have applications in the energy and utility fields. For instance, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), defined as the use of numerical equations involving the flow of fluids and simulations in problem solving, is a critical and cost-effective method in the development of renewable energy.
The technology available through advanced simulation and visualization at CIVS has produced solutions for issues concerning various energy producers. By utilizing CFD and virtual reality, CIVS students were able to assist the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), a natural gas and electric provider, with their Bailly Generating Station, which experienced issues with a coal-fired boiler. Their work not only improved flow in the air ducts but also resulted in an estimated $1.9 million annual savings for NIPSCO.
“I see the direct impact, how we solve the real world problems and that makes my day,” said Zhou. “Especially when my collaborator tells me, ‘Oh, look at how much money you saved us!’”
Since 2009, CIVS has secured more than $38 million in savings for companies, completed 126 projects and provided resources for nearly 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
Other CIVS endeavors have included work with CITGO on the optimization of carbon monoxide boilers as well as multiple efforts to increase the educational awareness and practical application of wind energy.
In 2013, the department won a Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) award totaling more than $700,000 from the U.S. Department of Education for their work on the development and implementation of mixed reality simulators for wind energy education.
“Indiana has primarily produced its energy from burning coal, with 84 percent of its energy coming from coal fired power generation in 2013.
However, wind energy has been exploding as an alternative form of energy generation in recent years,” Okosun said. “Until 2008, wind energy in Indiana was limited to water pumping windmills. By 2012, 1.54 gigawatts of wind power-generating farms had been installed, ranking Indiana 13th amongst U.S. state-installed wind energy capacity.”
According to a technical report prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy titled, “20% Wind Energy by 2030: Increasing Wind Energy’s Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply,” there are several advantages to increasing the production of wind energy. They include more than 800,000 jobs in various related support industries and an increase in annual property tax revenues to more than $1.5 billion by 2030.
Data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows Indiana’s onshore wind power is capable of meeting more than four times the state’s current electricity needs, and in May of 2011, Indiana created a Clean Energy Portfolio Standard (CPS). The standard detailed a voluntary goal of producing 10 percent clean energy by the year 2025.
Zhou said the ultimate future of alternative energy sources depends on how far they advance in the coming years, but she does not foresee the power plant dying out in this lifetime.
“People are pushing for wind energy to increase, but there is still a long way to go,” she said. “The coal combustion companies may be looking to reduce the percentage of use and that could be air pollution related of course coal energy is cheaper but there are other alternatives being created.”
She also shared that innovation is the key to creating and maintaining those alternatives. Okosun believes that mechanical engineering also plays a major role in that.
“Continued innovation is crucial to the development and sustainability of Indiana’s energy sector. The development of new technologies and techniques for improving existing methods of energy generation and developing new methods will provide the means for Indiana to advance through the 21st century,” he said. “Mechanical engineers and engineers, in general, can contribute greatly to this ongoing innovation by continuing to improve all factors contributing to energy generation including the emissions reduction, renewable energy efficiency increases, optimization of power plant design ...read more ... Purdue Calumet Fosters Innovation Through Real-World Experience
December 19, 2014
A tri-state economic development summit at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago attended by 220 people did its level best Friday to erase state borders in a 21-county region for at least a day.
“There is no easy way to get seven counties in each of three different states to cooperate on anything,” NIPSCO Director of Economic Development Don Babcock told business and community leaders during a morning panel discussion.
But the Alliance for Regional Development is giving it a try, following a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development two years ago that found the region’s best chance for staving off economic decline lay in cross-border cooperation.
Specifically, the report called for establishing partnerships between 21 counties and 9.9 million people forming the Milwaukee-Chicago-Northwest Indiana corridor.
“The American economy we always talk about is really a collection of regional economies,” said Matt Erskine, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
Erskine said his agency stood ready to help the Alliance for Regional Development with grant programs including the fourth round of the i6 Challenge for Innovation, Science and Research Park Development Grants, and Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds.
The day’s theme would seem to be a tough sell, considering the Indiana Economic Development Corp. has posted “Stillinoyed by higher taxes” billboards at the state border and puts the same message on electronic billboards in Chicago. And southeast Wisconsin continues to have success drawing companies out of Illinois to greener fields just along the border.
But those types of efforts were swept under the table for at least a day, as corporate heavyweights, academics and regional planners displayed some of the tools for cooperation they have already come up with.
Purdue Calumet University Professor Chenn Zhou unveiled an interactive Geographic Information Systems map created by the college’s students of the entire 21-county area. The maps have multiple layers including railroads, roads, barge routes, bike paths, airports, and land use.
Those maps can be used by a wide range of people involved in development, including regional planners, corporations, and national site selectors hunting for new corporate or manufacturing locations.
“We wanted to provide the best data we have and that we can share to make this a globally competitive region,” said Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Executive Director Tyson Warner, whose organization helped spearhead the project.
The tri-state region’s greatest strength lies in its manufacturing tradition, said panelist Tim Syth, executive director of BucketWorks. He emphasized that point when asked by Society of Innovators managing director John Davies what the region can become known for from an innovation perspective.
“Real stuff,” Syth said. “Real stuff while living well doing it.”
Northwest Indiana Forum CEO Heather Ennis spoke on the Green Growth work group’s panel, which has chosen to focus on developing the water technology industry in the tri-state region.
“We are really poised for the development of water technologies and for companies that have an intense water need,” Ennes said.read more ... Tri-state Summit Endeavors to Erase State Lines
December 14, 2014
Purdue Calumet’s Dr. Chenn Zhou is among those honored as outstanding examples of inspirational leadership, innovation and service to others and the region.
Dr. Chenn Zhou, of Purdue University Calumet, heads up the Center for Innovation Through Visualization and Simulation. Through her tutelage, Purdue University Calumet campus has become the epicenter of new ideas in the region. Dr. Zhou is a professor of mechanical engineering and is the interim associate vice chancellor for research and graduate studies. Along with her unique Center for Innovation, she is a courtesy professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University West Lafayette.read more ... Most Influential Over 50: Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly Magazine
December 10, 2014
To gain greater insights about how United States steel mills can become more competitive and efficient, Purdue Calumet’s CIVS hosted an information-gathering workshop and planning session Tuesday (12/2) on campus for steel industry insiders.read more ... CIVS Applying $480,000 Federal Grant to Benefit Steel Industry
December 3, 2014
Some 85 Hammond High School students and their teachers are coming to Purdue University Calumet’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) Friday (12/5) to participate in a simulated learning experience designed to advance insights about distributive justice.read more ... Purdue Calumet CIVS Hosting Simulated Learning Experience for Hammond High Students
December 3, 2014
Foreign steelmakers have advantages like cheap labor, government subsidies and newer mills that weren’t built at least a half century ago.
They have gained ground, capturing 28 percent of market share in the United States so far this year, up from 24 percent last year. But the American steel industry innovates.
A national research project at Purdue University Calumet’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation, or CIVS, aims to give U.S. steelmakers a technological advantage in an increasingly glutted global market that some say has 500 million tons of overcapacity.read more ... Steel Consortium Workshop Hosted by CIVS
November 17, 2014
“Imagine a high school class where students get credit for playing video games all hour,” Griffith High School math teacher Marilyn Brunk said.
It’s not imagination anymore. It’s happening.read more ... Griffith Students Partner with PUC to Create Video Games
November 7, 2014
Seventeen local high schools from Northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland Region were represented and over 200 students attended this successful seminar.read more ... CIVS Opens Its Doors to Students from 17 Local High Schools
October 23, 2014
The Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) was a heavy contributor at Purdue University Calumet’s Faculty Research Day 2014 on Tuesday, October 21st.read more ... CIVS Stands Out at Faculty Research Day 2014
September 23, 2014
The Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) was featured in an article in the October 2014 issue of Iron & Steel Technology Magazine (Vol. 11, No. 10, pg. 148-153), a publication of the Association of Iron and Steel Technology (AIST). The article is titled “Leveraging the Power of Visualization to Advance Steel Manufacturing” and highlights the center’s background, focuses, founder and director and collaborations with the association.read more ... AIST Featured Article: Leveraging the Power of Visualization to Advance Steel Manufacturing
August 25, 2014
CIVS hosted 4 students from Munster High School to help them complete a project using 3D visualization and interactive software to develop an educational 3D roller-coaster for high school physics education.
Lydia Zheng, Anthony Zmuda, Bridget Caraher, and Austin Klawitter learned how to create 3D models and develop computer simulations, visiting CIVS twice per week during the summer. They developed a draft roller-coaster using 3dsMax and Unity 3D software packages and got feedback from their physics teacher to revise and create the final product, which was an educational 3D animation showing the forces at work on a roller-coaster car as it flies along a track. The animation covers concepts including velocity, centripetal force, kinetic and potential energy and others. The animation will be used in Munster physics classes later this year.read more ... CIVS Helps Munster High Schoolers Design Educational Tool
August 12, 2014
CIVS students and staff visited the Wrigley Engineering Technology Center in Chicago, IL to have discussions and collect data for an upcoming project to create 3D models and flythrough animations of a planned facility including gum making line, warehouse, and offices.read more ... CIVS Visits Wrigley to Create 3D Facility Model
August 7, 2014
The Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation hosted the NIST Planning Committee meeting Wednesday. 25 industry leaders and CIVS staff met to discuss the major tasks, goals, expected outcomes, and timelines for the creation of the Advanced Simulation and Visualization for Steel Optimization Consortium. The committee identified potential members, discussed ideas for organizational structures, and established research project focus groups and leaders in preparation for Workshop Planning Committee meeting in October.read more ... CIVS hosts NIST planning committee meeting
August 4, 2014
Education and entrepreneurship. It’s a winning combination that’s only going to become more prominent in years to come. Institutions of higher education are teaching students the skills they need to start their own small businesses so they earn a livelihood or maybe even become millionaires (think Mark Zuckerberg). And more important, their innovations may make the world a better place. Universities are going way beyond the classroom experience. They’re paving the way for entrepreneurship with experiential learning, innovative programs, financial incentives and crucial support. Whether they help community members create low-tech businesses or engineer opportunities for faculty researchers to partner with students and launch high-tech, bioscience-related startups, it’s all important to the economic development of Northwest Indiana.read more ... The Brains for Business - Campuses take the lead in encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship