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
July 21, 2014
CIVS hosted the Munster Mints service unit to encourage STEM participation by demonstrating how advanced technologies can help solve real-world problems as a part of Munster Mints Day Camp along with Purdue University Calumet on July 21. There was be 4 groups of 18 to 25 girls, grades 4 through 8 visiting CIVS throughout the day. Each group of girl scouts participated in a 3D Immersive theater presentation, a 3D scanning and printing demonstration and had a chance to experience Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality via Google Glasses and Oculus Rift.read more ... CIVS Aids Push for STEM Education in Girls
July 20, 2014
HAMMOND — With a remote control in hand, Jack Moreland made the seven-foot, three-dimensional structure of food cans and boxes twirl and drop, expand and contract, even taking a viewer through the structure.
“We can see what it will look like up close,” said Moreland, wearing specially equipped 3-D glasses. “We may as well have a little fun with it.”
Moreland, the senior research scientist with Purdue Calumet’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation, or CIVS, helped guide teams of middle-schoolers through their superhero designs for Canstruction, a national competition getting young people to design structures using cans, boxes and other food stuff.
The students learn to work together to build a structure out of cans and boxes while getting a sense for how hunger affects the area, said Angie Williams, with the Lake Area United Way. The CIVS day puts their designs front and center, she said.
“This is the first time these kids get to see their plans come to life,” she said. “And, we’re the only ones to incorporate this CIVS 3-D technology into the process, so they’re really well positioned for the competition.”
CIVS is a high-tech theater used by corporations, schools and other groups to see what various product or system designs look like up close. The images are clear, colorful and tend to make viewers reach out to touch or grab details, much like watching a 3-D movie in a theater.
Teams of students from throughout Northwest Indiana poured into CIVS to see their designs in all of their three-dimensional glory. The next step for Canstruction is a day-long competition Friday at the Southlake Mall, when the students will put their plans into action.
The CIVS technology helped the Griffith YMCA, part of the Crossroads YMCA, tweak its design for a seven-foot wall of cans and boxes with “We Can Unite” bordering the bottom in blue and a large white center, all of construction paper, in the middle.
In the Griffith YMCA’s design, canned potatoes, covered in white paper, mixed with blue canned pears and red tomato sauces were contained within edges of blue macaroni and cheese boxes.
“I thought it was really cool we could see what it’s going to like in other people’s eyes,” said Molly Mills, 13, of Griffith. “Now, we have the letters popping out.”
“You don’t get to see this every day, and this is the only time we can see it like this,” said Vinnie Conti, 12, also of Griffith. “When we saw it in 3-D, we decided to curve the tomato cans in front and cover the sides and top with mac ‘n cheese boxes.”
The students learn about working together in design and feeding the hungry with Canstruction, but they learn something more by working with the CIVS, said Dr. Chenn Qian Zhou, the center’s director.
“The kids are our future, and the pipeline to higher education is very important,” she said. “At this middle-school age, it is critical to expose the to different things. That’ll really kind of inspire them.”read more ... Students Learn about Hunger in 3-D Designs
July 18, 2014
HAMMOND | Middle schoolers from throughout Northwest Indiana have gathered at Purdue University Calumet’s Center for Visualization and Simulation to get a realistic look at the designs they’ve created for the “Canstruction”
The project has the students building structures of canned food as tall as 7 feet. The students, along with their coaches, saw three-dimensional simulations of their designs, created by Purdue University engineering students on the CIVS computer design system.
The competition is sponsored by the Lake Area United Way, United Way of Porter County, and U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky.
On Thursday morning, teams from the Calumet Council of Boy Scouts, YWCA Northwest Indiana, and Boys & Girls Club of Cedar Lake made adjustments to their designs and planned how they would go about stacking thousands of cans of fruit and vegetables. More students were scheduled to visit CIVS on Friday.
The competition has the theme “Superheroes”; the Boy Scouts chose an Avengers theme, the YWCA a Transformers theme, and the Boys and Girls Club a Wonder Woman theme.
As the Boy Scouts got an up-close, life-sized view of their project, the Calumet Council’s STEM coordinator Chris Przewoznik called it “an awesome opportunity.”
“This is our first year to have someone in charge of STEM,” or science, technology, engineering and math, she said. In addition to Canstruction, Scouts have also been to the Challenger Learning Center and have done several other projects.
“STEM is important to our parents as well,” she said.
Scout Charlie Gray said the group agreed on the Avengers symbol as something feasible for the team of 12 boys and one girl.
“It was pretty cool,” the Lansing resident said after the team saw its design on the big screen. “It’s pretty fun so far.”
John Moreland, CIVS senior research scientist, cautioned the team to make sure they are careful with the base of the project. “If you get it wrong at the beginning it’ll be wrong all the way to the top,” he said.
A total of nine teams, made up of 130 students, are participating.
The teams will spend July 25 building their designs at Southlake Mall in Hobart. They’re allowed to use cardboard, packing tape, fishing line and other items to help secure the structures.
Then, from July 26 to Aug. 2, the public will be invited to view the finished projects and vote on their favorites. At the event’s conclusion, the food will be donated to the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana for distribution to local food pantries.
That was a big draw for the YWCA team.
“Our camp this year is about food, nutrition and health,” said summer camp group leader Yolana Nichols. And, “we were looking for a way for the kids to give back to the community.”
Team members Bryson Davis, Mya Johnson and Deyauni Harris, all of Gary, said they were all interested in helping the community.
They chose to create Transformers logos in light of the popularity of the current movie franchise, Bryson said.
Deyauni has been spending a lot of time working out the math behind the project. “I had to figure out how many cans we need and how many we need in each layer,” she said.
Angie Williams, of Lake Area United Way, said the project, which kicked off two weeks ago, is going well.
“We’re really amazed by the collaborative effort,” she said, regarding the young participants.
Visclosky staff member Celina Weatherwax said Thursday that the congressman looked at the contest as a good opportunity to work with the United Way and “to bring new opportunities to the students of Northwest Indiana.”
CIVS director Chenn Qian Zhou said the center was glad to help.
“I’m so excited to be part of this event,” she said.read more ... 'Canstruction' students get help with design from CIVS
July 16, 2014
Thanks to advanced simulation and visualization technologies, we can now “step inside” the virtual blast furnace created by the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) at Purdue University Calumet in collaboration with our partner steel companies.
New ways to solve problems
Imagine that you have an idea for a device to increase blast furnace productivity. Previously, you would have to do some “trial-and-error” testing on-site, costing tremendous effort and money.
Now, you can test it on your computer. The CIVS’s technology can create a blast furnace model based on real conditions, analyze the effectiveness of the device based on scientific principles and mathematic methods, visualize detailed data using virtual reality and optimize performance by manipulating variables to answer “what if” questions.
The CIVS has worked with U.S. Steel Co. to improve the performance of a blast furnace by examining ways to inject pulverized coal, resulting in more than $8.5 million in annual savings and 50 percent less downtime.
In many other examples, the advanced simulation and visualization technologies have proven to be invaluable for designing, troubleshooting and optimizing processes and products, reducing both time and cost.
New approach to training
The integration of simulation and visualization technologies also opens up new avenues for training and learning. In the CIVS 3-D theater, we can fly into a virtual blast furnace and watch how iron ore is heated up, softened and reduced to liquid from the top to the bottom of the furnace. We can inspect the internal structures, temperatures and other flow properties inside the furnace in great detail.
This new approach creates an interactive virtual world of real processes, and can be presented in multiple platforms, including desktop computers, mobile devices and online. The virtual blast furnaces have already been used in training sessions and short courses by the steel industry.
The CIVS has just received a $480,000 grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to launch a national effort to establish a new and sustainable industry-led Advanced Simulation and Visualization for Steel Optimization Consortium and to develop a technology road map to benefit the American steel industry.
The new consortium will fully utilize the advanced technologies to focus on both short-and long-range technical solutions for the steel industry to improve efficiency, lower production costs, advance quality and improve training for a critically needed workforce.
This will ensure our steel industry’s global competitiveness and benefit the nation’s economy, to which steel manufacturing contributes over $17.5 billion annually and supports more than one million jobs.
We are also happy that this consortium will provide significant positive economic and educational impacts to our region and the state of Indiana, the largest steel-producing state.
Advanced simulation and visualization technologies are essential to the future of the steel industry. We look forward to working with stakeholders throughout the steel manufacturing value chain on this very important mission.read more ... Grant Will Help Steel Industry See and Plan for Years to Come
July 10, 2014
CIVS Director Chenn Zhou, Research Engineer Bin Wu, and Postdoctoral Researcher Armin Silaen were part of a team awarded the 2014 International Thermoelectric Society Outstanding Poster Award for their project titled Cost effective topping thermoelectric power generation on coal fired power plants at the 33rd International Conference on Thermoelectrics on July 6-10, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee.read more ... CIVS Staff Wins Outstanding Poster Award
July 3, 2014
CIVS is working with Lake Area and Porter County United Way to help teams of kids utilize advanced 3D technologies to design and visualize a variety of super-hero themed structures that will be built entirely out of full cans of food. The designs will be built at a Canstruction® event to be held at Southlake Mall in Hobart, Indiana in late July.
Canstruction® is a unique charity which hosts competitions, exhibitions and events showcasing structures made entirely out of full cans of food. After the structures are built, the creations go on display to the public as an art exhibition. At the end of the event, all food is donated to local hunger relief organizations.
Prior to the event, 9 teams of kids from Lake and Porter counties are working with CIVS staff and students to convert sketches of their super-hero themed designs into 3D models. Using 3D tools teaches the children about advanced technologies and enables them to plan and visualize realistically what their “canstructures” will look like using the actual can sizes and labels. 3D renderings will be used to create posters for the event and visual aids for building the structures. The event will take place publicly from 8:00am until 4:00pm on Friday, July 25 at Southlake Mall in Hobart, Indiana. The “Canstructures” will be judged and then remain on display until August 2nd. The public is invited to vote for their favorite.
For additional details, see links below:
read more ... CIVS partners with Lake Area and Porter County United Way on “Canstruction” project
July 2, 2014
About 120 middle-schoolers from Lake and Porter counties assembled Friday at Ivy Tech for a summer project that will test their math and science skills and help feed the hungry.
The Superheroes Against Hunger “canstruction” competition is hosted by Lake Area United Way and United Way of Porter County. U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, was there Friday morning to help kick off the competition.
“This is what’s perfect about Northwest Indiana,” he said, referring to the universities, business, nonprofit agencies and trade unions collaborating on the project.
Visclosky said the food to be used in the competition will be the equivalent of about 42,000 meals. It will ultimately go to the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana.
“People too often don’t recognize we have hungry people in Northwest Indiana,” Visclosky said.
Participants are in 10 teams and represent YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, the Boy Scouts and Campagna Academy.
The students will use the STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – to design and build canned-food sculptures with a superhero theme. Friday’s day-long Design Camp gave students the opportunity to plan their projects.
“Everyone in this room is going to be an engineer today,” said Sharon Kish, president of United Way of Porter County, during the opening event, which included skits and a quiz acquainting students with the extent of the hunger problem in the region.
Tyler Polarek, 12, a member of the South Haven Boys and Girls Club, said he got involved in the canstruction competition after doing various craft projects at the club, and being active in the service organization Torch Club.
“I think it’ll be really fun,” he said.
The students saw photos of projects done in canstruction contests in other areas that showed the creativity involved.
“They’re fantastic,” said Sanja Kirova, 13, a member of the Portage Boys and Girls Club. “I was interested to see how they build them.”
She said her team was thinking about an Indiana-related design.
The students will also learn some budgeting lessons – they’ll have a $2,500 budget to apply to the cans of food, said volunteer coach Tim Sanders of Purdue University Calumet, one of the competition’s sponsors.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Sanders said. “My job will be to allow them to be as creative as they want and to work together.”
A Virtual Camp on July 17 and 18 at Purdue University Calumet’s Center for Innovation Through Visualization and Simulation facility will provide the teams the opportunity to create three-dimensional images of their structures.
On July 25, the teams will build their designs at Southlake Mall in Hobart. The public will be invited to vote for their favorites July 26 through Aug. 2.
“I can’t wait to see the final results,” Visclosky said.read more ... Tweens 'Canstruct' Superhero Structures
June 25, 2014
Lake Area United Way and United Way of Porter County are pleased to announce key support from Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central.
“We appreciate the financial commitment demonstrated by Chancellors Keon and Dworkin to the Canstruction project. We also look forward to working with the Purdue University engineering students to bring the student designs to life through the 3D technology offered at the Center for Innovation Visualization and Simulation (CIVS). This portion of Canstruction project will provide a unique science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) experience to all the students involved in this project. We are also very thankful to Congressman Visclosky for his commitment to Northwest Indiana in raising awareness to help combat the hunger issue that significantly impacts our region,” said Lou Martinez, President, Lake Area United Way.
“We are thrilled that Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central have partnered with the United Ways and Congressman Visclosky to bring Canstruction to Northwest Indiana. It will be a wonderful STEM learning experience for the students and will impact the lives of hundreds of families in the region through the donation of the cans of food to the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana and local food pantries. We are most grateful to Purdue University for their support and sponsorship of this event,” said Sharon Kish, President, United Way of Porter County.
Middle school aged students from throughout Lake and Porter counties will participate in designing and building large structures made entirely out of canned food. Throughout the process these students will use the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). After the structures are built, they will be on display at the Southlake Mall where the public can vote on their favorite structure. At the conclusion of the event, all food items will be donated to the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana and ultimately local food pantries.
“Purdue University Calumet strongly supports opportunities to engage with our community through education and public service. “Superheroes Against Hunger” offers an innovative STEM learning opportunity for our young people; and provides awareness and support for those in-need in Northwest Indiana. We look forward to working with Purdue North Central, Congressman Visclosky and our regional partners on this great event.” said Purdue University Calumet Chancellor Dr. Thomas L. Keon.
“This competition is a tremendous opportunity for area middle school students to enhance their skills in the important science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines,” said Purdue University North Central Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin. “This presents a fun opportunity for them to stretch their imaginations and to test their planning and construction skills. In the end, the projects will help our friends and neighbors through our local food pantries. I encourage our local students and teachers to get involved in the competition and that our businesses and organizations consider taking advantage of a sponsorship opportunity to support this worthwhile endeavor.”
“I am proud to work with the Lake Area United Way and the United Way of Porter County on this important initiative. These organizations provide an invaluable service to our communities, and Canstruction is another example of their great work,” said Congressman Pete Visclosky.read more ... Universities Announce Support for Canstruction Northwest Indiana
June 25, 2014
When hospital officials wanted to show employees and the community what was happening beyond the construction barriers at the Franciscan St. Margaret Health hospital Emergency Department in Dyer, they turned to a high-tech center in Hammond.
The Center for Innovation Through Visualization & Simulation, also known as CIVS and located on the Purdue University Calumet campus, is a source for companies searching for solutions to problems or needs.
Students are put on teams to tackle issues posed to them, from energy inefficiencies to industrial equipment longevity.
Dan Ratko, the hospital’s project manager for construction, reached out to the center to develop a virtual tour video and web-based interactive virtual environment for its under-construction Emergency Department expansion.
The goal was to have an end product for demonstrations and promotion, something to show people the completed design.
“It just looks like construction from the outside,” Ratko said.
Franciscan has partnered with the center before on projects, including a virtual nursery, active threat scenario and lab design optimization.
Ratko worked in the center when he was a student at Purdue Cal, so he knows how it can benefit Franciscan, he said.
“We’re using the resources we have right in our community with a lot of the students who grew up right here,” he said.
In this case, the hospital provided plans and architectural drawings and met with the students to discuss the project.
Crown Point resident Lucas Phillips, who recently earned a second master’s degree at Purdue Cal, worked with fellow student Yunpeng Chang on the Emergency Department project.
Phillips, whose main interest is in 3-D modeling for video games, said the project was not particularly difficult, but it was time consuming to ensure the details, such as lighting, were correct.
Aside from health care, the center’s project list includes the fields of construction, engineering, manufacturing and transportation, among others, said Doreen Gonzalez-Gaboyan, manager of outreach and development for the center.
Since 2009, the center has saved companies $30 million by solving problems. More than 80 external organizations, from McDonald’s to U.S. Steel, have worked with the center, she said.
read more ... Franciscan, Purdue Cal Center Partner for Project
June 24, 2014
Chenn Zhou, professor of mechanical engineering, director of the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation, and associate vice chancellor for research and graduate studies, recently was featured among regional “Professionals to Watch” for her work in advancing CIVS.
Zhou is featured in the summer issue of BusINess magazine, published by The Times of Northwest Indiana. BusINess writer Lesly Bailey quoted Zhou as saying: “CIVS allows us to integrate advanced simulation and visualization technologies to create virtual worlds for real problems. This empowers people to communicate more effectively and to achieve better and faster solutions.”read more ... Zhou Featured Among Regional ‘Professionals to Watch’
June 11, 2014
From blast furnaces to French poetry, CIVS Director Chenn Zhou and her team are looking at the world in a virtual and innovative way.
Purdue University Calumet’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation is a research center that brings together education and application across a variety of fields and disciplines.read more ... Professionals to Watch: Chenn Zhou