July 19, 2010
How to apply simulation and virtual reality techniques to business models is the focus of a free business seminar at Purdue University Calumet Wednesday, July 28.
The 50-minute seminar will be held at 11 a.m. in the university’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS), Powers Computer Education Building 108. The program is especially intended for professionals in industries of engineering, biomedical science, health care, social sciences and education, according to Purdue Calumet CIVS Outreach Administrator Doreen Gonzalez-Gaboyanread more ... Learn about simulation technology at business seminar July 28
May 23, 2010
Exploration Earth: This month, students in Hammond, Ind., participated in a 3-D submarine simulation at Purdue University. The program, Exploration Earth: Mission Ocean, is in part sponsored by ONR to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives in primary and secondary education.
Middle school students from Hammond, Ind., on the Mission Ocean team approach a submarine volcano as part of the 3-D Exploration Earth: Mission Ocean submarine simulation. The program, in part sponsored by ONR, supports science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in K-12 curricula.
Students participating in the ONR-sponsored Exploration Earth: Mission Ocean program control 3-D submarines from a web-based multi-user interface. Stations include: dive, drive, trim/main ballast, propulsion, navigation and research. The program supports STEM education in K-12 curricula.
read more ... Office of Naval Research's Photos - Exploration Earth: Mission Ocean
May 23, 2010
A Purdue University Calumet mechanical engineering student earned second place and a $1,000 award in the undergraduate student research competition of the recent international Association for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST) Conference and Exposition in Pittsburgh.
Award-winner Alek Shmagranoff of Munster presented a project entitled, “Three Dimensional Simulation and Design of a Mixing Tank.”
Other undergraduates presenting their research at the largest annual international steel conference were Tom Roesel of Crete, Ill. and Song Zhang of China.
In all, 26 engineering students and four faculty/research staff members from Purdue Calumet attended the annual event, which attracted more than 5,600 participants.
Purdue Calumet attendees also included Professor, Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the university’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation Chenn Zhou, who presented the conference’s keynote address: the J. Keith Brimacombe Memorial Lecture.
Another Purdue Calumet attendee, Professor of Mechanical Engineering Harvey Abramowitz, supported the Purdue Calumet students’ attendance through an Association for Iron and Steel Technology Foundation Professor Grant he received.
read more ... PUC engineering student earns 2nd for research
May 17, 2010
HAMMOND — The Iceland volcano, Eyjafjallajokul, caught the attention of Hammond’s seventh-graders, but only in the most passing sense since they had bigger holes upon which to stumble.
Specifically, the whereabouts of a volcano at the bottom of the ocean off the Aleutian Islands had their rapt attention Wednesday, and students from Gavit Middle School found it in the Purdue University Calumet’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation. Instead of waiting for it to erupt and throw the ocean traffic into chaos, the 1,100 students used their science, math and computer skills to locate their volcano.
As if that wasn’t cool enough, the students needed 3-D glasses to view the ocean “floor,” as it was projected onto the lab floor.
In its second year in the Hammond School System, the Exploration Earth: Mission Ocean curriculum combines physical science, math and social studies in an interactive setting, said Center Director Robert Rivers. The students learn their mission at the start of the school, and they participate in various exercises throughout the year.
The final mission brings the kids to the center where, through information provided by the Office of Naval Research, they find whatever they’re supposed to through a simulated submarine program. They’re divided up into divers, drivers, and researchers, and have 45 minutes to find their object — in this case, the volcano.
“They had two probes to use: a temperature probe to detect heat coming off the volcano, and a sulphur dioxide probe, because volcanoes emit sulphur dioxide,” Rivers said. “They also use concepts in physical science as well as longitude and latitude, polar coordinates, and social studies.”
An added bonus is the kids learn to work in groups, which will be important as they go on in school and work, Rivers added. And it brings the wonder of computer technology down to a level they can understand.
“Kids live in the world of ‘Avatar,’ but they’re so far removed from it. The program bridges the gap and brings the educational project into the 21stcentury,” he said. “If they get excited about it now, they’ll continue to be excited in high school.”
Rivers was especially pleased to see the girls in the classes so interested in the science behind it all. Mission Captains Shelby Geurts and Marqui Glinsey, and Diver Akia Maxwell, are looking forward to more science classes in high school.
“This showed me there are more things in life than MySpace and Facebook,” Shelby said.read more ... Moving beyond MySpace, Facebook
May 16, 2010
3-D submarine simulation gives children experience as a team
Carmen McCollum – firstname.lastname@example.org, (219) 662-5337
HAMMOND | The seventh-graders had their eyes focused on the computer screen, paying close attention to their mission. Some wore 3-D glasses, making their environment in the simulated submarine control room as real as possible.
Alex Avalos, 13, said he had never worked on a project such as this. He said it gave him an opportunity to “work and communicate together with a group of students for the success of the mission.”
Avalos is one of nearly 1,100 Hammond middle school seventh-graders who will complete their final mission in the Exploration Earth: Mission Ocean curriculum at the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation at Purdue University Calumet during the next several weeks. Student involvement in the curriculum was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and Fifth/Third Bank of Northwest Indiana.
In this final mission, the existing Web interface was networked to simulate the 3-D working environment of a research submarine. Students were divided into teams to record and interpret data from sulfur dioxide and temperature probes aboard the submarine to chart and locate an actively erupting volcano. In the simulated environment, students also were able to determine whether the volcanic outflow would affect a wildlife sanctuary on a nearby island.
The students have been involved in this yearlong project designed to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematical concepts in a project-based, real-world environment learning process, said Robert Rivers, Purdue Calumet dean of education.
“Students learned to understand concepts like longitude and latitude,” he said. “They learn problem-solving skills and they learn to work together as a team, something they will have to know when they get in the work force.”
Hammond Gavit seventh-grade science teacher Nancy Szymkowski said the students are trained in every area as they work in the simulated submarine control room. She said they have a deeper understanding of concepts such as density and buoyancy, and many students have expressed interest in taking 3-D graphics next school year.
While Anna Buenrostro, 13, said science isn’t her favorite subject, she enjoyed working on the mission and particularly liked “marine propulsion and navigation.”
May 15, 2010
Faces of Innovation column
By John Davies
Imagine flying around in 3D environments navigating a submarine under the ocean, tracking a satellite in space or standing in a huge kettle mixing iron ore in the region.
Is this a computer game or a new science? It’s a little of both. Actually, it’s a dynamic new tool for Northwest Indiana focusing on innovative solutions to practical problems thanks to Purdue University Calumet.
Welcome to the world of John “Jack” Moreland, the senior research scientist in the Center for Innovation through Visualization & Simulation. His projects include creating a 3D environment for “Mission Ocean” for 1200 Hammond students. Another is bringing to life a space launch called Planck, lofted by the European Space Agency with significant involvement by NASA.
Jack is a new Fellow in the Society of Innovators. To appreciate Jack’s role, it is important to acknowledge Chenn Zhou, who heads mechanical engineering for PUC and also is a Fellow in The Society.
Zhou had the vision for the benefits of this technology called virtual reality. She wanted to bring it to the region and help solve practical problems. She invited Jack to join her. Jack agreed and helped establish the lab.
There is no way I can adequately explain the wonder of this technology.
This is something you have to experience. So I will attempt to share just one example that I have experienced to demonstrate the power of this “communications” tool.
But first, here’s a brief description of the Vis Lab. There are two screens, one on the floor and one on the wall. Basically, you stand on the screen wearing a set of high-tech glasses. As Jack manipulates the hand controls, you find yourself in a computer-simulated environment.
Instead of just watching 3D characters recede and pop out at you, this technology allows you to interact with them. Why is this important? Simply, if you are trying to find a solution to a problem, you can experience it and understand the problem easier than just looking at data. Jack’s role is to translate the experience so a solution can be found faster and better.
When interviewing Jack, I experienced this technology firsthand. One of our steel companies had an issue with uniformly mixing iron ore in a large kettle, and Jack worked with the team to simulate a 3D kettle. I found myself standing inside it as Jack explained how, working with the team, he was able recreate the vessel, identify the problem, and find the solution.
Jack reminds me of the ordinary genius I love to discover as I interview innovators across the region. When I talk with Jack, he emphasizes that he never uses the “I” word. It is because this is a collaborative process, not a singular achievement.
So I’d like to dedicate this column not just to Jack or Chenn, but to all of the ingenious men and women in our colleges and universities who serve Northwest Indiana. Projects like the Vis Lab and the people who staff them will make us great in the 21st century.
John Davies is Managing Director of The Society of Innovators, which is sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana Northwest and other principal partners. The opinion expressed in this column is the writer’s and not necessarily that of The Times.
May 3, 2010
PUC technology helps visualize Gary homeless housing project
By Lu Ann Franklin – Times Correspondent
HAMMOND | Using the latest 3-D computer technology at Purdue University Calumet, Edgewater Systems unveiled a project to provide permanent housing for the homeless.
Held Thursday morning in the PUC Visualization Lab on the Hammond campus, the presentation gave attendees a virtual tour of the 75,000-square-foot structure that is planned along 20th Avenue between Lincoln and Pierce streets in Gary.
The building will include 60 one- and two-bedroom residential units and commercial space for a Head Start program, medical and dental offices and behavioral health services.
By wearing 3-D glasses, the audience was able to explore the building’s first floor. Another computer simulation displayed the interior of a furnished apartment.
The preview was hosted by PUC Chancellor Howard Cohen and Roy Evans of the university’s construction management and engineering technologies department.
Evans, an architect and urban planner, is designing the building in conjunction with Edgewater Systems, the city of Gary, Broadway Community Development Corp. and NSP Consultants.
Edgewater provides behavioral health services through a variety of programs.
A quarter of those who are homeless have some form of mental illness and don’t get proper care, said Danita Johnson Hughes, Edgewater president and CEO.
“This project allows Edgewater and our partners to be part of the solution to end homelessness,” she said. “Having a place to call home offers people stability.” The project’s costs currently range from $13 million to $15 million, and completion is expected in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The complex is considered permanent rather than transitional housing and will be available for individuals and families. A percentage of the units will be reserved for the disabled and the building will be handicap-accessible, Evans said.
Located in the Powers Building, PUC’s Center for Innovation Through Visualization and Simulation lab began as a part of the university’s engineering department but has expanded with the help of Evans, Cohen said.
“The only limit to this technology is people’s imagination about how to use it,” he said.
John Moreland, a senior research scientist at PUC, said the computerized 3-D simulation technology allows students and staff to perform a number of operations including a 3-D fly-through of a building.
“This simulates the way things operate before something is built,” Moreland said.
The technology is used at Purdue by a variety of departments for interdisciplinary learning projects. Outside the university, this 3-D visualization is also used in therapy and is especially effective for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, he said.
“We can collaborate with different people on a project,” said Chenn Zhou, head of the university’s department of mechanical engineering.
“It is great for training and can be used for city planning, economic development, renewable energy, sciences, virtual engineering and biomedical applications,” she said.
This technology can check and test for variables including the heating and air conditioning efficiency and stress on walls before a building is constructed, Zhou said.
It can also be used to make design adjustments to keep costs down, Evans said.
April 30, 2010
In recognition of her achievements in process metallurgy and dedication to the steel industry, a Purdue University Calumet professor will deliver the keynote address Monday (5/3) at the international Association for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST) Conference and Exposition in Pittsburgh.
professor of mechanical engineering, head of Purdue Calumet’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the university’s Center
for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation, will present the conference’s J. Keith Brimacombe Memorial Lecture. Her topic is: “Visualizing the Future in Steel Manufacturing.”
Her lecture will be the kickoff of a four-day event expected to attract more than 1,000 attendees, representing one of the largest gatherings of steel industry personnel in the world. She will receive her Brimacombe Memorial Lecture Award at the AIST President’s Award Breakfast Tuesday (5/4).
“I am deeply honored and privileged to receive this recognition,” Zhou, a Munster resident and 15-year Purdue Calumet professor, said. “This award is attributed to all of my students, research associates and collaborators. I am grateful to the university, industry and all the organizations and individuals who made this possible.”
During her lecture, she will discuss the growing importance of advanced computer simulation and visualization technologies in steel production and troubleshooting. Creating immersive, virtual environments for ‘going inside,’ she says, increases understanding of complex physical processes, enabling innovation and the ability to make significant improvements in a time and cost efficient manner.
“As industry forges its way into the future,” she said, “advanced computer simulation and visualization technologies will play an ever-increasing role in addressing issues of productivity, energy, environment and quality, as well as workforce training to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”
Zhou applies that logic at Purdue Calumet as director of the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation, which utilizes 3-dimensional visualization and virtual reality technologies to assist steel and other local manufacturing industries in addressing production and efficiency challenges.
“This recognition not only brings prestige and honor to Professor Zhou,” Purdue Calumet Chancellor Howard Cohen said, “but it also enhances Purdue Calumet as a school internationally noted for its research in iron and steel making.”
Professor Zhou offers 27+ years of expertise in computational fluid dynamics, multiphase reacting flows, combustion and air pollution control. She has conducted various funded research projects in collaboration with industries, national laboratories and academia. She has developed state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics models and virtual reality visualizations for industrial applications.
Of late, she has led a research consortium intent on helping the North America steel industry improve blast furnace campaign life and energy efficiency.
She also has published nearly 190 technical papers, five copyrighted computational fluid dynamics codes and two patents. A past recipient of Purdue Calumet’s Outstanding Teaching, Outstanding Scholar and Outstanding Sponsored Research Awards, she also has been recognized as Outstanding Northwest Indiana Researcher (2003), Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2003) and American Iron and Steel Institute Medal Award (2005), among numerous other honors.
Additionally, she has chaired various national and international technical conferences and sessions, as well as the Combustion, Fire, and Reacting Flows Committee in the Heat Transfer Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
She holds baccalaureate and master’s degrees from Najing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in China and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
The four-day Association for Iron and Steel Technology event is intended to showcase advancements in iron making, steelmaking, rolling and finishing processes, as well as anticipated technologies necessary in 21st century steel production. Other information about the conference can be obtained at www.aistech.org.
read more ... PUC engineering professor to deliver keynote at international Iron & Steel conference
April 16, 2010
You are cordially invited to attend the CIVS Seminar on Wednesday, April 21st from Noon to 1:00 pm in Powers 108 to explore computing resources for visualization based research.
Noon – 1pm, Wednesday, April 21st
Visualization can mean various things to people of different backgrounds. Information Visualization, Scientific Visualization, and 3-D Visualization among others each have their own flavor. The shared goal of all visualization is to promote communication and understanding through the visual channel of human perception. Whether by giving concrete form to an abstract idea, providing a means to recognize patterns in a chaotic set of data, or generating an immersive environment for collaborative development, improved understanding, or training, visualization can be a useful tool across multiple disciplines. A variety of visualization software and hardware that can be used in multiple areas will be introduced with several demonstrations, focusing on 3-D visualization.
To find out more information about CIVS and how to get involved, please visit our website at http://centers.pnw.edu/civs/. We look forward to seeing you in the seminar.
If you have any suggestions on the topics of future seminars or need any help from CIVS for developing projects and grant proposals in the areas of simulation and visualization, please feel free to contact CIVS director, Dr. Chenn Zhou at email@example.com.
read more ... Resources for Visualization-Based Research at PUC
April 7, 2010
Northwest Indiana Computational Grid (NWICG) Project
Purdue University Calumet
The Northwest Indiana Computational Grid (NWICG) Project at Purdue University Calumet invites proposals to fund research computing applications which make use of the new Miner PC Cluster at PUC and/or the high performance grid network connecting Purdue Calumet to the Indiana I-Light computer network. Projects may include use of the CIVS Visualization Laboratory and other NWICG-funded resources on the West Lafayette campus and/or those at Notre Dame University. In all cases the proposed projects should be aligned with the goal and objectives of the NWICG Project. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consider proposals that include collaborators from other NWICG institutions (Purdue West Lafayette and Notre Dame).
At Purdue University Calumet, the NWICG Project is closely aligned with the mission of the Center for Innovation through Simulation and Visualization (CIVS). As such, applicants are encouraged to consider how CIVS will be able to support, extend and enhance proposed investigations, particularly as they age out of seed support from the NWICG Project.
This RFP seeks proposals which may result in significant intellectual insight and/or demonstrable economic benefit to the NW Indiana Region. Proposals should explain the need for high performance computing resources and how the Miner cluster will contribute to the success of the proposed activity. The need for high performance computing resources must be explicitly demonstrated. Proposals which fail to do so will not be considered for funding, at any level.
Our expectation is the funding of 5 – 10 summer projects, funded from approximately $150,000. Projects showing great promise near the end of the summer period will be considered for extended funding through the rest of FY 2010/11. Proposals submitted to this RFP should bear this possibility in mind, but should concentrate on summer activities and display a budget consistent for summer work only. There are no specific budget limitations for budgets, save those few listed below.
The goal of the Federal funding provided for the NWICG Project was to build a network that when connected to national and international research networks would make possible the sharing, enhancement, and integration of available network, computational, storage, middleware, and visualization resources at Notre Dame and the two campuses of Purdue. The specific objectives of the NWICG Project are:
- Support high-value, high-return scientific projects that, in turn, advance primarily energy-related science and
- Enable continued world-class advances in the underlying technologies of grids and high performance computing.
- All tenured and tenure-track faculty are eligible to apply.
- Students included in proposals should be degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate students at Purdue University Calumet. U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status is not required for student funding.
- Summer faculty salaries are limited to 50% FTE (1 month) of full summer salary with the maximum allowable of $5000.
- Proposals which incorporate undergraduate and/or graduate student research experiences are encouraged. Student salaries are allowable budget items.
- Collaborations with researchers from the other members of the NWICG Project is strongly encouraged and sought. Collaborators from other universities are also welcomed.
- Funding of collaborators will be considered, but only where other funding is unavailable and the collaborators are essential to the success of the project. Arguments for collaborator funding will be given special attention in the review process.
- Each proposal must include an abstract of no more than one page, as part of the total page limit. The abstract should summarize the intellectual merit of the proposed project, as well as why the high performance cluster computing and/or grid access is essential to the success of the proposed project.
- Proposals should be limited to ten (10) double-spaced, typed pages with no less than 11-point font. This page limit includes figures, but does not include references, budgets, or one page relevant biographies of PI and co-PI’s
- Each proposal may have one Primary Investigator (PI), but may have any number of Co-Investigators. The PI is responsible for grant management, project management and reporting.
- Each proposal should list the contact information, including phone number and e-mail address for the Primary Investigator.
- Proposals are due electronically, in PDF (Acrobat) format, to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs by 11:00 pm CDT, Thursday, 22 April 2010.
- E-mail proposals to: Deborah.McGlashan@calumet.purdue.edu. Please identify “NWICG Proposal” in e-mail subject line.
- Primary Investigators will be contacted by e-mail on Friday, 23 April 2010, to confirm successful proposal submission.
- A review panel, formed by the VCAA, will review the submitted proposals.
- Notice of intent to fund is expected by 03 May 2010.
Project Requirements and Deliverables
A final report by October 1, 2010 is required as well as a presentation at the Fall Research Forum. Expectations are for these efforts to lead to publications, designs, or grant proposals.read more ... Request for Proposals
March 30, 2010
The Brimacombe Memorial Lecture was held on Monday, May 3, 2010, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The Brimacombe Memorial Lecture was established in 1999 to honor Dr. J. Keith Brimacombe’s outstanding accomplishments in the area of process metallurgy, his dedication to the steel industry and his profound effect on people in the industry.
The award is granted in recognition of an individual dedicated to the steel industry to acquaint members, students and engineers with the many exciting opportunities that exist in the area of process metallurgy and to inspire them to pursue careers in this field. The Brimacombe Memorial Lecture is also the 2010 AIME Keynote.
The 2010 lecturer is Chenn Q. Zhou. Dr. Zhou is currently professor and department head of mechanical engineering, as well as the director of the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CVIS) at Purdue University Calumet (PUC).read more ... The AIME Keynote and J. Keith Brimacombe Memorial Lecture
March 29, 2010
CIVS will be hosting the following seminar on Wednesday, April 7 in the CIVS Visualization Lab. Additional details will be posted closer to the presentation date.
Computing Resources for Simulation Based Research at PUC
Dr. Shawn Slavin
Wednesday, April 7 from Noon – 1:00 p.m.
Powers 108read more ... CIVS Seminar Series: Simulation at PUC - April 7
March 9, 2010
Plan now to join the center for Research Computing at the University of Notre Dame for a two-day conference on Cyberinfrastructure (CI). Learn through presentations, demonstrations, and discussions on how CI can enhance collaboration, education, research, and outreach in all disciplines and how we do business today.read more ... Cyberinfrastructure Days at Notre Dame University
March 8, 2010
Dr. Chenn Zhou presented “Virtual Reality Visualization of a Blast Furnace” at the March 9, 2010 AIST Midwest Chapter monthly meeting. Presentation highlights included animations using 3-D glasses, advanced simulation results, and an impressive flight through a blast furnace from the point of view of a coke particle. Click here to see short video.
read more ... Presentation at AIST Midwest Chapter Meeting
March 2, 2010
The head of Purdue University Calumet’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the university’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation will deliver the keynote address at the Association for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST) Midwest chapter dinner meeting, Tuesday, March 9.
Chenn Zhou, also an internationally respected researcher in computational fluid dynamics (CFD), will discuss “Virtual Reality Visualization of a Blast Furnace.” The dinner meeting begins with a 5:30 p.m. social hour at Avalon Manor in Merrillville.
A mechanical engineer, Prof. Zhou has developed state-of-the-art CFD models while using virtual reality visualizations to help local industry troubleshoot problems and advance applications. She has conducted extensive CFD research relating to improving energy efficiency and blast furnace campaign life within the steel industry.
Cost to attend is $30. The reservation deadline is Friday, March 5. To make reservations, contact AIST Executive Committee member Kelly Dallas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 219/787-4600. Other information is available on line at http://www.aist.org/chapters/Midwest_Mar10_dinnerMeeting.pdf.read more ... AIST Midwest dinner - Chenn Zhou to deliver keynote
February 24, 2010By Erika Rose, a freelance writer
About the time Purdue University Calumet introduced its Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS), an operational issue happened to arise at Northern Indiana Public Service Company’s (NIPSCO) Bailly Generating Station.
The issue presented challenges that plant engineers felt required the assistance of a resource not readily available to them: computational fluid dynamics (CFD). CFD is a relatively new and notably more cost- and time-effective method of analyzing problems with fluid flows.
According to Kurt Sangster, manager of maintenance and engineering at NIPSCO’s Bailly Generating Station, physical flow modeling would have been expensive to undertake, and the plant does not have the capability to run CFD simulations. But Purdue Calumet’s new Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation does.
“We have two generating units at the facility that are coal-fired boilers,” Sangster explained. “The gas exits the boilers and comes together in a common duct. It flows together and goes through a pollution control device where the pollutant sulfur dioxide is removed. Right before the two come together, they were experiencing some back pressure problems. We weren’t getting all the flow out of the units that we could gas-wise, because they were just not interacting as they were originally designed.”
When NIPSCO engineers asked Zhou and her team of faculty and student engineering researchers to develop a solution to bring both units up to full load, the PUC team went to work in the CIVS facility, a virtual reality laboratory of sorts. Using physical measurements of the equipment provided by NIPSCO, the students created a computer model. Their resulting simulations showed two gas flows coming together. While one flowed perfectly the other offered a chaotic and disruptive flow. Further simulation showed insufficient exhaust at the output duct, a potentially serious problem that otherwise likely would not have been detected.
Taking CFD a step further, the Purdue Calumet team brought NIPSCO engineers into the CIVS to interact inside a virtual boiler unit to create a picture from the numbers the simulation had created. Before CFD, plant engineers would use a physical model constructed about 1/12 to 1/20 of the size of the real equipment to address such issues. “You would actually run air through the model and drop in particles to see how it operated,” Sangster said, “but that only shows you how flows work in normal air. CFD, on the other hand, takes into account all those other factors that a normal physical model cannot, such as temperatures and factors that impact the air flow. Additionally, CFD allows you to adjust any particular aspect by programming it; you can get a different look each time. It’s simply more time consuming to conduct the same simple test on a physical model.”
Applying CFD within the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation, the student team proposed installing turning veins – that is, large pieces of steel in the ductwork to ensure the flow is straight and does not come back on itself.
The modification recently was installed.
read more ... NIPSCO challenge provides ‘reality’ learning moment for students
February 24, 2010
Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 – 2:34 pmBy Erika Rose
BP’s Whiting Refinery recently partnered with Purdue University Calumet’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) for assistance in developing a new design for a water wash system for the refinery’s No. 12 Pipestill Crude Tower.
Mark Hunter, site project manager for No. 12 Pipestill revamp, explained that “refineries use water-wash systems to keep salts from forming corrosive acids on the pipe walls. While technology exists for determining how much water to use, it remains a challenge to determine where to place water injection jets and how many jets to use.”
Historically, he said, engineers would drill a hole in the actual pipe and make an educated guess about where to position the jet for the best result. If that didn’t yield the desired result, they would drill another hole, reposition the jet and so on.
By working with Purdue Calumet faculty and students at the CIVS, BP’s research and design engineers had access to computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling, which produce more comprehensive data than previously attainable.
The partnership affords mechanical engineering students a valuable opportunity to apply the theories and concepts they are learning in real world scenarios. Mechanical engineering student Tom Roesel of Crete, Ill. has worked on the project as part of his experiential learning requirement. He took the system drawings, properties of the materials, and geometry that BP provided for the design and constructed a 3-D computer picture of the water-wash system. The computer ran a number of simulations using various “what if” factors to find the most accurate design parameters.
The CFD simulation can calculate and recalculate individual water droplets moving down the line several times every inch, accounting for temperature changes all the way down the pipe. In the past, Hunter said, engineers were unable to calculate within such small increments. “The model provided confidence to have conversations about physical science in a way you weren’t able to have before,” he said. He added that the simulations provided precise data on the flow of the water so that engineers can determine the proper amount of water to use and the optimal placement and number of water-injection jets to use. Perhaps most importantly, the method allows engineers to keep the experimentation in the computer lab.
“This modeling allowed us to help determine in a computer lab the idea local for the water wash jets, naturally lowering the risk of inefficient targeting in the field,” Hunter said. “Corrosion prevention is essential for the safety and reliability of the refinery. Also, if we just down the unit to avoid a leak, or replace piping or equipment, the resulting downtime and repairs are extremely costly.”
The project is about to enter a three-year construction phase.
read more ... BP turns to CIVS to combat corrosion
February 24, 2010
Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 – 2:19 pmBy: Erika Rose
When engineers at steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal were having problems on one of their strip processing lines, they turned to Purdue University Calumet’s Center for Innovation through Visuzaliation and Simulation (CIVS) for help.
“We were concerned about the thermal uniformity in the line,” ArcelorMittal Research and Development Senior Research Engineer Kurt Johnson said. “This particular line coats a steel coil substrate with aluminum. Part of the process, before it gets coated, is to heat up the strip to soften it.
“We were concerned about the possibility of heating the edges hotter than the center of the strip. We were trying to isolate which part of the process – was it the heating?, cooling? Or when it went into the pot? – that was causing this temperature difference?”
Johnson said initial computational fluid dynamics work at the Center helped calibrate the model and compare the simulation’s results to the actual data. Once that occurred, the next step was to simulate the furnace performance using different processing parameters in terms of thickness, width and speed of the strip going down the line to determine thermal uniformity.
Doing such experimentation on the production line, while engineers gathered data and tried to make educated guesses, takes time away from producing the standard grade type material. The opportunity to use Purdue Calumet’s computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation technology eliminates the disadvantage of experimenting with costly resources.
Another improvement Johnson and his team hope to achieve by using the CFD technology is that of optimizing production by maxing out the speed at which the product rolls down the line; that is something that cannot be done effectively via live experimentation . The end result, Johnson is confident, will yield a higher margin for the product and provide a competitive leg up for his employer.
ArcelorMittal East Chicago Research and Development Director of Process Research David White put the impact of Purdue Calumet’s CIVS facility in perspective when he said, “We believe that simulation is a very powerful and economic tool for process advancement. The (Purdue Calumet) Center’s new 3D visualization capabilities will bring process understanding and speed of solutions to an even higher level.”
read more ... ArcelorMittal looks to CIVS to optimize production
February 24, 2010
Hunter said virtual reality also holds promise in another area: training.
“Because this is fairly new, we really have not yet had a chance to brainstorm all of the possibilities,” he said. “But seeing that ‘flow’ is a huge part of our business, and computational fluid dynamics and virtual reality is all about observing flow at the micro level, there may be an opportunity here.
“For example, we may be able to use virtual reality to take live walk-throughs of the crude tower overhead system. This may help us to train our operators better and educate them before they even go out onto the units.”
Zhou emphasized that mechanical engineering is merely one application of virtual reality and that the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation is a resource that can be utilized by many disciplines. She sees a future in which a virtual reality lab is used to simulate an operating room for medical students, the universe for astronomy students, capital flow for management students, a classroom for elementary education students, a bridge or building for architecture students, and more.
To learn more about the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation visit http://centers.pnw.edu/civs/.read more ... Virtual educations: possibilities abound
February 24, 2010
The problems local industry brings to the CIVS also means opportunities for Purdue Calumet students, whose curricula demands real world, experiential learning as a graduation requirement. Zhou indicated that more than 20 students conducted about 90 percent of the work performed at the CIVS last semester.
Wu, currently enrolled in a Purdue Ph.D. program, is so pleased with the opportunities he has received there that he has turned down job offers at local companies to work as a research engineer at Purdue Calumet, where he earned a master’s degree in engineering last December.
“What we do is what they are doing in industry every day,” he said.
Purdue Calumet mechanical engineering student Tom Roesel of Crete, Ill., said being able to work directly with industry partners in the CIVS validated the textbook theories he is learning.
“It helped me see the practical applications of what I’m learning,” he said. “It helps to cement some of the ideas that are taught in class.”
American Society of Mechanical Engineering Chicago Section Chair Bill Bobco, who organized a section meeting at the CIVS last year, said, “I can understand why students are so excited about these projects. They have practical applications and present the information in a manner that almost anyone can understand.”read more ... No shortage of experiential learning opportunities