November 19, 2018
For the sixth time in three years, steel industry engineers and process professionals from across North America, and from otherwise competitive companies, came together at Purdue Northwest’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) for two days of collaboration on technical research to broadly advance steel industry safety, process and energy efficiency, and product quality. The event was the Fall 2018 Annual Meeting of the Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (SMSVC), held November 14 – 15, 2018, at Purdue Northwest’s Hammond campus and attended by nearly 40 representatives from the 11 member companies that currently comprise the Consortium.
Highlights new to this Fall’s event included a first-day, morning tour of ArcelorMittal’s Riverdale plant, a reception and dinner at PNW’s Room With a View, and an invited dinner talk by PNW Professor Harvey Abramowitz on “Visualizing the Ternary Phase Diagram.”read more ... Steel Consortium Meeting Refines Research Gains
November 12, 2018
Senior Research Scientist John Moreland, CIVS’s go-to person for the integration of safety training and visualization technology, attended the Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA of Chicago) Open House on October 30, 2018, in Burr Ridge, IL, at the invitation of MCA Senior Vice President Dan Bulley, MCA’s go-to person for technology, safety, service, sustainability, building codes, and engineering.
While there, Moreland demonstrated safety-related and other CIVS research projects incorporating virtual reality and augmented reality technologies, hooking MCA members/pipefitters and other invitees on the potentialities of virtual safety training as applied to contractor job sites, such as hazard recognition and trench safety.read more ... Contractors Association and CIVS Celebrate Common Ground
November 5, 2018
CIVS’s 10-year-long, continuous history of developing cutting-edge wind energy training simulators using virtual reality and augmented/mixed reality technologies was on prominent display in Washington, DC, during the National Science Foundation’s annual Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Principal Investigators’ Conference, held October 24-26, 2018 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. Purdue University Northwest was also among a very few institutions to site a pair of booths at the conference—and thanks to the projects showcased, CIVS and PNW are expanding their national reputations for innovative development of virtual reality instructional systems.
CIVS Research Engineer Kyle Toth and Senior Research Scientist John Moreland hosted the “Troubleshooting and Safety Simulator for Wind Turbine Technician Education” booth, which presented both the overall project scope and latest progress on development of an interactive, 3D simulator for teaching troubleshooting and safety skills to prospective wind energy technicians in community college wind energy programs. Along with around 200 other groups, the duo also engaged in an informative presentation about their project, gained further perspective on changes in education through the decades from former NASA scientist and “human computer” Dr. Christine Darden (who provided the keynote address), and broadened their own field knowledge through roundtables and other sessions.read more ... Wind Energy Virtual Training Attracts National Attention
October 29, 2018
Nine teams of CIVS-mentored and affiliated undergraduate students (22 students) have been awarded Fall 2018 PNW Undergraduate Research Grants (URGs). These grants, which fund up to $600 to cover research expenses for group projects that PNW students conduct with faculty members, will lead to dissemination of research results at a PNW research symposium—e.g., PNW Days of Discovery—and to oral or poster presentation by the students.read more ... CIVS-Mentored Teams Awarded Fall 2018 Undergraduate Research Grants
October 23, 2018
More than 300 5th-grade students from Hobart Middle School visited the PNW-Hammond campus on Friday, October 19, 2018, on a “Walk into My Future” event day organized by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The event was an opportunity to showcase various educational paths and related careers students can expect to encounter at university, as well as contributions that students and university staff and faculty can have on education, research, and community and world functioning.
Students were able to tour various academic buildings, participated in a large-group “Game of Life” activity, and rotated through visiting stations that featured demonstrations and hands-on activities in (for instance) the Communications and Creative Arts broadcasting studio, the nursing simulation labs, Gyte science labs and experiments, and 3D visual technologies at PNW’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS). For the first time in event history, in an informal polling of activities, CIVS 3D videos and 3D glasses managed to tie the sack lunches for “most memorable event of the tour.”read more ... Students Walk into Future at PNW, CIVS
October 23, 2018
Letter from the Dean
Dear Friend of CIVS,
As Dean of the College of Engineering and Sciences, I feel great pride in watching our students explore, learn, and discover from our committed faculty and staff.
I also feel great pride and gratitude for the practical advancements, beneficial roles, and sometimes-amazing innovations our students and alumni achieve and bring to our educational world and the world at large. In the spirit of supporting such innovation and achievement, I encourage you to designate a gift to the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS).
Over the past 10 years, CIVS and its Director have provided innovative solutions for the benefit of industry, region, and human/environmental sustainability. Throughout its history, PNW students have been an integral part of these solutions, and have received invaluable real-world experience. To celebrate our decade of success, an endowment is being created to support the Director of CIVS in perpetuity. This endowed directorship is being created to ensure that the next decade for CIVS will be as productive as the first.
- Generated cost savings of more than $40 million for companies through projects
- Produced more than $18 million in external grant funding
- Instructed over 9,500 PNW students in applied research projects
You can help us endow the Director of CIVS position. Your generosity ensures that the achievements over the last decade are only the beginning for this one-of-a-kind program.
I hope you’ll join me in supporting a region garden-of-innovation with a contribution to CIVS. Let’s discover what we can accomplish together! To complete your gift online, simply click the link above. Or, to make gift or pledge by other means, complete and return the CIVS Gift Form to the Office of Institutional Advancement (instructions on form).
Kenneth C. Holford, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Engineering and Sciences
read more ... Opportunity to Support CIVS 10-Year Anniversary Initiatives!
October 20, 2018
On October 10, 2018, the Purdue Northwest Hammond campus played host to nearly 120 students from three regional Illinois high schools—Back of the Yards College Prep, Homewood-Flossmor High School, and Wendell Phillips High School. The event walked students through PNW’s University Village, engaged them with the Department of Communications and Creative Arts’ broadcasting studio operations, and showcased the nursing simulation labs. But the attention-getters of the day belonged to Charles Steele’s and CIVS’s demonstrations of 3D visualization technologies, and in particular the forensic science virtual crime scene environment and steelmaking blast furnace tours—from both the outside and within.read more ... PNW “Hands-on Learning Tour” Features Forensic Science, CIVS Demos
October 17, 2018
Sixteen students from CIVS and the Purdue Northwest Materials Advantage student chapter, in addition to CIVS Director Dr. Chenn Zhou, contributed to a near-capacity attendance for the AIST Midwest Chapter’s annual Kick-off Dinner Meeting, held at the Avalon Manor in Merrillville, Indiana, on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.
Keynote speaker James F. Dudek, Vice President of Asset Revitalization and Manufacturing at United States Steel Corporation, and 2018 – 2019 AIST President, gave a presentation on the “State of the Industry and U.S. Steel’s Asset Revitalization Program,” which overviewed the current state of American steel manufacturing in general and outlined U.S. Steel’s commitment to modernizing and investing in their Gary Works facilities—including use of advanced technologies for integrated mill systems, processes, and workforce development, topics always of interest to students working on CIVS and SMSVC projects.read more ... AIST Midwest Chapter Meeting Surveys Steel Prospects, Industry Evolution
October 9, 2018
Mini-lectures and related hands-on activities in various engineering disciplines—electrical, mechanical, civil/structural, and metallurgical/materials science—were the order of the day as nearly 300 region high school students toured the PNW Hammond campus and CIVS facilities on Friday, October 5, 2018, for the 11th Annual AIST High School Engineering Seminar.
Following an early morning networking assembly at PNW’s Student Union, and introductory remarks by ArcelorMittal’s Tony Kmitta and EQ Engineers’ Rich Trzcinski, student groups progressed through a series of five presentations, each of which delved briefly into real-world engineering processes and scenarios and challenged students with a hands-on activity or problem to solve. “Old Faithful” challenges such as the building of gumdrop-and-spaghetti-strand towers, and hand-launched gliders made from a single foam plate, were joined by explorations of computer controls using state-of-the-art micro-controllers, and of crime scenes in virtual reality.read more ... Engineering Diversity Featured at 11th Annual High School Seminar
October 3, 2018
A pair of photographic illustrations and a fly-through video tour of the facilities at PNW’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) will be included in an upcoming Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins publication, Online Toolkit for Simulation Champions: Fostering Courage, Caring, and Connection, 1st edition, edited and written by Colette Foisy-Doll and Kimberly L. Leighton.read more ... Publication Recognizes CIVS Facilities for Integrating Form and Function
September 28, 2018
The Purdue Northwest Hammond campus and the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) hosted a pair of technology committees from the Association for Iron & Steel Technology for a two-day meeting on September 25 – 26, 2018.
Among the activities arranged by lead organizer and AIST Technology Programs Engineer Charlie Bender were on-site tours to regional Hammond facilities, including ArcelorMittal’s Indiana Harbor Hot Strip Mill and Roll Shop, and the CIVS facilities; discussions about safety, major projects, and mill upgrades; and an expert-panel-led roundtable on roll and mill design for advanced high-strength steel. Around 70 attendees total, from the AIST’s Hot Sheet Rolling Technology Committee and Rolls Technology Committee, participated in the event.read more ... AIST Technology Committees Roll Through Steel Industry Advancements
September 26, 2018
On the strength of its proven record and methodology for developing virtual models of industrial processes and environments, Purdue University Northwest’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) has been selected as a subcontractor for a new American Metalcasting Consortium (AMC) program—the Innovative Casting Technologies (ICT) program, which was awarded through the Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to address targeted DLA metal-casting research-and-development areas of interest.
CIVS project roles and objectives center on developing a “smart” shop floor for die-casting. In other words, through their trademark integration of simulation and visualization technologies, CIVS staff will create virtual die-casting machines and melting furnaces for process optimization. The development of virtual interactive simulators will be based on real operating conditions and environments, and will leverage expertise and input from the North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) and associated members. Anticipated benefits include enhancement of shop floor workers’ knowledge of the die-casting process; concomitant improvement in process efficiency, troubleshooting, and decision-making; and improved product quality and workplace safety.read more ... Die-Casting Program Selects CIVS for Smart Shop Floor Development
September 26, 2018
The 8th International Conference on Modeling and Simulation of Metallurgical Processes in Steelmaking, also known as STEELSIM2019, will be held 13–15 August 2019 in Toronto, Ontario (Canada)—and submissions remain open for papers on all aspects related to new developments in modeling and simulation of metallurgical processes in steelmaking … but only until November 1, 2018.
In addition, the STEELSIM2019 sponsor (AIST—the Association for Iron & Steel Technology), and STEELSIM 2019 organizer (PNW Professor and SMSVC Director Chenn Zhou) are pleased to announce that all papers chosen for the final program will be added to an international scientific index (https://www.aist.org/conference-expositions/steelsim).read more ... Submission Deadline Nears for International STEELSIM 2019 Paper Abstracts
Naval Cooperative Agreement Grant Seeds CIVS Research into 3D Modeling for Materials Lifetime Prediction
September 21, 2018
In September 2018, Purdue University Northwest researchers and the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) were recognized as recipients of a Cooperative Agreement Grant awarded through the NSWC Crane federal laboratory in Crane, Indiana. The Principal Investigators, CIVS Director and Professor Chenn Zhou and Professor Hansung Kim, received this competitive award for their research proposal on 3D modeling and simulation for lifetime prediction of electronic components.
This research aims to determine component lifetime and identify both interactive materials effects and secondary environmental effects on components. This research has the potential to serve as the foundation for updating system models with real-time operational environments to both provide accurate component lifetime predictions and identify specific factors that can cause and/or accelerate materials degradation. The Cooperative Agreement Program provides seed funding for university research that can be guided by the awarding federal laboratory, NSWC Crane.read more ... Naval Cooperative Agreement Grant Seeds CIVS Research into 3D Modeling for Materials Lifetime Prediction
September 19, 2018
In her special presentation “Walking Beam Reheat Furnaces Project at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor,” delivered to a packed CIVS Theater on Friday, September 14, 2018, PNW Outstanding Alumna and current ArcelorMittal Principal Engineer Kelly Dallas provided multiple perspectives, both figuratively and literally, on the evolution of ArcelorMittal’s installation plans for a pair of 500-ton (U.S. ton) capacity walking beam furnaces at the company’s Burns Harbor facility.
Opening with a synopsized history of the major steel industry players and NWI plant locations (and their topographies) in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Dallas related her initial experiences as an intern at U.S. Steel and subsequently as a new hire in 1999 at Bethlehem Steel, where automation programs were written in FORTRAN (still useful to know, Dallas added). Pusher-type furnaces were also generally resulting in high enough maintenance costs and enough sub-par product that plans were discussed for future upgrades in the form of walking beam furnaces … though industry consolidation and other factors put such plans on hold.read more ... PNW Alumna Provides Perspectives on Furnace Project Development
September 19, 2018
On September 18, 2018, a diverse team of CIVS researchers and engineers were treated to a comprehensive tour of U.S. Steel’s Gary Works facilities and discussed—with an equally diverse team of U.S. Steel professionals—plans for development of a virtual roughing mill for operator training and process efficiency.
CIVS Director Dr. Chenn Zhou, Senior Research Engineer Dr. Armin Silaen, and Senior Research Scientist John Moreland gave presentations on previous CIVS projects of related interest, such as a vertical edger simulation and the AMTEC virtual trainer. U.S. Steel personnel, including Operational Excellence Manager Michael Schwentor, in turn presented on the roughing mill layout, operations, current training, and plans/expectations for the future; and joint discussions ensued on the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA) for analyzing, modeling, and helping improve roughing mill operations, training, and safety.read more ... Roughing Mill Project Plans Permeate USS Gary Works Tour
September 13, 2018
Burns Harbor, Indiana
The CIVS team of Kyle Toth, Youxin Luo, and John Moreland presented an overview of virtual safety training and demonstrated SMSVC safety simulators at an ArcelorMittal USA Union/Management Joint Safety Meeting, held at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor on September 13, 2018.
Mike Ryan, an ArcelorMittal USA Health and Safety manager, who serves on the SMSVC Safety Project Technical Committee, invited the team to present at this fall’s two-day meeting. The joint meetings are held several times each year to cover a variety of safety topics and are generally attended by around 50 site safety managers, staff members, and union safety coordinators from multiple ArcelorMittal facilities from around the nation and world.read more ... ArcelorMittal Union/Management Safety Meeting Hosts CIVS Virtual Safety Presentation
September 12, 2018
Purdue University Northwest’s Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series returned for its second season and opened with a splash on Friday, September 7, 2018, as Dr. Jie Xu, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois – Chicago, delivered a presentation on small-scale fluid and particle flow and control, “Microfluidic Manipulation Using Sound Waves: A Sound Idea?”
Xu heads the Microfluidics Laboratory at UIC, at which the overall research focus is on exploring micro/interfacial interactions (fluids, bubbles/microbubbles, particles/structures), and the overall application focus is on developing and testing micro- and nanofluidic systems that may be applied broadly to such areas as energy, engineering, health, and environment. More specific research foci include design of microfluidic devices (e.g., piezoelectric sensors and instruments) for bioanalysis, biomedicine, and element transport.read more ... UIC Professor’s Microfluidics Focus Generates Research Streams
August 29, 2018
CIVS Director Dr. Chenn Zhou, Associate Research Engineer Kyle Toth, and Research Assistant Edwin Mosquera collectively parceled and then unwrapped a select bundle of CIVS research and application capabilities for a Tuesday, August 28 tour and presentation for Unilever visitors Steve Goldman and Dave Kujawa.read more ... Unilever Visit Sweeps Through CIVS Facilities
August 23, 2018
The collaborative efforts of more than 120 individual contributors, including members of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST), the Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (SMSVC), and CIVS, culminated in the August 22, 2018 official release and dissemination of the AMTech Program–commissioned report: Technology Roadmap for Advanced Simulation and Visualization for Steel Optimization.read more ... SMSVC Technology Roadmap Stands Out from the Cloud