PUC Shows Off its Problem-Solving Skills

By Chelsea Schneider Kirk, Post-Tribune – View Original Article Here

A Purdue University Calumet center, specializing in 3-D visualization and simulation research methods, is hoping to expand its business partnerships.

The Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation helps businesses troubleshoot problems through the creation of virtual models and tools. The center was the subject of Wednesday’s Chancellor’s Breakfast at the college.

Purdue University Calumet Chancellor Howard Cohen said one of the most fascinating aspects about the center is the infinite possibilities virtual engineering has to offer.

“There are many things possible with these tools that we haven’t begun to imagine yet,” Cohen said.

The center, led by Purdue University Calumet professor of mechanical engineering Chenn Zhou, has already lent its expertise to the ArcelorMittal plant in East Chicago, BP’s Whiting refinery, Northern Indiana Public Service Co. and U.S. Steel in Canada, among others.

For ArcelorMittal, the college’s mechanical engineering students built a simulation of a blast furnace and helped the company reduce delays.

“It has been very powerful,” ArcelorMittal General Manager Richard Sussman said. “It has given us tools that we’ve never had before and that we expect to expand on.”

BP coordinated with the center to confirm the designs used in the ongoing expansion project.

“What this did was validate designs engineering firms came up with,” BP’s Charles Tilleman said. “It has significant benefits.”

A new facility for the center will be completed by the end of the summer. The center is one of the most successful at the college, according to Cohen. Purdue University Calumet runs its centers and institutes without regular budget support from the college, so grants and contracts are essential.

Purdue Calumet Vice Chancellor of Advancement Daniel Hendricks said the center has already delivered value to those businesses that have forged partnerships.

“When businesses have problems, they waste resources, they lose time, and they miss opportunities,” Hendricks said. “We’ll show you how CIVS will increase productivity for companies in very concrete ways.”