HAMMOND, Ind. — Since it opened in 2009, Purdue University Calumet’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) has helped save companies more than $30 million in production and operating costs.
It has provided Purdue Calumet students experiential learning opportunities to apply textbook knowledge in real world ways. It also has served effectively as a laboratory for faculty and students to apply research that benefits local industry and advances northwest Indiana.
With demand growing for its services, the campus-based CIVS quickly outgrew its original site, prompting plans for a $2.7 million expanded and improved facility.
Purdue Calumet celebrates the completion of its renovated center Friday, Oct. 21, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., with an open house, featuring demonstrations and tours. Community members are invited to attend.
The cutting edge, 6,300 square feet, multi-disciplinary research center is located on the first floor of the Powers Computer Education Building. It features simulation and visualization laboratories, an immersive theater for advanced research projects and 3-D virtual classroom instruction, and conference rooms.
“CIVS is an important component of Purdue Calumet’s ability to partner effectively with business and industry to advance economic development,” Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas Keon said. “The manner in which this center assists and benefits employers fuels potential for attracting new businesses to our region.”
Focusing on innovation, application and education, CIVS (pronounced SIH-viss) combines simulation and visualization technologies with high performance computing to solve challenging problems.
The facility enables users to immerse themselves in a virtual reality environment by using models that provide real world visualization and understanding of any structure, system or phenomenon being studied. Previous CIVS projects have been addressed from such disciplines as biomedical, construction, engineering, education/training, economic development, energy, environment, health care, marketing, manufacturing, service and transportation. Through its innovative approach, CIVS has been successful helping industries increase production, improve quality and reduce costs.
“Simulation and virtual reality are very powerful economic tools for process advancement, leading to a competitive edge,” Richard Sussman, ArcelorMittal Steel Company general manager of Global R&D-North America, said. “The (CIVS) center serves as a good forum to explore potential business solutions while offering students opportunities to tackle real issues.”
CIVS has collaborated with more than 41 external organizations, while engaging 30+ Purdue Calumet faculty members and 80 students on various projects.
“Our newly enhanced and expanded CIVS allows us to offer 21st century technologies to create virtual worlds for innovative solutions of real world problems,” Chenn Zhou, CIVS director and professor of mechanical engineering, said. “Since its inception two years ago, CIVS has received more than $10 million in federal and industrial grants to address issues and challenges relating to energy, the environment, education/training, productivity and quality. Our strong partnerships with industry and community, not only have generated significant economic benefits, but also have positively impacted student learning.”
Free open house parking is available in the north campus lot east of Woodmar Avenue accessible from 169th Street south at the traffic light. There also is free parking in the multi-level garage on the east side of campus accessible from Wicker Avenue, south of 169th Street.