Innovating the Future

Excerpt from an article written by Rick A. Richards, Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly, published in the Summer 2012 Edition of the Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly Magazine [Opens in New Window]

…Dr. Chenn Zhou, interim associate vice chancellor for research and graduate studies and director of the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation at Purdue University Calumet, is already finding practical applications for virtual reality research going on at the campus. “Technology plays a key role in Northwest Indiana’s economy,” says Zhou. By focusing on how to integrate technology, how to apply its use and educating businesses about it, she is creating a platform for business expansion in Northwest Indiana.

Professor Zhou and the CIVS immersive theater

THE NEW REALITY Dr. Chenn Zhou’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation at Purdue University Calumet finds practical applications for virtual reality research.

Dr. Chenn Zhou, interim associate vice chancellor for research and graduate studies and director of the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation at Purdue University Calumet, is already finding practical applications for virtual reality research going on at the campus.“Technology plays a key role in Northwest Indiana’s economy,”says Zhou. By focusing on how to integrate technology, how to apply its use and educating businesses about it, she is creating a platform for business expansion in Northwest Indiana.

“We’re working directly with companies to form partnerships in virtual design” says Zhou. Already, Purdue Calumet is working with NIPSCO on designing a virtual power plant in which to train employees and a virtual hospital to train healthcare workers. In Gary, Zhou’s lab is working on a virtual design to improve the city’s transportation system and the airport. “Absolutely industry is high tech,” says Zhou. “It’s how we remain competitive.

It’s a great tool for training on all levels. We’re doing a lot of projects with companies around the world, and it’s all being done by students. And when they’re done, they tend to stay in the region.” That means Northwest Indiana is building a base of technology experts that will be attractive as new businesses look to come to the region. “I see this as the future of Northwest Indiana,” says Zhou. “This region has image issues, but we’re helping with that by using our technology to help design a new lakefront for the region.”…