Purdue Today: Federal Grant to Support Purdue Calumet Center’s Steel Consortium

Article from the Purdue Today, written by Amanda Hamon Kunz, 49-61325, ahamon@purdue.edu, published May 15th, 2014 [Opens in New Window]

Purdue Calumet’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) last week received a $480,000 federal grant to launch a consortium that will benefit the steel industry.

The two-year grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was announced May 8.

Using the grant, CIVS will partner with steel companies and related organizations to launch an industry-led consortium. It will develop long-range technical solutions for improving efficiency, lowering production costs, advancing the quality of steel manufacturing and improving workforce training in the U.S.

“CIVS is honored to lead the development of a national consortium to address critical issues in steel manufacturing,” says Chenn Zhou, CIVS director, professor of mechanical engineering and interim associate vice chancellor for research and graduate studies at Purdue Calumet.

“This expanded partnership will use advanced simulation and visualization technologies to optimize American steel production. We look forward to working with stakeholders across the steel industry to further strengthen its competitiveness and its impact on the nation’s economy.”

The consortium’s initial task will involve developing an industry-led technology road map that identifies and prioritizes research projects that will strengthen overall manufacturing performance. The research projects will emphasize the application of simulation and visualization tools that will affect the industry’s processes and production.

The grant will help the steel industry meet significant, ongoing challenges, including strong global competition, high raw-materials costs and a shrinking pool of skilled workers, according to the project’s brief on the NIST website.

Nationwide, the steel industry includes about 120 steel plants. With domestic suppliers, it supports more than a million jobs. In 2010, the industry contributed $17.5 billion to the U.S. economy, according to the brief.

The CIVS award was among 19 advanced manufacturing technology planning grants given last week to new or existing industry-driven consortia, according to the NIST website.

Altogether, the grants totaled $9 million. They were awarded to universities and other nonprofit organizations as part of NIST’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia Program (AMTech), which is designed to address economically damaging weaknesses in the nation’s innovation landscape.

For more information about CIVS, visit its website, http://webs.purduecal.edu/civs/.