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PUC center gets grant aimed at helping steel industry

Updated: May 22, 2014 8:51PM



Purdue University Calumet’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) is launching a consortium to benefit the nation’s steel industry, supported by a $480,000 federal grant the center has received.

The consortium will work toward developing long-term technical solutions for improving efficiency, lowering production costs, advancing steel manufacturing quality and improving workforce training in the United States.

The two-year, advanced manufacturing technology planning grant is among 19 totaling $9 million awarded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to universities and other nonprofits to further consortia development directed at strengthening U.S. manufacturing and innovation performance.

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

Initially, the Purdue Calumet CIVS consortium will develop an industry-led technology road map that identifies and prioritizes research projects that apply advanced simulation and visualization technologies in ways that strengthen steel industry manufacturing performance.

Through consortia development, the grant recipients will define workforce needs, identify and rank research and development goals, and strive to transfer and improve manufacturing capabilities. In the process, manufacturers and other stakeholders will contribute to technology road map development by identifying and prioritizing research projects that reduce barriers to advanced manufacturing growth.

“We look forward to working with stakeholders across the steel industry to optimize American steel production and strengthen its competitiveness and impact on the nation’s economy,” Zhou said.

Purdue Calumet’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation is an interdisciplinary applied research center that combines advanced simulation techniques with 3D visualization and virtual reality technologies to provide innovative solutions in response to industrial and research challenges. CIVS has saved steel and other manufacturing employers millions of dollars in production costs.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is a U.S. Department of Commerce agency. According to its website, it serves to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve quality of life.

Summer engineering tech workshop for high school students

Registration is underway for high school students interested in attending a free workshop this summer at PUC to learn more about job and career opportunities in engineering technology and construction management.

The workshop consists of eight weekly sessions from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays from June 18 to Aug. 6 on campus. Participants will explore electrical, mechanical and mechatronics engineering technologies, as well as construction management and surveying. Jobs and careers in those disciplines are projected to be excellent for the next 15 years, according to PUC engineering technology department head Susan Scachitti.

“This workshop is designed to help high school students explore exciting, hands-on careers in these fields,” Scachitti said.

Purdue Calumet engineering technology and construction management alumni hold such jobs as designers and developers of mechanical and electronic products and systems; manufacturers of mobile transportation vehicles/autos; utility providers; packaging, logistics and manufacturing professionals; and construction project managers.

For more information, email et@purduecal.edu, call (219) 989-2471 or visit webs.purduecal.edu/et/free-technology-workshop/, where students also can register.

Wes Lukoshus is assistant vice chancellor of marketing and communication at Purdue University Calumet. He can be contacted at lukoshus@purduecal.edu.



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