U.S. Department of Energy Managers Commended CIVS-Industry partnerships

October 27, 2022

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) representatives Dr. John ‘Nick’ Lalena (R&D Projects Technology Manager) and Kristen McDaniel (Technical Project Officer, Advanced Manufacturing Office) had a productive visit on October 4th, 2022 to review the progress of the Integrated Virtual Blast Furnace (IVBF) project.

“The collaboration between Purdue University Northwest and U. S. Steel, as well as other industry team members, demonstrates the power of partnership in tackling both domestic manufacturing competitiveness and climate change. Through the Integrated Virtual Blast Furnace (IVBF) project supported by DOE, U. S. Steel Gary Works Blast Furnace #14 operations positively impact process optimization and energy efficiency improvements. At the same time, the project highlights the significant potential to reduce COemissions. DOE is proud to support this important project for the steel industry. We look forward to future collaboration,” said the team after visiting CIVS.

During the visit, Lalena and McDaniel, toured U. S. Steel Gary Works to visit Blast Furnace #14, one of the key industrial sites for the project. They were hosted by Joe Morey, Process Innovation Lead; Jason Entwistle, Head of Blast Furnace Technology; Brian Rodgers, Blast Furnace #14 Manager; and Kosta Leontaras, Process Engineer, among others. They were also joined by IVBF team members from CIVS, Purdue West Lafayette, and Oak Ridge National Lab. The team also toured CIVS facilities at PNW and met with CIVS students, staff, faculty, and PNW Provost Dr. Chris Holford. CIVS Director Dr. Chenn Zhou presented an overview of CIVS and the Steel Manufacturing Simulation and Visualization Consortium (SMSVC), including project and technology demonstrations by CIVS research faculty and staff members: Tyamo Okosun, Armin Silaen, Orlando Ugarte, Kyle Toth, and John (Jack) Moreland in the CIVS Immersion Theater and Visualization Lab.

The conclusion of the visit included the monthly technical review of the IVBF project. The DOE project managers and the project team reviewed ongoing work on the development of a next-generation physics-based and data-driven platform integrating advanced computer simulation, visualization, machine learning, and sensors for monitoring and guiding the blast furnace process. When complete, the IVBF will allow operators and engineers to conduct real-time monitoring, rapid predictions, and high-fidelity simulations to determine the best-operating conditions for energy efficiency and reduced carbon emission operation. The interactive interfaces for visualization will also aid in the development of virtual training models for workforce development.

“We appreciate the great support from DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. This visit of DOE managers has been a great inspiration to our students and the IVBF team. We look forward to continued partnerships with DOE and industrial partners to develop and implement cutting-edge technologies for green and sustainable manufacturing in the United States”, said Dr. Chenn Zhou, Director of CIVS and the SMSVC.

Nick Lalena, Physical Scientist and R&D Projects Technology manager, and Kristen McDaniel, Technical
Project Officer for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Hong Wang, Senior Distinguished R&D Staff, Oak Ridge National Lab. Jun Chen Assistant Head for
Facilities and Operations, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and, Weixiao Shang, Post-Doctoral
Teaching Assistant at Purdue University- West Lafayette. Tyamo Okosun, Research Associate Professor
at CIVS, Chenn Zhou, Professor, Director CIVS & SMSVC, Kyle Toth, Senior Research Engineer at CIVS,
Jack Moreland, Senior Research Scientist at CIVS, Yanan Song, Research Engineer at CIVS, Sam Nielson,
Ph.D. Student, John Rosser, MS Student, Kareem Syed, MS Student, Akshita Mogali, MS Student, Ricardo
Calix, Associate Professor of Computer Information Technology

Individuals standing in a row in an industrial setting wearing bright orange uniform jumpsuits and white hard hats and safety goggles
Individuals in an industrial setting wearing bright orange uniform jumpsuits working on standing machinery
People in 3D glasses looking at screen in auditorium seated in rows of chairs
Visitors observe presentation on screen from research faculty in visualization lab
Visitor participates in hands-on experiences of AR & VR projects in the visualization lab. Participant is standing while wearing a tethered VR headset and manipulating had held controllers surrounded by several people observing
A large group of people stand together in rows in an office lobby