NiSource boosts training technology development with $100,000 grant to Purdue University Northwest

April 4, 2018

CIVS receives $100,000 grant from NIPSCO

NiSource presents $100,000 grant to Purdue University Northwest’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS). Pictured (L-R): Komal Sharma, PNW graduate student; Dietmar Rempfer, director of PNW’s School of Engineering; Chenn Zhou, director of PNW’s CIVS; Kenneth Holford, dean of the PNW’s College of Engineering and Sciences; Mike Hooper, senior vice president of Electric Operations; Mike Banas, NiSource director of communications; John Moreland, CIVS senior research scientist; Rick Calinski, NIPSCO manager of public affairs.

Grant furthers first responder and workplace safety research

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) and PNW’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) are excited to announce a $100,000 grant from NiSource Inc., the parent company of NIPSCO and Columbia Gas companies. The grant furthers innovative, student-engaged research and education in the area of first responder and workplace safety.

“NiSource’s generosity amplifies educational and research opportunities for our students, while also helping communities and companies to be safer and more productive,” said PNW Dean of Engineering and Sciences Kenneth Holford. The grant enhances the relationship between PNW and the electric and natural gas utility.

As a leader in solving real-world issues through virtual simulation and visualization technologies, CIVS will use the grant to improve training to help employees and first responders safely visualize and simulate the kind of work they’ll be doing in the field.

“Virtual reality training gets employees’ hearts pumping and mimics what they’ll see in real life; more than what classroom learning offers alone,” said Dave Monte, NiSource Senior Vice President, Safety, Environmental, Engineering and Training. “I’m excited to work more closely with Purdue University Northwest and its students, and that we have this expertise and technology access right here in Northwest Indiana.”

CIVS Director Chenn Zhou, Ph.D., graciously welcomed the support.

Mike Hooper, senior vice president of Electric Operations participates in an interactive training simulation

Mike Hooper, senior vice president of Electric Operations participates in an interactive training simulation at Purdue University Northwest’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) with assistance from John Moreland, CIVS senior research scientist.

“Our interactions and collaborations with NiSource and NIPSCO professionals have always been very perceptive and forward-looking,” Zhou said.“Our past successes paved the way for our continuing collaboration. Moving forward, this grant greatly increases our capacity to make greater economic and educational impacts together, while at the same time making people safer.”

PNW’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation

Purdue University Northwest’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS) is a multidisciplinary center that combines advanced simulation techniques with 3-D visualization and virtual reality technologies. Globally recognized for providing innovative solutions, CIVS has partnered with more than 90 organizations resulting in more than $38 million in economic impact.