CIVS 3d crane team

PNW earns cooperative agreement for Research

Purdue University Northwest earns cooperative agreement for research from NSWC Crane

Interviewed by Author / Photos by Photographer

January 22, 2018

Research using 3D modeling helps predict lifespan of electronic components

Purdue University Northwest (PNW), through its Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS), was recently awarded a cooperative agreement from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) to research the ability to predict the lifespan of electronic components.

The principal investigators for PNW’s proposal, CIVS Director and Professor Chenn Zhou, Ph.D. and PNW School of Engineering Professor Hansung Kim, Ph.D., said their research using 3D modeling and simulation will help to accurately predict the lifespan of a system component in its real-time environment, as well as identify specific factors for causing or accelerating its degradation.

“Accurate prediction of component functionality over time and under changing conditions—that’s an objective both suited for and worthy of simulation and visualization investigative technologies.”

Chenn Zhou, CIVS Director and Professor

The cooperative agreement with NSWC Crane provides seed-funding for the university’s research in close collaboration with the federal laboratory.

Dr. Alison Smith, chief engineer of Materials Analysis of Microelectronic Component Technologies within the Flight Systems Division at NSWC Crane, said, “Initiatives such as the Cooperative Agreement Program enable the NSWC Crane’s Chief Technology Office to serve as a synergy generator, allowing the federal laboratory to access and benefit from university science and technology expertise, while supporting pioneering research for the benefit of the public.”

Zhou said, “Research collaborations such as this provide opportunities not only to expand our fundamental understanding of physical phenomena, but also to develop widely beneficial applications.”

Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation

Purdue University Northwest’s CIVS is an interdisciplinary applied research center that combines advanced simulation techniques with 3D visualization and virtual reality technologies to produce innovative solutions in response to real-world industrial, research, and community challenges. Further information about CIVS is available online at

NSWC Crane

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) is a naval laboratory and a field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), through which NSWC Crane is responsible for multi-domain, multi-spectral, full-life-cycle support of technologies and systems that enhance sustainability and capabilities for modern naval service operations.