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NiSource Boosts Training Technology Development With $100,000 Grant to Purdue University Northwest

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.

“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.”

Purdue University Northwest
Purdue University Northwest (PNW) is a student-centered university that values academic excellence, supports growth and celebrates diversity. Located in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago, PNW fosters a vibrant academic community through high quality and engaging undergraduate and graduate education. For more information about PNW, visit

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.

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