The Dean of Purdue University Calumet’s College of Technology has assumed additional responsibilities as Executive Director of the university’s emerging Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center.
Among his added duties, Niaz Latif is overseeing renovation and development of the center, located three blocks west of campus at 7116 Indianapolis Blvd. The facility will serve to enhance economic development as a site for small business, new product and prototype development, as well as advanced manufacturing opportunities and related training for manufacturing firms of all sizes. The center also will enable faculty and students to engage with local business and industry.
The center is being developed in two phases with flexibility to change over time. Supported by a gift from Purdue Calumet alumnus and Carlisle Companies Inc. Chairman, President and CEO Dave Roberts, current phase one development focuses on the center’s Manufacturing Excellence component. This phase, expected to be completed by next April, is intended to be a valuable resource in product and prototype development.
Making a difference in NW Indiana
“The center will provide opportunities for Purdue Calumet faculty and students to commercialize innovative ideas resulting from their research or other intellectual endeavors,” Latif said. “It is a facility that will make a difference in Northwest Indiana advancing economic development.”
Latif will develop policies and guidelines for the center, oversee its budget, negotiate contracts, facilitate partnerships at the Purdue University system level and serve as liaison between the Purdue Research Foundation and the Purdue West Lafayette Technology Commercialization office.
“Dr. Latif brings great insight, energy and knowhow for furthering a university vision of developing a facility that nurtures innovative manufacturing and small business opportunities in Northwest Indiana,” Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas L. Keon said.
Fundraising continues for Commercialization phase
Meantime, the university continues to raise private funds to further the Commercialization phase. Additionally, radio station WJOB (1230-am) is a tenant of the center, having transitioned much of its broadcast operations there last spring.
Latif has been Dean of Purdue Calumet’s College of Technology since 2007. Previously, he served Purdue’s West Lafayette campus as Professor and Head of the Department of Industrial Technology. During his Purdue Calumet tenure he has been engaged actively with Northwest Indiana workforce and economic development.
He has secured several federal grants for workforce development, including most recently a $2.74 million award from the U.S. Department of Labor initiated last spring to support advanced manufacturing training for up to 300 qualified individuals. Such training eventually will take place at the Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center.
Employers and individuals desiring more information about the Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center can e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 219/989-3251.