By CART, Inc.
BLUEFIELD, W. Va. – Ten of the region’s mine rescue teams gathered today at Bluefield State College for its eleventh annual mine rescue competition.
Southern Pocahontas took first place in the contest, Wellmore Energy took second place, and Alpha Natural Resources Southern WV Team #1 took third place. Other teams competing included Buchanan Red, Pocahontas Mine Rescue, Greenbrier Minerals Central Appalachian, Tri-State A, Buchanan Black, Tri-State B, and Alpha Natural Resources Southern WV Team #2.
The contest took place on the June O. Shott Field at BSC, with representatives of the Mine Safety and Health Administration providing a mobile command center that responded to the scenario as if it were a real incident. Team members in the command center maintained constant communication with their counterparts on the field, digitally mapping the course and recording real-time gas readings as those on the field advanced through the problem.
Developed by the Welch Post #1 Smoke Eaters, the competition challenges teams to use skills and technology to solve a rescue scenario within a 90-minute time limit. The team finishing the course in the shortest time with the fewest mistakes wins the challenge.
The competition is hosted at BSC and sponsored by Brick Street Insurance, the Welch Post#1 Smoke Eaters and the Center for Applied Research and Technology, Inc., (CART).
By CART, Inc.
BLUEFIELD – Eight of the region’s mine rescue teams gathered today at Bluefield State College for its tenth annual mine rescue competition. Prepared by the Welch Smoke Eaters Post #1, the competition challenges teams to use skills and technology to solve a realistic rescue scenario within a set time limit. The team finishing the course in the shortest time with the fewest mistakes wins the challenge.
Today’s contest played out on the June O. Shott Field, with representatives from the Mine Safety and Health Administration providing a mobile command center that treated the scenario as a real incident. Team members in the command center maintained constant communication with their counterparts on the field, digitally mapping the course and recording real-time gas readings as those on the field advanced through the problem.
First place in the contest was taken by Wellmore Red, second place by Buchanan Red, and third place by Arch Coal Beckley Blue. Other teams competing included Arch Coal Beckley Gold, Buchanan Black, Tri-State A, Southern Pocahontas, and the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.
In 1940, the Welch Smoke Eaters Post #1 became the nation’s first organization set up specifically to give mine rescue teams a forum for sharing their experiences to improve outcomes, according to Mike Plumley of Brick Street Insurance. “The economics of the industry have changed drastically, and today’s event gave us a chance to come together with mining companies and regulatory agencies to share ideas about keeping safety at the forefront,” stated Plumley.
The competition is hosted by BSC and sponsored by Brick Street Insurance and the Center for Applied Research and Technology, Inc., (CART).
Bluefield, W.Va. - The Center for Applied Research and Technology (CART) is partnering with TechConnect WV's ScaleUp West Virginia initiative to bring together the public and private sectors in an effort to diversify the state's economy by spurring innovation and entrepreneurship.
The U. S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded a grant of $500,000 to TechConnect WV in the support the ScaleUp initiative, which will coordinate public and private resources to support the development and commercialization of new products and the creation and expansion of small businesses and jobs in 40 West Virginia counties.
ScaleUp West Virginia is a two-year suite of programs designed to make available the necessary resources to existing and start-up businesses looking to bring new products to market and the manufacturers that will produce them.
CART's role in the partnership is to provide assistance with product design for manufacturing, according to its CEO Bruce Mutter. "ScaleUp West Virginia enables CART to work with up to 10 existing or start-up businesses to refine product ideas and create working prototypes for guiding the manufacturing process," said Mutter. "Bringing new products to market will foster economic diversification in the state and help build a cycle of growth in entrepreneurship and business development," he added.
Other partners in the ScaleUp West Virginia project include The INNOVA Commercialization Group at the High Technology Foundation, the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing, the WV Manufacturing Extension Partnership at the West Virginia University Extension, and ChemCeption and the Chemical Alliance Zone.
TechConnect aims to diversify West Virginia's economy through innovations in advanced energy, chemicals and advanced materials, biometrics, biotechnology and advanced manufacturing. TechConnect works to build a culture that supports innovation and entrepreneurship, access to capital, and a proactive business climate with incentives for innovation-based start-ups.
By CART, Inc.
Bluefield, W.Va. - The "best of the best" in mine rescue will meet in competition at Bluefield State College on May 31 when the Center for Applied Research and Technology (CART) joins with Welch Post No. 1 of the National Mine Rescue Association, "the Smoke Eaters," to sponsor and host the eighth annual event.
Mine Rescue Teams from throughout the region compete in the annual yearly exercise to learn from one another and to hone critical skills that will be put to the test when disaster strikes.
"The miners who participate on these rescue teams are the best of the best at what they do," said Mike Plumley, competition director. "They come here to share their experience and learn best practices that may someday save lives."
A BSC graduate, Plumley holds a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering technology (MIET) as well as an MBA from Marshall University. He was a member of the 2005 national championship-winning Pinnacle Mine rescue team and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member for the BSC MIET Program and a senior safety and loss control specialist for BrickStreet Insurance.
The teams will face a complex challenge designed to prepare them for emergency situations, according to problem designer Richard Crockett, trainer for the Pinnacle rescue team that won the 2013 National Mine Rescue Competition in Columbus, Ohio. "It will be a timed training course focused on finding missing miners in the types of hazardous conditions that would likely be encountered underground," Crockett explained. "The exercise will help the teams become safer rescuers."
Teams currently registered to participate in this year's event include Mountain Laurel Green from Mountain Laurel Coal, Leer Mine White from ACI Tygart Valley/Leer Mine, Sentinel Mine Blue from Arch Coal Sentinel Complex, Tri-State A and Tri-State B from Tri-State Coal Operators, Buchanan Red and Buchanan Black from Consol Buchanan Mining Co., Pinnacle Blue and Pinnacle White from Cliffs Natural Resources.
By CART, Inc.
Bluefield - CART was among 128 organizations represented at the event where Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued a proclamation declaring the day Innovation and Entrepreneurship Day in West Virginia.
Organized and supported by TechConnect WV and Industries of the Future - WV, the event was initiated to "put the face on innovation" for state lawmakers.
CART provides applied research, contract development, business management and administration services for the Bluefield State College School of Engineering Technology and Computer Science. It conducts focused product development based on innovative research. It also provides technical assistance, continuing education, and economic development that enhance BSC's competitive edge in technology development regionally and nationally.
By CART, Inc.
Even the title of the task—producing an instructional guide capable of explaining how to operate a Hybrid Energy Reconfigurable Movable Integration Test-bed (HERMIT) —sounds complicated. However, the Center for Applied Research and Technology, Inc. (CART) at Bluefield State College (BSC) completed the project, and the result is a practical document supporting critical testing of Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) component integration and subsystems in a cost-effective laboratory environment that saves development time and improves quality.
“The Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a Fortune 500® company and a leading provider of systems integration to the U.S. military and intelligence community, requested proposals from their small business partners to help them develop the instructional guide that organized and formatted a vast amount of technical data and instructions related to testing HEV components and subsystems,” explained Bruce Mutter, CART CEO. “SAIC wanted to provide an overview of the subsystems and reference drawings, detail proper startup and shutdown procedures, caution operators about the high-voltage power distribution onboard, and bring exact sequence to processes, while explaining appropriate practices and safeguards to maximize safety.”
Now located in the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, MI, the HERMIT is used by the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) to evaluate electrical component technologies independently, as well as integrate the technologies to see how they react when packaged with other subsystems in a vehicle platform.
“Producing the instructional manual required taking a tremendous amount of SAIC-provided data, drawings, illustrations, pictures, graphs, and tables that needed to be indexed, formatted, sequenced, and edited to eliminate information gaps, conflicting instructions, unnecessary duplication, and illustrations and tables were formatted to be more operator friendly,” Mutter added.
“It was a reiterative process that involved several drafts by the CART team and review and approval by SAIC,” he continued. “Our experience with autonomous vehicle research, design, construction, development, and testing was particularly applicable in helping us understand the complexities of systems integration and we certainly needed it to complete this project.”
SAIC is pleased with the final product, according to Bob Marinos, Principal Scientist, SAIC. “We received the instructional guides as specified, they looked great, and we delivered them to the customer, and if we have any other editing projects in the future we would come back to CART,” Marinos said. For CART, the experience was an opportunity to prove that the center at BSC could be a reliable team member for SAIC. “We really enjoyed working for SAIC and completing a small, but important, part of their TARDEC contract, and we look forward to any opportunities to work for them in the future.
(Bluefield)—Senator John D. “Jay” Rockefeller visited Bluefield State College last weekend, talking to BSC students and faculty with a passion for robotics and discussing the future of robotics in a roundtable that included regional robotics-reliant businesses, educators, and community leaders.
West Virginia’s senior U.S. Senator watched the BSC student robotics team put its autonomous ground vehicle, “Archon” through a series of test runs in which it navigated through an obstacle course by utilizing its sensory and processing technology capabilities.
“I am at Bluefield State to learn more about robotics and to ask, “Are kids getting the educational opportunities and instruction they need to prepare for the future?” Rockefeller stated that robotics is a branch of technology and holds a special future.
“Robotics isn’t something you see just in movies anymore, or something used for the military,” Rockefeller observed. “Robots are a part of our daily lives.” After visiting the Toyota Motor Company plant in Buffalo, WV earlier in the week, Rockefeller continued his tour with the visit and roundtable discussion at BSC.
BSC student Mike Sumrall talked about the wide range of technology-based career options that have opened for him because of his experience as a member of the robotics team. “We learn how to solve problems,” he explained. “If you can solve problems, that’s a skill that will open doors for you in a lot of fields.” Students Matt Adkins and Robbie Martin also took part in the discussion as part of a panel.
In response to the Senator’s question about what cultivates students’ interest in science/technology/engineering/math (STEM) education, Dr. Robert Riggins (BSC Electrical Engineering Technology Professor) said, “The ‘experiential light bulb’ motivates the young to get into stem.” Each year, BSC students design small autonomous vehicles—battle-bots—that are pitted against each other in a tabletop competition, as an audience of area public and home school students watch. Then, the young students are invited to hold the battle-bots and ask questions.
“Education is largely about learning how to learn, then applying that knowledge to battle problems,” added Jack Howard, Owner of Nexus Terra, LLC and developer of spatial positioning systems and remote data collection devices. Mark Myers, Fenner Dunlop Director of Systems Software and Scanning Services also participated in the roundtable discussion.
The program attracted representatives from the NASA Independent Verification & Validation Center, TechConnect West Virginia, the WVU-NASA Robotic Arm Program, Robert C. Byrd Institute of Flexible Manufacturing, and the West Virginia Angel Investor Network.
(BLUEFIELD)— Two scholarly papers prepared and submitted by Bluefield State College faculty members have been accepted for presentation at the 118th Annual American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Conference and Exposition to be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on June 26 - 29, 2011. The conference brings together an assembly of more than 3000 engineering educators, vendors, and publishers.
One of the papers describes the collaborations with local industry arising from operations of the Center for Applied Research and Technology, Inc. (CART) at Bluefield State College (BSC). The paper, “"Benefits of Small College-Industry Partnerships for Training Program Development” will be presented by Roy Pruett (Professional Engineer and Professor of Electrical Engineering Technology (ELET)) and was co-authored by Bruce Mutter (CEO/Chair, CART).
ASEE reviewers commented on the paper that it is a, “wonderful example of collaborative effort and integration with real-world practice and professionals. I like hearing about the Applied Research Assistantship Program (ARAP) and how it has been implemented and received. I perceive this as quite valuable.”
Another ASEE reviewer added that “the evolving interactions between CART, ARAP, ELET and other program constituencies are well documented and presented in a smooth process flow. While the utilization of an Industrial Advisory Committee (IAC) is neither new nor unique, the ability to use this group to better the community, bring in new industry and enhance student experience is laudable.
A third reviewer added that “the Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) perspective is right on target with other schools. These programs increased industry engagement via advisory committees and better maintains currency in the discipline and in the field for students and faculty.”
BSC Assistant Professor, Glen Ciborowski, from the Computer Science department also collaborated with Mutter to author “Using Pen-Based Tablet PC Technology to Improve Instruction in Engineering Economics.”
The two papers approved for publication this year brings the total to 19 BSC-submitted papers accepted for an ASEE conference and exposition over the past six years.
Senator Jay Rockefeller visited the Center for Applied Research and Technology, Inc. (CART) at Bluefield State College (BSC) in Bluefield, West Virginia on Saturday, February 26 to lead a roundtable discussion on the importance of robotics for technology-based economic development. Jamie Gaucher from the West Virginia Development Office co-facilitated the meeting with Bruce Mutter, CART, Inc., CEO.
BSC Electrical Engineering Technology Professor Bob Riggins and his student-led Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) student robotics team briefly demonstrated the capabilities of this year’s IGVC robot called “Archon” to the Senator as he asked questions and talked with the student team.
Following the IGVC team demonstration, Bruce Mutter provided a brief overview of IGVC and Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge competition entries over a several year span and CART’s current collaborations with industry involving automation, rapid prototyping, programming, monitoring, scanning, and web applications including work with Fenner Dunlop Americas (F-D) Conveyor Diagnostics in Bluefield, Virginia.
Mark Myers, Director of Systems Software and Scanning Services, Fenner Dunlop Americas, then presented an intelligent belt conveyor monitoring system called Eagle Eye developed at F-D’s Bluefield operations. Myers discussed the application of the system with the Senator and explained the role of CART and its applied research assistantship program students in support of this technology’s development.
Thomas Evans, Program Manager for the WVU-NASA Robotic Arm Program presented an overview of the Center for the Robotic Servicing of Orbital Space Assets, located at the West Virginia High Tech Consortium in Fairmont, which has been established by WVU as part of a cooperative partnership with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Todd Ensign, a Program Manager of the NASA Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Center, also located in Fairmont, described the value of innovative educator resources for teaching science and mathematics to future robotics engineers. Christina Moats, from the IV&V Strategic Communications Office explained the program's primary business focus is to support NASA by performing software engineering research, empirically based software measurement, IV&V, and independent assessments for determining software risk and criticality.
Anne Barth, Executive Director for Tech Connect West Virginia and former State Director for Senator Robert C. Byrd, discussed the role of the coalition’s professionals and their dedication to the growth and diversification of the State’s economy through advancing technology-based economic development.
Tom Minnich, Director of Business and Project Development for the Robert C. Byrd Institute of Advanced Flexible Manufacturing, explained that during today’s meeting he had been made aware of the extent and depth of the robotics-related capabilities in Bluefield and thinks that collaborative projects could arise from it. Ron Basini, CEO of the West Virginia Angel Network added that while he was aware of CART and BSC’s capabilities that we needed to focus investment on these early-stage technology developments that hold the most promise of obtaining a positive economic return. He also concluded that collaboration was indeed possible and expected as a result of this robotics roundtable.
The Senator asked each Bluefield State student participating in the roundtable if he was getting the background needed to compete in the professions of engineering technology and computers science. Senior engineering technology and computer science students Matthew Adkins, Robbie Martin, and Mike Sumrall each responded with confidence that they were prepared and excited to begin careers and that real world applied research projects and competitions had greatly helped hone their professional skills.
BSC Electrical Engineering Technology Professor Roy Pruett, thanked the Senator for supporting Math-Counts, a national math coaching and competition program for middle school students and reiterated the importance of developing geometry and algebra skills in sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. Noting that, if we expected students to later excel in the development of automation technologies and rewarding careers, then we need to do everything we can to reinforce the continual improvement of their math skills during these formative years.
Jack Howard, Owner of Nexus Terra, LLC and developer of spatial positioning systems and remote data collection devices and services agreed with the importance of developing technical skills. He added that overall it is very important that young students work on real-life projects that connect them with the real world. He thinks this develops their confidence in solving more complex interdisciplinary projects, such as required for robotics and automation.
Dr. Robin Ware, BSC Provost and Vice President for Student Affairs thanked Senator Rockefeller for leading the Robotics Roundtable to BSC, and ensured the Senator and the participants that the College would follow up on the initiatives discussed today.
Senator Rockefeller concluded, “I am focused on finding ways to create jobs right here in West Virginia. In order for our country to maintain its competitive edge, we must make sure that our students and workers have the high-tech training needed for the jobs of today and the jobs of the future.” The Senator added, “Bluefield State students are learning invaluable skills with CART programs and in the high-tech field of robotics that they can take into the workforce – and as we rebuild our economy and boost our manufacturing sector this is such a great thing. Just as computers and the Internet have transformed the way we communicate with one another, the field of robotics is transforming the way we make products and deliver services, so it is in West Virginia’s best interest to have the skilled workforce that knows and understands this field.”
CART: ingenuity to industry
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