IPRO Project Case Studies

CHALLENGE

Through the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM), an emerging software in the construction industry, improve the efficiency of the multitude of tasks of electrical contractors at construction sties, where scheduling and execution is a challenge. Identify ways to improve efficiency in areas such as communication, job completion, equipment, organization, scheduling, LEED certification, and overall project management.


RESOURCES

The IPRO was sponsored by the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Chicago, whose members facilitated tours of major construction sites and presentations on the capabilities of BIM software.

RESULTS

The team evaluated BIM software issues and helped create a training program to assist electrical contractors with the integration and use of BIM.

NEXT STEPS

Continue studies on BIM integration, perform cost-benefit analysis, and develop a pilot training program for BIM.

HISTORY

The House of the Future is part of the Sustainable Village, a plan to have all 40 buildings on IIT’s 120-acre main campus be powered by clean energy. Another IPRO is developing a campus hydrogen fueling station.

CHALLENGE

To design a house on campus that showcases innovative technologies, serves as a living laboratory for IIT students, and becomes a community model for sustainability.

RESOURCES

Financially supported in part by Tellabs Foundation. Several people are serving as project partners, from IIT faculty and staff to professionals in construction and sustainable design.

RESULTS

Students have developed a business plan outlining the project’s mission, scope, revenue sources, marketing plan, and timeline. Initial plans call for a mixed-use building built with renewable and recycled materials that will be powered by solar wind and hydrogen fuel cells. The building will incorporate a green roof, geothermal heat pump, and movable walls for maximum flexibility.

NEXT STEPS

Work will continue on site selection, design, and engineering. A team of students may organize a design competition to select an architect who will work with IIT to build the prototype.

HISTORY

Entrepreneur Bruce Wiatrak proposed a cell phone business concept to IIT, launching an entrepreneurial IPRO that continued for many semesters.

IDEA

SkyBlue Mobile provides an application platform to deliver real-time, graphics-rich personalized content to cell phone users. Users can program their phones to deliver tailored information such as news, traffic, sports, and weather.

CHALLENGE

Develop a business plan, build a prototype, and explore market opportunities. Work on rollout strategies to different cell phone operating systems and various cities. Begin executing the marketing and financial plans

RESULTS

Over the course of a few semesters, team members completed a 50-page comprehensive business plan and created a full prototype, winning awards from industry and IIT. The team also applied for a patent. They developed rollout strategies for New York City, Los Angeles, and Vancouver, and applied for venture funding to support emerging marketing and technical development work. They’ve invested in product enhancements and refined the strategy.

NEXT STEPS

Continue refining the strategy and pursue funding for full product development, production, and marketing.

HISTORY

Previous IPROs produced a scaled-down prototype of an affordable Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft for personal use.

CHALLENGE

Test the prototype for stability. Start planning for a future full-size aircraft. Conduct a market study. Raise funds for the full-scale prototype.

RESULTS

After achieving controlled flight of the scale prototype, the team conducted a series of tests, made adjustments, and performed retests to address instabilities and inconsistencies in the aircraft’s Gimbal Control System, the remote control responder, and the engine.

NEXT STEPS

Future IPRO teams will work on a full-size VTOL aircraft, capable of carrying two passengers and their luggage. At the same time, team members will continue to see sponsors and sources of funding to bring the aircraft to market.