WPI Wire, Vol. 10, No. 1 - Spring 1996

Alumni Chronicle

Intellution, Foxboro gifts bring lab closer to workplace

A state-of-the-art software package recently contributed to WPI's Unit Operations Laboratory by Intellution Inc. of Norwood, Mass., and two valves donated by Foxboro Co. are helping to bring lessons in the laboratory closer to what students can experience in the workplace.

"The FIX," as the software is known, is used for industrial process control, data logging, database management, data display and plotting. WPI Trustee Stephen E. Rubin '74, Intellution's founder and CEO, arranged for the gift of the software, valued at be tween $6,000 and $7,000, which handles multiple-loop control with data acquisition possible up to 75 points, including temperatures, flows and pressures.

The state-of-the-art automatic valves, worth $4,600, were donated through the efforts of Alex C. Papianou '57, director of business development for Foxboro's Siebe Control Division. They will be used on the heat exchanger unit in the process control cours e, "where the FIX will be used first and most often," says Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering David DiBiasio, who directs the Unit Operations Lab. Ultimately, all chem. eng. students will be introduced to the software in our process control, unit operations, heat transfer and introduction to chemical engineering courses.

"We are grateful to Steve and to Alex for their contributions," says DiBiasio. "They will enable us to continue to modernize our process control lab course, which involves upgrading the process equipment and instrumentation to be a more realistic represen tation of what students will see when they go to work. We also plan to expand the use of the FIX to a distillation column and other equipment that we're upgrading.

"The generous contributions of these forward-thinking alumni will have an immediate and positive impact on our courses."

"This is yet another instance where gifts of products from industry, often mediated through investment-minded alumni such as Steve and Alex, have enabled WPI to stay 'state of the art' in our undergraduate education," says Ronald C. Baird, director of cor porate relations. "These gifts are invaluable to academic program enhancement."

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