Champaign Simulation Center Celebrates 15-Year Anniversary, Announces Expansion Plans

The Champaign Simulation Center (CSC), located in Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, recently celebrated its 15-year anniversary. The facility was opened in 1999 with three employees and four students, working in conjunction with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Since then, the center has not only contributed to Caterpillar’s recruiting efforts, but also served as a leading engineering hub for virtual product development, advanced simulation and design solutions.

In celebration of the milestone, Caterpillar announced plans to establish a new data analytics laboratory on campus. This expansion will build upon existing recruitment efforts at CSC and leverage the university’s data analytics capabilities and resources. The new lab will bring together university researchers and Caterpillar analytics professionals to explore emerging and disruptive data-based technologies, while developing advanced analytics technologies. Caterpillar and the university will begin efforts for the data analytics lab expansion later this year.

“Since the Champaign Simulation Center’s opening, we have been privileged to employ more than 350 students through Caterpillar’s student practicum and internship programs,” said Gwenne Henricks, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President with responsibility for Product Development & Global Technology. “I’m proud to say that approximately 100 of those former students now work for Caterpillar. With the establishment of the new data analytics lab, we hope to inspire future innovators to dig into technology right in their own backyard.”

“Caterpillar’s new data analytics lab will serve to strengthen an already close relationship between the company, the University of Illinois and the Research Park,” said Peter Schiffer, Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Caterpillar’s innovative approach to its Research Park operation started 15 years ago, when it pioneered the Research Park student employment model – one that has been replicated by many other companies. We are looking forward to more productive years ahead.”