In a complex, multi-storied building or office park, getting first responders to the exact location of the person in need in the shortest amount of time can be complicated. This process is soon to improve though, thanks to a unique partnership between St. Cloud State University and GeoComm, a Central Minnesota based company and leading provider of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and communication applications that support 911 call centers.
Using newly acquired visualization technology purchased with the help of a generous gift from Russ Hagen ’64, Visualization Engineer Mark Gill and Associate Dean and Director of the School of Computing Adel Ali are working with College of Science and Engineering students on this highly collaborative and hands-on partnership with GeoComm.
Russ Hagen ’64
Steve Henningsgard, a sophomore from St. Michael, Minnesota, has been part of the team working on the project. Henningsgard recently showed off his work in the visualization lab using Professor Gill’s cellphone signal as the test locating beacon. He was able to simulate a fire in the building and show different perspectives of the Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility (ISELF) – aerial, ground and interior.
Alex Persian, a sophomore from Buffalo, Minnesota, is developing an app that will allow users to communicate with dispatchers, giving them realtime information. “We treat the work the students are doing very much like a true professional environment in terms of software design and software life-cycle management,” Gill said. “They’re getting experience that they’re never going to get in the classroom.”
ISELF, opened in 2013, is uniquely designed to facilitate partnerships with Central Minnesota businesses and industries. “St. Cloud State has been a valued partner in our research and development efforts, “ said GeoComm President and CEO John Bryant. “We have been given access to talented students, faculty and university resources and have received numerous benefits to our business. By working together, we are leveraging the best of the public-private partnership.”