Indy-DPW/IUPUI New Product Review Process Introduced

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) has signed an agreement with the Department of Public Works (DPW) for the city of Indianapolis to provide technical evaluation of new products and services via the New Product Review (NPR) Process at the university’s Purdue School of Engineering and Technology. The Indy-DPW / IUPUI NPR Process will be implemented under the direction of Dr. Tom Iseley, professor and director of the Construction Engineering Management Technology (CEMT) program at IUPUI.

Because Indianapolis is continually updating or adding to its infrastructure, new products are frequently introduced to the city. These are often products that deal with sanitary sewer and storm water infrastructure systems. Previously the city’s new product review process was handled by outside consultants, but now IUPUI will provide new product evaluations resulting in lower costs, shorter review times and other benefits for both the university and the city.

“The Indy-DPW/IUPUI NPR process is just one step in transforming our university from just an urban amenity to a real urban asset,” said Dr. Tom Iseley. “This collaboration will benefit the city and our university in various ways. Most importantly, it will provide our students with the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills through professional experience that will benefit them in the future.”

Product review process
This type of collaboration is unique, but the concept is promoted by CEOs for Cities, a national network of urban leaders dedicated to building and sustaining the next generation of great American cities. In the new product review process, small student review teams will perform a technical review of a new product or service seeking approval for utilization by the city of Indianapolis. Undergraduate student review teams will be supervised by a team captain who is a graduate student, and each team will work with a faculty member who has expertise in the area of the product being reviewed. The total process will be monitored and supported by the IUPUI NPR leadership team which consists of a director, assistant director, CEMT lab manager, graduate student and research associate. The new product review includes development of a thorough technical report. Once the technical review is complete, students will report their findings to Indy-DPW in a formal presentation.

Being a part of the new product review process will benefit IUPUI and its students in many ways. Students will gain professional experience while being financially compensated for their time. They will develop skills related to research, technical writing, technical presentations and team work, and will also have the opportunity to become more familiar with the DPW and various industries.

IUPUI has already received nearly 16 applications for the NPR Process, and is currently forming student review teams to work on the product reviews. Products currently on the list for review include storm water quality treatment units, steel piping and corrosion-resistant concrete.

Even though a product may get a favorable review from the student review teams, the city may choose to not allow the product for other reasons. Some products may need to go through more testing or field applications prior to approval. The city will retain the responsibility of approving or denying a product after final review.

The Indy-DPW/IUPUI NPR Process not only benefits students but also helps the city of Indianapolis and the DPW.

Steve Nielsen, DPW deputy director and chief engineer, says, “This collaborative process brings many advantages to the city including a working relationship with the university that provides for the streamlining of new product investigations and the utilization of the vast contact points the university brings to the table. Working with IUPUI will increase our technical base of knowledge and help us to understand how some new products have successfully been used in other locations throughout the United States and even the world.”

For more information about the Indy-DPW/IUPUI NPR Process, contact Dr. Tom Iseley at

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