Indy business news 2015-04-10

3D Printing Gives Engineer Creative Outlet
A northeast Indiana entrepreneur has tapped into her advanced manufacturing background to launch a unique jewelry business. Layers By Design LLC features pieces crafted by three-dimensional printing technology. Jessica Hunnicutt says she creates designs using computer-aided design software, then works with a New York company to print the finished products with materials such as plastics, resins, stainless steel, gold and ceramics. She tells Inside INdiana Business 3D printing started as a hobby that would allow her to “retain both my eyebrows.”

Cummins to Break Ground in Indy
Columbus-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) will break ground on its $30 million Indianapolis distribution business headquarters this week. Cummins executives and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard are scheduled to attend Thursday’s ceremony.

Mitch Daniels Among ‘World’s Greatest Leaders’
Purdue President Mitch Daniels is included on an annual list of The World’s Greatest Leaders. Fortune says the group includes “singular leaders with vision who moved others to act.” Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, Pope Francis and Vladimir Putin were also among the top 50.

NE Indiana Group Details Wage Gap
Northeast Indiana Works says a gender wage gap is lingering in the region. A report from the organization, based on Census Bureau data, suggests female workers are not gaining ground on their male counterparts, despite having the same and sometimes higher levels of education.

Indianapolis Hosts State Robotics Competition
More than 30 high school robotics teams from around the state competed in the inaugural Indiana FIRST District Championship over the weekend. The winning teams and the Chairman’s Award winner will go on to compete at the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis.

Railroad on Track For Future Growth
A privately-held, 500-mile railroad in Indiana is preparing for new leadership and looking to build on decades of growth. Indiana Rail Road Co. founder and Chief Executive Officer Tom Hoback purchased the line in 1986 after it had been shut down for serious safety violations. The Indianapolis-based company has grown into one of the largest railroads in the country, and carries cargo ranging from energy-related products to Nike Inc. merchandise to hubs including Chicago and Louisville.

IUPUI Unveils Online Library Program
IUPUI’s Department of Library and Information Science is launching a free, massive open online course focusing on public libraries. The school says one of the goals of the four-week course is to examine the feasibility of using it as professional development for Indiana librarians.

International Shipping Season Begins
The St. Lawrence Seaway is now open, marking the start of the international shipping season for stops along the Great Lakes. Those ports include the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, which handled more shipments in 2014 than any other year on record.

Art Museum to Start Charging
The Indianapolis Museum of Art will begin charging next week for general admission tickets. Executives say the $18 charge will help improve visitor experience and provide new programs.

Robot Technology Leaves Room For Imagination
A Purdue University mechanical engineering professor hopes his robot toolkit can help inspire the next-generation work force. Karthik Ramani says children can work through issues and “learn by failure,” since the HandiMate toy can be customized with regular household items. He says the “world is ready” for more toys that let kids design by imagination, and expects the robot will someday be in toy stores.

Indiana Student Develops Flu Forecast App for Smartphones
Merging social media traffic, weather information and government stats on a disease to generate a “flu forecast” seems—to most people—like an impossible brainteaser. But a student in Indianapolis is part of a team that has not only made sense of this puzzle, but created a smartphone app that puts the wealth of information at one’s fingertips. Called FluCast, the smartphone app won a national competition and is now in the hands of a federal agency to perhaps be used as a weapon against flu outbreaks.

Carmel Unveils ‘Midtown West’ Project
Two developers are detailing plans for a $45 million mixed-use project in Carmel. The development would include about 250 residential units and a “major, first-floor business” connected by a sky-bridge.
Indiana Population Growth Slows
A demographer with the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University says the state’s larger metro areas continue to be the “engine of growth” for population. Matt Kinghorn says the state’s population grew in 2014 at a slower rate than the previous year. Indiana’s count stands at nearly 6.6 million, ranking it 16th in the United States.

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