A framework for the development of Pedagogical Process Simulators (P2Si) using explanatory models and gamification

Simoneta Caño de Las Heras, Carina L. Gargalo, Charlotte Lærke Weitze, Seyed Soheil Mansouri, Krist V. Gernaey, Ulrich Krühne*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Process simulators are powerful supporting tools employed at all educational levels of engineering education. Meanwhile, digitalization is obliging the educational systems to adapt. In this new era marked by the Industry 4.0 movement, the formulation and implementation of models are fundamental for process digitalization; therefore, students and new trainees must be familiar with process models, simulators and programming. In this work, a computer-aided framework for the development of process simulators is proposed (P2Si). This framework integrates the following aspects: (i) the use, reuse, and explanation of process models; (ii) a tailored learning design; (iii) game elements; and, (iv) the use of students as co-designers through participatory design to improve the human-computer interaction. Through the application of a series of hierarchical steps, the framework’s workflow aims to arrive at a promising candidate to facilitate the teaching of processes. Furthermore, a proof of concept is developed for the teaching and training of undergraduate students, where the case of an aerobic microbial conversion process at industrial scale is explored. By applying this framework, we obtained the conceptual design of a pedagogical process simulator, which was then implemented as a prototype software platform, BioVL (www.biovl.com), for further development and testing. The main output of this work is the conceptual design of pedagogical process simulators integrating gamification and the use of process models as educational tools. In conclusion, the proposed framework has shown its merit when designing a computer-aided tool suited to support the transition towards the increased industrial digitalization as well as to address current educational challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107350
JournalComputers and Chemical Engineering
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Computer-Aided Framework
  • Education
  • Process Systems Engineering
  • Digitalization


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