Virtual Reality in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Education and Training

Vinod Vijay Kumar, Deborah Carberry, Christian Beenfeldt, Martin Peter Andersson, Seyed Soheil Mansouri*, Fausto Gallucci*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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With the advent of digitalization and industry 4.0, education in chemical and biochemical engineering has undergone significant revamping over the last two decades. However, undergraduate students sometimes do lack industrial exposure and are unable to visualise the complexity of actual process plants. Thereby, students might graduate without adequate professional hands-on experience. Similarly, in the process industry, operator training-simulators are widely used for the training of new and skilled operators. However, conventional training-simulators often fail to simulate reality and do not provide the user with the opportunity to experience unexpected and hazardous scenarios. In these regards, virtual reality appears to be a promising technology that can cater to the needs of both academia and industry. This paper discusses the opportunities and challenges for the incorporation of virtual reality into chemical and biochemical engineering education with an emphasis on the fundamental areas of technology, pedagogy and socio-economics. The paper emphasises the need for augmenting virtual reality interfaces with mathematical models to develop advanced immersive learning applications. Further, the paper stresses upon the need for novel educational impact assessment methodologies for the evaluation of virtual-reality-based learning. Finally, an ongoing case study application is presented to briefly discuss the social and economic implications, and to identify the bottlenecks involved in the adoption of virtual reality tools across chemical and biochemical engineering education.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducation for Chemical Engineers
Pages (from-to)143-153
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Immersive learning
  • Process engineering
  • Educational technology
  • Learning design
  • Industry 4.0


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