Current Students and Staff

// University News

23 Sep 2015

Immersive 3D training experience unveiled with potential to transform the chemical engineering industry

Image: ©Paul Leeson Taylor.

A Loughborough University computer science expert has collaborated with BP on an immersive training experience that enables safety-critical tasks to be rehearsed in a simulated environment.

Believed to be a first for the chemical industry in the UK, the Igloo – as it is known – is an alternative approach to training. It allows trainee field technicians to practise safety critical tasks, such as safe startup and emergency shutdown procedures, in a virtual production plant brought to life by integrating it with a fully dynamic process simulator and the control room simulator.

A 360-degree projection screen enables trainees to learn as they go and allows mistakes to be made without disastrous consequences. Realistic sound effects mimic real life operation of the plant, and the dynamic process simulator produces the responses expected from the real plant in different safety critical operation scenarios.

Paul Chung, Professor of Computer Science at Loughborough University, and Dr Pablo Fernández de Dios, a Research Associate on the project, were responsible for implementing the communication bridge between the Igloo and the dynamic process simulator, resulting in a realistic plant environment which allows field and control room technicians to interact together. This is a new concept and, for the first time, the competence of entire shift teams can be assessed. 

Read the full press release for more information.