New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Operator Training Simulators for Academic Education and Training

Volker C. Hass, Hochschule Furtwangen University (Germany)

Holger Schneider, Hochschule Furtwangen University (Germany)

Roland Hirschmann, Hochschule Furtwangen University (Germany)

Ralf Pörtner, Hamburg University of Technology (Germany)

Frank Baganz, University College London (United Kingdom)


Training simulators can successfully be used for the training of technicians and engineers in a number of industrial applications. We have recently shown their applicability in bioprocessing for training of plant operation, control and decision-making during production of important bioproducts such as recombinant proteins, ethanol and biogas [1, 2]. The operator training simulator (BioProcessTrainer) uses structured mathematical models integrated into the process control and simulation system WinErs [2]. The simulator relies on the creation of a virtual plant operator environment based on mathematical models where time can be accelerated or stopped.

The simulator has been extended to a virtual bioethanol plant comprising unit operations like bioreactor, microfiltration and distillation. In order to achieve high adaptability of the simulator the underlying mathematical model is split into sub-models for the biological reaction, a physico-chemical model, a reactor model, a plant model and a model describing the automation and control of the plant. In this contribution, we will illustrate the structure of the training simulator as well as the models integrated. Finally, we will present several examples how the training simulators can be used efficiently in the academic training in biochemical engineering on bachelor as well as master level and highlight the learning outcomes observed.


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