Fluor Pilot Plant goes digital
The new app enables the user to learn the whole chemical engineering process by operating a simulated plant environment which matches the real Fluor Pilot Plant at Surrey. On the app, users are able to use equipment such as the main reactor, filter and feed hopper, making decisions like controlling flow rates, with an alarm alerting them if they do something wrong.
The app was developed by Professor Sai Gu's team in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, and is available free at the Google and Apple app stores. It is designed to be used by university students at Surrey and around the world as well as working engineers and school students.
At present Surrey is one of the few universities in the UK to offer a fully operational pilot plant facility, so the aim is to share this unique experience with a wider range of trainee engineers. Students at Surrey get the opportunity to run the plant, which reflects the equipment they will find in industry, for a week during the third year of their degree.
In addition, the app will be offered to the training programmes run by the Department including the flagship annual OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) Associate Programme which sees representatives from countries around the world come to Surrey to learn about chemical industry standards and safety procedures. Using the app will enable delegates to familiarise themselves with the plant in advance of the programme.
Professor Sai Gu, Head of the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, said: "The Fluor Pilot Plant is an amazing facility which at present only a relatively small number of people get the opportunity to experience. This app will enable us to reach out to a much wider audience and enable more people to benefit from our pilot plant - including existing engineers and schools - while also helping our own chemical engineering students to get confident using the plant."
Building on the new Fluor Pilot Plant app, Professor Sai Gu's team is also designing a video game based on the pilot plant.
Source: University of Surrey