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Virtual Unit Operations Laboratory

Our Goal

The goal of this project is to create an immersive virtual learning environment to expand the spectrum of experimental learning for many common industrial chemical processes.

  • The main objective is to replicate the experience of working inside the lab in virtual reality
  • After that, we explore ways that we can further enhance students’ learning by taking advantage of the digital domain

Walkthrough of HX System


We have began implementation the following systems

Heat Exchanger

Packed Column Distillation

Leaching Unit



  • in desktop mode, users can interact with the Unit Ops environment through a mouse and keyboard and requires no specialized hardware.
  • users have the ability to move around using WASD keys, and look around with the mouse
  • when hovering over certain components in a system, a prompt will come up to indicate any actions that can be performed


  • For users with difficulties traversing a 3D environment, a stationary mode can be toggled that reduces the amount of input needed from a user
  • In this mode, the user becomes stationary and instead rotates the system to reach certain valves and components which is similar to a more traditional point and click experience


VR Mode allows users to experience the Unit Ops environment in VR, and requires a VR headset to operate

  • In this mode, users can move their head to look around the lab
  • Users can use the VR controllers to physically interact with the lab equipment such as turning on a valve

  • Users can pick up and interact with objects in the environment like in typical VR games
  • Users can physically walk around the lab if space permits, or teleport around using the VR controllers


Online Multiplayer support for VR mode has been added to further replicate the process of conducting a lab procedure

  • Users running the application with the same session key will be in the same virtual space together