Chemical Engineering Immersive Learning
The chemical industry in Europe faces stiff competition as it fights to strengthen its position in the global market place. Europe’s greatest asset is its human capital, but the people working in such a technology-based environment, with the rise of the “smart factories” of Industry 4.0, need to be very well qualified. The situation of yesteryear, where a person could be trained to carry out a job for the whole of his/her career has long since gone; now the situation is one of developing skills and competencies, but then being able to adapt, re-learn and be able to cross sectors and disciplines in a world of work that is dynamic and subject to constant change. Continuous professional development, the stimulation of creative thinking and the motivation of youngsters for science & technology are high on the EU’s agenda. Recent developments in immersive learning technologies are providing exciting new tools for teaching and training programmes, yet they remain underutilised in science & technology education, and nowhere is this more true than in the field of chemistry and chemical engineering. CHARMING, the European Training Network for Chemical Engineering Immersive Learning, takes on this challenge by developing learning strategies, content and prototypes for the application of games and virtual/augmented reality for motivating, teaching and training children, students and employees in chemistry, chemical engineering and chemical operations. The inter-sectorial and interdisciplinary CHARMING ETN consists of leading universities and industry participants and trains 15 ESRs in the areas of innovative chemical engineering, instructional psychology & pedagogy and immersive technology. CHARMING’s success is based on integrating these three areas, in order to provide Europe with its highly trained young experts who are ready to help motivating, training and integrating the next-generation human capital of the European chemical industry and beyond.