Objective:

VR-Lab is a piece of education programme content, introducing raw materials and experiment procedures, including an interactive VR environment mimicking metallurgical facilities and labs. The VR-Lab allows students and professionals to gain hands-on experience in planning, performing and evaluating experiments in a test facility, and operating high-temperature processes, without high costs, preparations and safety issues. VR-Lab is accessed via VR-devices, PCs and mobiles.

The solution (technology):

The value chain of raw materials starts with exploration, goes through many steps such as manufacturing and consumption, and then ends up in collection and recycling. All of these elements contribute to circular economy as well. The focus on education mostly focuses on mining, which comes after exploration, and on recycling, which is at the end of the chain. Therefore, the new generations finds those fields particularly attractive.

Processing, just like any of the steps, plays an essential role. In recycling practices, processing uses complex techniques which remove individual materials from recycled products and makes them available for new products. Improving and enhancing the processing phase results in processes that are more efficient and tends to a more complete circular economy cycle. Therefore, it is necessary to promote and improve the education in the fields of processing and in particular of the metallurgical techniques used in processing. VR-Lab will develop an education package for Master students studying metallurgy and professionals already working in the industry. VR-Lab will be accessible by these learners every year allowing them to roam and experiment freely in a highly interactive, responsive, informative, educational and safe virtual laboratory. At the same time, VR-Lab will also have an indirect impact of boosting the image of metallurgy Master programmes by demonstrating that the programmes use cutting-edge, modern VR technology in the classroom, with the aim to boost the student recruitment figures of these programmes. This therefore helps by graduating generations which have a deeper and clearer understanding of metallurgical processes, and therefore develops creative minds that will eventually drastically improve these processes and support the entire value chain.

Partners:

Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen), Germany (Lead Partner)
Aalto University Executive Education Oy, Finland
Aalto-Korkeakoulusaatio (Aalto University), Finland
Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), Sweden
National Technical University of Athens – NTUA, Greece
Swerea SWECAST AB, Sweden
TalTech University, Estonia
TATA STEEL NEDERLAND TECHNOLOGY B.V. (TATA), Netherlands