Design Simulation for the Process Industries

Irish Chemical Engineering graduates have played a pivotal role in the development of the pharma/biopharma/chemical sectors in Ireland. These sectors account for more than half of total annual exports [CSO: 58%, €51.7bn, 2014], proving to be robust under difficult economic conditions. To support existing jobs and growth, foster new initiatives, and address socio/environmental and other challenges, it is vital that investment be made to continually ally teaching with best pedagogical practice. Increasingly, particularly within the field of Chemical Engineering, there is a realisation that process and other simulation tools provide the key to help meet these challenges by enabling rigorous interrogation of proposed engineering designs, along with the development of subsequent optimisation strategies.

Simulation tools show great promise in education (Balamuralithara & Woods, 2009). However, their true potential is hampered by the fear of an imbalance in the emphasis on theory, experiment and simulation in curricula, exacerbated by the knowledge that such an imbalance may have severe ethical implications. For Chemical Engineering, one of the cornerstones of the curriculum is the ‘Design Project’, which encompasses ab initio process development, design, scale-up and optimisation. This proposal is focused on the development of novel, shared, vertically-structured sets of tools, integrating theory, experiment and simulation, across different core modules of the undergraduate Chemical Engineering curriculum, culminating in deployment within the capstone Design Project. Building from stakeholder expertise and national economic relevance, all resources are developed in the context of pharma/biopharma-related applications.

All of the stakeholders in the Chemical/Process Engineering education space in Ireland were involved, along with related Biosciences disciplines/programmes, major simulation tool developers, providers and end-users. Support from the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), the international, discipline-specific accrediting body, provides for international dissemination, as well as the potential for project outcomes to contribute to evolving accreditation criteria

For further information on this project, please contact Jorge C. Oliveira at:

Irish Engineering Graduates Advancing Global Manufacturing Competitiveness: Design Simulation for the Process Industries

Project Lead
Dr. Jorge C. Oliveira, Programme Director, BE Process & Chemical Engineering

University College Dublin
Cork Institute of Technology
Dublin City University
Dublin Institute of Technology
University of Limerick

National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education; Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund 2015 (Building Digital Capacity)

January 2016 - June 2015

Office of the VP for Learning and Teaching

Oifig an Leasuachtaráin Foghlama agus Teagaisc

East Wing, Main Quadrangle, UCC