Increasingly, critical and expensive processes in the chemical industry are controlled remotely by computers operating in networks. The use of remote and virtual laboratories has steadily increased to become a common feature in universities throughout the world. In Colombia, current laboratory courses in the chemical engineering curriculum provide little or no training to prepare students for these critical tools and processes. Virtual laboratory experiments on reaction kinetics at the undergraduate level and parameter estimation at the post-graduate level are being developed for their implementation in the education of chemical engineers at the National University of Colombia.

The virtual experiments are designed by the Department of Chemical Engineering at the National University of Colombia and CMCL Innovations with guidance of the CoMo Group at Cambridge University. The experiments are designed and developed using CMCL’s proprietary software kinetics and MoDS. The laboratory experiments will be evaluated through a pilot study. The outcomes of the study will be used to improve the experiments before inclusion in the courses at the National University of Colombia. The VirtuaLab project provides the students with a tested and improved learning experience. The project is funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) and the project consortium is formed by the National University of Colombia, the University of Cambridge and CMCL Innovations.