Operator Training Simulations, Quizes, and Learning Games

This page showcases some of my current work developing operator training simulations and virtual reality models designed to give students and operator authentic training and experience. Students work together on virtual equipment and processing units with an instructor mentor where they learn to safely operate refinery equipment during startup, normal operations, shutdown, and emergency situations. The training we conduct reminds me of working with operators starting up and shutting down equipment in a refinery. I have not experienced any other training as authentic as this.

These simulations are open for anyone to use if you would like to try your hand starting, operating, and shutting down different equipment. This site also has 2D simulators, games, and fun quizzes to test background. These tools are designed to help give people a feel for what being an operator or Process Plant Technician is all about.

I am interested in talking with people who would like to colaborate on training tools in education and industry. Please contact Andy Sullivan at andrew.sullivan3@msubillings.edu if you would like to talk.

Binary Distillation Cause and Effect

Test your skill at predicting how a classic distillation column with two products will respond to operator changes.

Mechanical Aptitude

Warm up for job interviews with some questions like the ones on many pre-employment tests.

Control Valve Operation

A classic operator job is to bypass a control valve so it can be worked on without upsetting the process flow.

Side Stream Stripper Level Control

Explore Proportional, Integral, and Derivative (PID) control that is the basis of all automatic control in a process plant. This model simulates a typical side stream stripper used to remove light components from a product stream drawn from a distillation column. A small amount of steam, about 1% on feed, is injected at the bottom of the column. Light components are vaporized and routed back to the distillation column. Removing the light components improves flash point.

3D virtual furnace simulator

The following 3D virtual furnace simulator will immerse you in an authentic plant environment. The simulation is hosted in Second Life which can be accessed for free. A unit manual is posted in-world. Head on over to Second Life, get a free avatar, and join us at the "Heavy Industry" region to try your hand starting, operating, and shutting down a furnace.

Process Troubleshooting Quiz

Start on your path to becoming a troublshooting wizard by wrapping your mind around some fundamentals.

Multi-Component Flash

Vapor Liquid Equlibrium (VLE) Flash Simulation of Methane through Decane at user defined Temperature and Pressure.

Lock Out / Tag Out

Work your way through energy isolation as you prepare a LOTO plan for a typical spared pump.

Distillation Simulation

Separate multiple components into two streams in this clasic binary distillation simulation.

Walk the Line Game

Work in progress.

Practice one of the most important activities that operators are responsible for. Walking along a pipe and making sure the valves are open to where you want the fluid to go and closed to everywhere else.

D-86 Simulation

Learn about distillation with this simulation of the industry standard test for determining the boiling range for light hydrocarbon samples.