Virtchem project: the virtual immersive education for chemistry and chemical engineering

A.A. 2022/2023
Crediti massimi
Ore totali
Obiettivi formativi
The project is based on an innovative training course in the field of chemistry and industrial chemistry thanks to the use of different types of virtual reality (VR) programs for an immersive experience within the reproduction of chemistry laboratories, an industrial chemistry plant and investigation of structure of molecules. The opportunity to handle three different VR tools will be proposed to students: a collaborative molecular design platform (Nanome,, a molecular modelling suite (VEGA ZZ, an inorganic analytical chemistry laboratory (LabSim, and a Crude Distillation Unit industrial plant (Eyesim, The students will use these immersive programs in rooms equipped with VR workstations. During virtual exercises, specifically prepared according to educational goals, students will collect information and data that will require their interpretation, analysis and discussion in working teams to promote not only their learning but also their soft skills and critical thinking.
VIRTCHEM will propose immersive experiences in virtual laboratories by organizing:
· preparatory lessons;
· virtual exercises;
· analysis of the data collected;
· a final meeting to share the teaching experiences.
Risultati apprendimento attesi
Expected educational outcomes:
· To acquire the basic theory of the following topics: reading and interpretation of an industrial plant diagram (PFD, PID); operating principles of a Crude Distillation Unit plant; the structure of a Crude Distillation Unit plant; basic principles of process simulation; the use of the Arduino electronic platform to prototype processes; the fundamental principles of analytical chemistry needed to carry out the qualitative analysis of inorganic molecules; the main concepts on molecular modelling and on in silico approaches; the structure-property relationships of organic and inorganic molecules.
· To provide an alternative to laboratory sessions when students are unable to attend the lab because of disabilities or attendance challenges (pregnancy, safety, pandemic issues) and to promote innovative approaches such as student-centered and project-based learning by providing learning tools with improved flexibility.
· To enable exploration of industrial platform or laboratory instrument set-up at a level inaccessible in "real life" such as inside process components.
· To take students on a realistic tour of an industrial plant since most of them never experience an in-person visit of an industrial site before their graduation.
To improve creativity, risk taking, social responsibility, teamwork ability, self-confidence and communication skills.
· To promote educational collaboration among universities.
Programma e organizzazione didattica

Project 4eu+

Secondo semestre

1) Preliminary lessons for the following topics: Chemical Processes: Process Flow Diagrams and the Crude Distillation Unit; Introduction to Qualitative Inorganic Analysis and LabSim; Introduction to the molecular modelling by VEGA ZZ; Introduction to Distillation and Liquid-Liquid Extraction, In touch with molecules - How virtual reality works (equipment, what to expect); Introduction to Nanome software - How to use it.
2) Description and characteristics of the following software:
Eyesim reproduces a Crude Distillation Unit plant from a physical and chemical point of view. The users can visit the plant and perform different exercises. Eyesim is described in
LabSim is a laboratory simulator of inorganic analytical chemistry that allows to do solubility test, pH measurement and phase separation, and to perform a complete qualitative analysis of inorganic substances. The included database allows the simulation of more than 3500 reactions. (
Nanome (Cuni, by Nanome Inc.) is a software for visualization and manipulation with molecules allowing immersion into a centre of almost any molecule to study its structure and properties. It is suitable for the educational purposes due to its wide platform support and illustrative way of molecule presentation. Web page and short presentation is at
VEGA ZZ is a complete molecular modelling suite by which you can visualize molecules, calculate molecular properties, analyse the surface properties, build/edit molecules, perform molecular mechanics calculations (energy minimization, molecular dynamics simulations, conformational searches, etc.), simulate the drug-target interaction by molecular docking, carry out QSAR studies, etc. More information is available at

Laboratory and exercises using the Eyesim, LabSim, Nanome and VEGA ZZ programs and Arduino tools in Milano, Prague and Paris Universities.
Esercitazioni: 16 ore
Lezioni: 16 ore
Tutti i giorni, previo appuntamento
Dipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche - Sezione di Chimica Farmaceutica
Tutti i giorni lavorativi, previo appuntamento. Il ricevimento avverra' via Microsoft Teams.
Studio R 30 S Dipartimento di Chimica (tramite Microsoft Teams)