We were called on by one of the world’s largest companies to design and develop an innovative way to introduce post-graduate chemistry students to the benefits of chemical simulation modelling.
No neither did we – but we learnt!.
Our approach took the form of the charismatic Professor Flange at work in his Reaction Simulator. Complete with dodgy-sounding Austrian accent that wasn’t really dodgy at all as it came from a real live Austrian, the good Professor took students through the process of simulated lab testing and then into commercial production.
Although the graphics and gameplay are very much tongue in-cheek, the science and lessons are absolutely serious and have massive implications. If a student has a play with the Reaction Simulator and manages to hit lucky in the lab to produce a batch of chemical, he will then be progressed to a commercial production simulation. Problem here is that if the success in the lab has simply been a fluke, then probably 90% of the batches in production will fail – with consequences in the form of dumped batches and lost revenue.
However if the student has actually taken the time to run some statistical modelling of the process before jumping into the lab, they will find that they can achieve a 100% success rate which equals more revenue and zero waste.
A light hearted and irreverent exercise to illustrate a critically serious point which to date has been translated into a multitude of languages and used throughout the world by the GSK development team.
And if you are wondering, the actual reaction the simulation is based on is a desalination equation. If you already knew that, I’d suggest you give GSK a call for a job.