In this project, I developed two VR simulations with Dr. Ronald Hedden, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, for education in process control and thermodynamics using Unity, C#, Blender, and MATLAB. I applied my knowledge of game development, 3D modeling, heat transfer, fluid flow, thermodynamics, and differential equation in the development of this project. The VR simulations serve as virtual laboratories that generate "experimental data" for students in relevant courses analyzing in MATLAB. In this way, students can conduct lab activities required by relevant courses without physically accessing the physical lab. During the COVID pandemic, This project greatly facilitates the transition to online education for several courses in process control and thermodynamics.
The first VR simulation is a process control scenario. It was developed based on the flat-screen simulation developed by Dr. Hedden in the early stage of the VCP project. To improve the graphics of the simulation, I remodeled a variety of mesh objects, adjusted lighting, and tuned the post-processing of the scene. Then, I developed VR interactions based on SteamVR.
The second VR simulation is a heat exchanger scenario. It was developed by me from scratch. Firstly, I modeled the mesh objects, designed and placed them in the scene. Then, I worked on the interior lighting, post-processing, and VR interactions inside the simulation. After completing the graphics and user interactions, I programmed the mathematical models that govern the behavior of the heat exchanger.