Virtual labs for higher education in industrial engineering

Walter Terkaj, Kari Kleine, Vladimir Kuts

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The current digital transformation in manufacturing has a strong impact on the competencies needed by manufacturing companies. This leads to evolving requirements for digital training in industrial engineering courses. The concept of virtual labs in academic environments can be instrumental in teaching new digital skills through practical experience. This paper aims to examine the requirements and essential factors involved in designing virtual labs, proposing a framework to meet the requirements of virtual lab activities, integrating didactic and research purposes while examining the requirements and essential factors involved in designing virtual labs digital twin as an enabling technology. The framework is the result of the analysis of the technical aspects related to immersive technologies, such as extended reality, together with insights gathered from interviews and pilot testing conducted in workshops involving students, teachers, and lab managers from three institutions implementing virtual labs. The outcomes of this study include the digital model of four manufacturing labs as virtual labs that are openly available for academic purposes. This showcases a commitment towards offering quality and inclusive engineering education through cuttingedge virtual technologies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Estonian Academy of Sciences
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)142-149
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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