Row of students sitting at desks using virtual reality VR headsets in their lessons.

TU Dublin and Skillnet to run pharma manufacturing course through VR

11 Apr 2022

The new course will enable learners to get the basics of powder handling for pharma manufacturing using a customised VR platform.

TU Dublin is to provide a new pharmaceutical training programme using virtual reality (VR), in collaboration with Skillnet Ireland.

The course will enable learners to get to grips with powder handling, a critical process in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. By using VR, it allows course participants to learn the essentials in a low-risk environment.

The course was developed by Government business support agency Skillnet Ireland and TU Dublin’s Dr Brian Vaughan, who is founder and director of the technological university’s Virtual Interaction Research Lab, or VIRal.

The powder handling for pharmaceutical manufacturing course follows another VR programme developed in March last year by Vaughan and Skillnet, focusing on aseptic techniques for biomanufacturing.

The newest programme has been specifically developed for the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector.

It uses a customised VR platform that has the potential to significantly reduce training costs for pharma operations as staff can virtually perform activities such as the health and safety aspects of powder handling, charging operations, drumming and bagging operations and formulation activities in a simulated pharma environment.

“Virtual reality is a powerful tool for providing engaging and immersive training experiences in the pharmaceutical industry,” Vaughan said.

He added that the course was specifically designed for learners to get “the maximum impact” out of the technology.

Paul Healy, chief executive at Skillnet Ireland, added: “Virtual reality is showing remarkable results for the industry in terms of operational excellence and efficiencies.

“As this programme demonstrates, working with Skillnet business networks offers huge promise for higher education in Ireland, by bringing a ready-made gateway into the industry and to working directly with companies.”

The new programme will be available from the end of this month. More information can be found on the course website.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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