Concawe – Environmental Science for European Refining

Cineon Training

The brief:

CINEON Training was approached by a leader in European Oil refinery safety to create a virtual reality (VR) training programme to help reduce the number of accidents at its refineries.

Client Concawe set out to work with Cineon Training, human performance and training specialists with expertise in immersive training environments, and the adoption of evidence based practise for learning. The Cineon team is comprised of chartered psychologists and human factors specialists from the University of Exeter, in addition to experts from high-risk sectors.







Virtual Reality (VR) simulation training is used extensively in many safety critical industries, including military, aviation and medicine. There is growing and compelling evidence to suggest that VR training is an effective and efficient way to train humans to perform safely under pressure. Advancements in technology, and developments in software, have enabled VR simulations to become mobile, flexible, ergonomic, and cost effective.

Concawe have worked with Cineon Training, to apply this technology, and they have developed a tool that enables trainees to experience a virtual operator tour, whereby users identify hazards and carry out high risk procedures.






Cineon Training undertook detailed task analysis using eye-tracking data recording and operator surveys. From these the studio was able create a virtual training environment that accurately recreate key tasks in the real environment. Cineon Training’s scientific analysis allowed them to populate the training environment with the same level of stimuli density that operators would face during a refinery tour.





The virtual training world contains 12 different error states that can appear randomly in the environment – everything from leaky valves to faulty gauges, spills to lose bolts. The training is intelligent so it is able to monitor progress and feedback at the end with targeted feedback citing real-life examples directly applicable to the errors made by the trainee.



The training tool was demonstrated at the Concawe Symposium in Antwerp in March 2019, in which 50 people experienced the simulation. Here, through an assessment of the perceptual capabilities of operators in VR (how quickly and efficiently they detected hazards) researchers were able to show that users’ experience and skill advantage in the real-world translated into the virtual world. More specifically, the virtual tool, and the metrics it provides, were able to discriminate the skill level of the user. This is an important validation step that is performed on simulations in many industries.

Following the successful analysis of the tool, psychologists and trainers at Cineon are now developing supporting educational material for operators to be able to undertake a training workshop that can be adopted within member companies.







STUDIO: Cineon Training

VR, Training April 26, 2019 by Alvin Manalac