About DiPP 

The Diamond Pilot Plant (DiPP)

DiPP is the cornerstone for educating the Sheffield Chemical Engineer. Future engineers will use, test and explore integrated processes with state of the art simulations and world class control systems in a safe, production orientated environment.

Key Features

The plant features cutting edge integrated manufacturing processes at relevant industrial scale that incorporate many traditional and modern unit operations:

• Dedicated industrial control room
• Power to X pilot plant to convert renewable energy to environmentally friendly diesel fuel
• Next-generation biomanufacturing using sustainable feedstock
• Manufacturing of high value formulated products e.g. pharmaceutical dosage forms.

With its prime position in the Diamond at the corner of St Georges Terrace and Broad Lane, and two storey high glass walls, DiPP is a window onto world class engineering at the University of Sheffield.

DiPP has cutting edge equipment, software and products sponsored by manufacturing companies including GEA and NiTech and. In addition to giving students real world experience, the manufacturers benefit from having around 500 students per year exposed to their products and engineering philosophies. DiPP can also be used for training and upskilling employees of UK companies in modern engineering processes and tools. DiPP demonstrates that our engineers are part of the solution for the grand challenges our communities face in the world today.

Integration of physical and virtual process plants

Dynamic process simulations of each pilot plant are available in the control room. Students can undertake virtual experiments using the simulations as well as physical experiments on the pilot plant.

Vertical integration of learning

During their first and second years, undergraduate students will use the pilot plant and data collected from the pilot to support learning in core curriculum such as chemical process principles and heat and mass transfer. DiPP provides a rich source of data and inspiration for both simple calculation exercises and open ended team projects. Further into their degree, students will revisit the pilot plant for a more detailed hands on experience, both to support specialists courses and as part of MEng and MSc research and design projects.

Modern student learning

As part of the world class Diamond Teaching and Learning Facility, DiPP provides a special environment to support modern student centered active, experimental learning skills and important engineering attributes including safety, leadership, communication, synthesis and innovation.

Chemical Product Engineering

Traditionally chemical engineers are process engineers. 21st century chemical engineers need to be both product and process engineers who develop new products, as well as design the process that manufacture them. DiPP is a unique learning environment for product as well as process engineering, where students learn to develop, characterise and reverse engineer new products for high value manufacturing, biotechnology, and clean fuels.