Industrial-Academic Collaboration to Teach Chemical Process Safety

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    April 2, 2019
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • Skill Level:
  • PDHs:

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Chemical process safety is historically an overlooked topic within chemical engineering education. In response to a reactive chemical explosion at T2 Laboratories that killed four employees and injured 32 others including employees of surrounding businesses, the Chemical Safety Board emphasized the critical need to improve chemical process safety and hazard recognition education within undergraduate chemical engineering.

As part of the AIChE Foundation’s ‘Doing a World of Good’ campaign [1], and in conjunction with the Center for Chemical Process Safety's (CCPS), industry and academia have come together on a major global initiative to improve and accelerate process safety education at the university level. Experience has shown that presenting process safety concepts as part of the chemical engineering curriculum proves most effective, something the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) also recently adopted as a requirement in 2012.

Cargill, Inc. and the chemical engineering faculty at Kansas State University believe the education of future engineers is a critical success factor in the pursuit of zero harm to people, communities and our environment. One significant way to achieve exceptional process safety performance in our industry is through collaboration between faculty and industry to incorporate process safety concepts into the engineering curriculum and design courses. The collaboration between Kansas State University and Cargill, Inc. started in a CCPS Process Safety Faculty Workshop hosted by Cargill in 2016 where chemical engineering faculty members were shown how the concepts of process safety are put into industrial practice and to highlight the role that process safety plays in the design and operation of a chemical process industry (CPI) facility. One workshop outcome was a deeper partnership that would enhance process safety education in a KSU capstone design course. In this partnership, each student design team was assigned a process safety coach from Cargill. This coach led sessions to help the student designers understand how to apply fundamental concepts of process safety and build awareness that the choices they make in the design of a process impacts the safe operation of a facility. The coaching sessions included:

  • Identification of process safety hazards during the design of a process
  • Considerations for inherently safer design
  • Identification, evaluation and mitigation of risk
  • Understanding of types of codes, standards, and Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices (RAGAGEPs)
  • Process safety education materials from AIChE Safety and Chemical Engineering Education Program (SAChE) and the Center for Chemical Process Safety
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AIChE Member Credits 0.5
AIChE Members $19.00
Employees of CCPS Member Companies Free
AIChE Graduate Student Members Free
AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free
Non-Members $29.00