(339h) Conservation of Life as a Concept for Chemical Engineering Education
AIChE Annual Meeting
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - 5:21pm to 5:39pm
In 1918, Lewis DeBlois, DuPont's first corporate safety manager, wrote:
?Conservation of life should surely not be rated below the conservation of energy. Yet, few of our technical schools and universities offer instruction in this subject, and the graduates go out to their profession with only vague surmises on ?what all this talk on safety is about.?
Over 90 years later, a Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center survey showed that only 11% of 180 universities required process safety education and that only 13% offered an elective course in process safety. The US Chemical Safety Board also has recommended that ABET accreditation require more awareness of process safety in chemical engineering programs.
This paper explores the use of ?conservation of life? as a concept and unifying theme for increasing awareness, application, and integration of process safety in chemical engineering education. Students need to think of conservation of mass, conservation of energy, and conservation of life as equally important in engineering design and analysis. By giving them appropriate tools for evaluating and implementing conservation of life principles, we can help them to better understand ?what all this safety talk is about,? and what their role is in contributing to process safety in the chemical engineering field.