(209c) Teaching Safety in Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Laboratory and Chemical Engineering Design Courses

Dunn, R. F., Vanderbilt University
Debelak, K. A., Vanderbilt University

Process and product safety are of increasing importance in the design and operation of chemical engineering processes.  In general, a number of chemical process and product failures have been the result of design deficiencies such as the improper selection of materials of construction for the intended end use, the improper processing and/or fabrication of these materials into the end product and the improper maintenance of the chemical process and/or product, in addition to other factors.  Furthermore, failure analysis of several chemical plant accidents has also resulted in the identification of numerous process design deficiencies.  Scientific methodologies and tools used for identifying the potential mode of failures for polymer products and chemical processes including, but not limited to, what-if analysis, failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) and hazard and operability analysis (HAZOP).  Proper instruction and application of these methodologies, in addition to the use of case studies, are essential elements of the undergraduate chemical engineering curriculum.  Specifically, efforts are in progress to incorporate safety methodologies and a safety culture into the chemical engineering undergraduate laboratory courses and senior design courses.  Experience and lessons learned in applying and reinforcing safety in these courses in the undergraduate curriculum will be presented.