(149b) Developing a Mindset of Safety in Students | AIChE

(149b) Developing a Mindset of Safety in Students


Sauer, S. G. - Presenter, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Nolte, A. J. - Presenter, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Our process safety course “Safety, Health, and Loss Prevention”, which is an elective populated primarily by seniors, provides an in-depth look at specific elements of safety, some of which are also considered in the required courses of the curriculum. The overarching goals of the course are to provide students with a base level of knowledge of the safety regulatory structure in the US, industrial hygiene, and techniques for safer process design, and the ability to use appropriate models to quantify health and economic effects, toxicant dispersion, and damage due to fire and explosions. This is accomplished through a variety of techniques including in-class modeling exercises, expert guest speakers, and student led presentations as well as traditional lectures and homework assignments. The assessment of their understanding is based on several quizzes, exams, and their presentation.

One of our personal goals is for the students who complete a chemical engineering degree in our program to leave with a keen sense of the importance of safety, especially in the process industry. Our department works to develop that mindset of safety by incorporating small units relating to safety in several of our core courses, including a specific safety unit with activities in the Unit Operations Laboratory course, emphasis on safe behavior in all laboratory courses, and requiring EH&S in their senior design project. These units and activities provide a foundation on which they will build either in their careers or in our Process Safety, Health, and Loss Prevention (aka Safety) course. By including safety information throughout the curriculum, the students are reminded on a regular basis that safety must be a priority.

In this presentation, we will discuss our approach to this course as well as the departmental approach to incorporating safety throughout the curriculum.