WACKER Chemical Corporation Supports AIChE's Global Process Safety Education Initiative

January 12, 2017
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Program will improve process safety training of undergraduate chemical engineering students worldwide.

WACKER Chemical Corporation, the U.S.-based subsidiary of Wacker Chemie AG, is affirming its commitment to safe chemical industry practices and the education of the future chemical industry workforce through a collaboration with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and its Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS).

WACKER has made a multi-year commitment in support of AIChE’s global Undergraduate Process Safety Learning Initiative. The initiative seeks to ensure that every chemical engineering student possesses a working knowledge of process safety principles — an area of instruction currently underdeveloped in most undergraduate chemical engineering curricula. To accomplish this goal, the initiative taps process safety experts from industry to train chemical engineering faculty on the principles of chemical process safety as they apply to industrial settings. As part of the initiative, AIChE is creating new e-learning materials for the SAChE (Safety and Chemical Engineering Education) Certificate Program — which will be part of a dynamic curriculum that makes incorporating process safety into chemical engineering instruction easy and engaging.

The Undergraduate Process Safety Learning Initiative is led by CCPS, and is a core a priority of the AIChE Foundation’s “Doing a World of Good” campaign, which focuses on projects that bring chemical engineering expertise to bear for the good of society.

Commenting on the process safety initiative, David Wilhoit, President and CEO of WACKER Chemical Corporation, said that such industry-academic collaborations create the best opportunity to provide chemical engineering graduates with a working knowledge of process safety. He noted that, as part of WACKER’s partnership commitment, the company will host a CCPS Faculty Process Safety Training Workshop at WACKER’s Charleston, Tennessee, facility in July 2017. “A considerable number of colleges and universities within proximity of our Charleston plant have chemical engineering programs,” said Wilhoit. Facilitating the transfer of process safety knowledge to the faculty members, he added “will bring forward sustainable business and academic cases for including process safety education at the college level.”  

In announcing the partnership with WACKER, AIChE Executive Director June Wispelwey thanked the company for its dedication to promoting chemical process safety in industry and for joining the Undergraduate Process Safety Learning Initiative’s growing circle of supporting organizations. Wispelwey also elaborated on the origins of the Undergraduate Process Safety Learning Initiative, noting that, despite the progress companies have made in process safety, corporate leaders and engineers say that they need young engineers who are better trained in process safety when they enter the workforce. Additionally, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology recently enacted standards that require process safety to be a part of the chemical engineering curriculum. Universities, however, have not yet found a way to develop a standardized curriculum to fulfill the new requirement. “That needed training is why CCPS, its industry member companies, and AIChE created this initiative and made it part of our ‘Doing a World of Good’ campaign,” Wispelwey concluded.

About AIChE:

AIChE is a professional society of more than 53,000 chemical engineers in 110 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontier of chemical engineering research in such areas as nanotechnology, sustainability, hydrogen fuels, biological and environmental engineering, and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at www.aiche.org.

About CCPS:

CCPS is a not-for-profit corporate membership organization within AIChE that identifies and addresses process safety needs in the chemical, pharmaceutical and petroleum industries. CCPS brings together manufacturers, government agencies, consultants, academics and insurers to lead the way in improving process safety. Members, working in project subcommittees, define and develop useful, time-tested guidelines that have practical applications that run the gamut from human factors to qualitative and quantitative risk analysis to security vulnerability to inherently safety design. With more than 100 publications, CCPS is at the forefront of efforts to improve process safety performance. More information about CCPS is available at www.aiche.org/ccps.


WACKER is a globally active chemical group headquartered in Munich, Germany. With a wide range of state-of-the-art specialty products, WACKER is a leader in numerous fields and industries. Its products are required in countless high-growth end-user sectors, such as photovoltaics, electronics, pharmaceuticals and household/personal-care products. In 2015, the Group generated sales of some €5.3 billion ($4.9 billion) with a staff of 17,000 employees. Founded in 1914, WACKER operates 25 production sites, supplying over 3,200 products to more than 3,500 customers worldwide. The Group main¬tains subsidiaries and sales offices in 31 countries across Europe, the Americas and Asia — including a strong foothold in China. Wacker Chemical Corporation (WCC) is WACKER’s U.S.-based chemical operation. Headquartered in Adrian, Michigan, WCC operates eleven facilities throughout the United States, Mexico and Colombia. Learn more at www.wacker.com.