Spotlight on: 16th Global Congress on Process Safety | AIChE

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Spotlight on: 16th Global Congress on Process Safety

Meeting Preview

2020 AIChE Spring Meeting & Global Congress, Mar. 29–Apr. 2, Houston, TX

Chemical engineers will survey the increasingly diverse landscape and rewarding challenges of their profession when the 2020 AIChE Spring Meeting and 16th Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS) convenes in Houston, TX, Mar. 29 to Apr. 2 at the George R. Brown Convention Center and the Hilton-Americas.

The Spring Meeting program continues its recent emphasis on the chemical engineering opportunities encompassed by Industry 4.0, process intensification, and new modes of manufacturing. Keeping up with the latest trends of importance to chemical engineers, new topical conferences are being devoted to waste plastics and hydrogen safety. Other topical conferences highlight clean energy, refinery processing, gas utilization, ethylene production, heat exchangers, distillation, and upstream engineering and flow assurance, as well as a new full day of “how-tos” for navigating a career.

With Houston’s proximity to many industrial complexes, refineries, and chemical plants, the Spring Meeting is featuring two panel discussions dedicated to “Clean Energy and Efficiency for U.S. Gulf Coast Industries.” Other highlights include a Meet the Industry Candidates Poster Session, along with keynote talks, exhibits, and networking events. Details about the Spring Meeting’s featured events and special sessions will appear online and in the March issue of CEP.

The 16th Global Congress on Process Safety

Organized by AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) and the Safety and Health Div., the Global Congress on Process Safety brings together safety engineers, plant managers, and process designers from hundreds of organizations worldwide to assess technologies and tactics for avoiding incidents, managing risk, ensuring plant safety, and improving process safety management (PSM) programs across the chemical process industries (CPI).

Setting the stage for both the Spring Meeting and GCPS on Monday morning, Mar. 30, is AIChE’s Government and Industry Leaders (AGILE) Award Keynote Lecture, to be presented by Bhavesh (Bob) Patel, Chief Executive Officer of LyondellBasell. (See related article, p. 55.) Immediately following the AGILE address, the GCPS formally kicks off with a Welcome Plenary Session and Keynote.

Core programming at the GCPS begins with the 54th Annual Loss Prevention Symposium (LPS), where experts share lessons learned from incident investigations and discuss technological developments in process safety, explosion prevention, and fire protections. This year’s LPS highlights effective management review for continuous improvement.

The 35th CCPS International Conference promotes systematic process safety management, incorporating human factors considerations in its approach to PSM strategy. This year’s conference brings attendees up to the minute with an assessment of the CPI’s progress toward CCPS’s process safety Vision 20/20 goals of the past decade. After a look back at the successes of the Vision 20/20 initiative, presenters will extend the vision into the future with recommendations for next steps needed to improve process safety worldwide.

CCPS’s vision for universal process safety excellence will be underscored by Perspectives on Process Safety from Around the Globe. With contributions from many nations and companies, the program will feature sessions presented in Spanish and Portuguese (as well as English), with additional perspectives drawn from China, Korea, and Japan.

The 22nd Process Plant Safety Symposium builds upon the CCPS International Conference, and offers best practices, perspectives, and methods that can contribute to stronger safety cultures at plants and among personnel.

Experienced safety professionals will share their knowledge with early-career practitioners at the 9th Process Safety Management Mentoring Forum (PSM2). The PSM2 program is built around tutorials that provide a grounding in hazard recognition and “things everyone should know about process safety.” Experts in process safety will also learn how to become more effective teachers of what they know.

The GCPS is capped by one of the Spring Meeting and Global Congress’s most anticipated sessions: Case Histories and Lessons Learned (Apr. 1). The session examines a selection of real-world incident investigations — from the 1990 Phillips Petroleum explosion to the 2018 Columbia Gas explosions to other incidents — and offers take-aways that should benefit every chemical engineer and CPI stakeholder.

Safety also factors into many of the short courses being offered on Sunday, Mar. 29. Attendees can register for courses on topics such as process hazard analyses (PHA) for computer systems; risk interpretation and mitigation; the dynamics of dust explosions; layer of protection analysis (LOPA); PHAs of non-routine operating modes; corrosion basics; and others.

Rounding out the program, daily Spring Meeting/GCPS keynote luncheons will incorporate process safety considerations. The luncheon speakers — along with other featured events of the Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety — will be announced in next month’s issue of CEP.

For the latest program information, or to register, visit


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