This year, the Safety and Chemical Engineering Education (SAChE) Certificate Program celebrates its 30th birthday. Originally launched by the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) in 1992, SAChE consists of a series of courses that provide students with a foundational knowledge of process safety, discuss how process safety concepts apply to real-world situations, and instill the importance of process safety through interactive learning modules.
Process safety education is crucial to a chemical engineer’s career and to the continued safe operation of facilities in the chemical process industries (CPI). However, many mid-career and late-career chemical engineers received little to no process safety education during their formal schooling. CEP surveyed its audience and found that 40% of readers received no formal process safety education, and 37% received less than one semester (Figure 1). In addition, 77% of readers feel that they did not receive adequate safety education during their undergraduate chemical engineering education (Figure 2).
In many ways, these results are unsurprising; although process safety had been recognized as a critical aspect of chemical engineering by AIChE and other associations, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) did not officially require process safety or hazard analysis education until 2012–2013 accreditation evaluations. Therefore, many CEP readers are not likely to have received formal education in process safety, especially if they went to school prior to the launch of SAChE in 1992.
Originally, SAChE began as a series of PowerPoint files and quizzes that instructors would present to their students. SAChE was overhauled as part of the AIChE...
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