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Engineering Safety and Risk Management: A Structured Case Study Approach to Investigating Chemical Process Safety

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Engineering Management Division 3: Teaching and Learning in Engineering Management

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

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Paper Authors


Marnie V. Jamieson University of Alberta

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Marnie V. Jamieson, M. Sc., P.Eng. is an Industrial Professor in Chemical Process Design
in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta and holds an M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering Education. She is currently the William Magee Chair in Chemical Process Design, leads the process design teaching team, manages the courses and industry interface. Her current research focuses on the application of blended and active learning to design teaching and learning, program content and structure, student assessment, and continuous course improvement techniques. She managed and was a key contributor to a two-year pilot project to introduce blended learning into the chemical engineering capstone design courses, and is the author of a number of recent journal, book, and conference contributions on engineering education. Her research focusses on how to teach innovation and sustainable design practices to engineers and develop a curriculum reflective of engineering practice requirements. Recently she has taught a short course on how to design and teach process engineering courses to professors in Peru and workshops on Metacognition and Lifelong Learning in engineering programs.

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Lianne M. Lefsrud P.Eng. University of Alberta

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Dr. Lianne Lefsrud is an Assistant Professor, Engineering Safety and Risk Management, Department of Chemical Engineering, at the University of Alberta. Her research examines hazard identification and risk management, risk evaluation and social license to operate, and drivers of technology adoption in oil and gas, mining, pipelining, construction, agriculture, and railroading, among other industries. In the past four years she has received $2.4 million in funding (as PI or co-PI) from federal agencies (NSERC, SSHRC, CFREF, Genome Canada, Transport Canada), industry associations (Railway Safety Association, Alberta Chamber of Resources, Construction Owners Association of Alberta), government agencies (Alberta OHS, WCB, Justice, Energy) and corporations (IBM, Weston Foods, Suncor). She has been a keynote speaker for IEEE, National Research Council, and Canadian Dam Association and others. And she has received several international, national, and provincial awards for her work. She is highly collaborative in her research and engagement activities with colleagues in psychology, anthropology, business, economics, computer science, environmental sociology, medicine, and several engineering disciplines.

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Fereshteh Sattari


John Donald University of Guelph

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John Donald, Ph.D., P.Eng., is an Associate professor at the University of Guelph with over 25 years experience in leadership roles in engineering consulting and post-secondary education. A past President (2017-18) of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (, John is focused on excellence in engineering teaching practice, engineering leadership development and engineering design practice.

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Abstract Engineering leadership and management consider the organizational aspects of the development and operation of complex designs in a sustainable manner. Safety and risk management are key elements in sustainable design, operation, and management of engineering projects (Crowl & Louvar, 2019). Recognizing that a safety culture does not develop on its own, but is a product of management’s intent and consistent reinforcement (Fleming et al., 2018; IAEA, 1986), case studies help students to understand and reflect on the leadership values and management beliefs that can lead to sustainability, inherently safer designs, and a supportive organizational culture. Using case studies to connect incident stories to engineering safety, culture, and risk management can help students examine the enacted values, underlying values, assumptions, and beliefs that may contribute to major incidents (Guldenmund, 2000; Kerin, 2018; Shallcross, 2013b). Further, the education of engineers as empowered leaders who understand the implications of their own underlying values, assumptions, and beliefs and their subsequent connection to the sustainable design and operation of complex systems enhances societal sustainability. This paper proposes a case study analysis structure developed to connect the role of the underlying values, ethics, assumptions, and beliefs of people who lead, manage, and work in complex engineering projects towards the enactment of a sustainability culture or a safety culture or both. The proposed case study structure reinforces engineering education outcomes, the United Nations sustainable development goals, and Risk Based Process Safety (RBPS) management in order to further develop technical and professional skills in undergraduate and graduate students better preparing them for their future roles in a world demanding sustainable solutions.

Jamieson, M. V., & Lefsrud, L. M., & Sattari, F., & Donald, J. (2020, June), Engineering Safety and Risk Management: A Structured Case Study Approach to Investigating Chemical Process Safety Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34558

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