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Process Safety Management Course Development

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Best. Class. Ever.

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1070.1 - 25.1070.6



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Paper Authors


Linda S. Davis Purdue University, West Lafayette

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School of Chemical Engineering

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Deborah Lynn Grubbe P.E. Operations and Safety Solutions, LLC

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Deborah Grubbe is Owner and Principal of Operations and Safety Solutions, LLC, a consultancy that specializes in safety and operations troubleshooting and support. Deborah is the former Vice President of Group Safety for BP PLC, which had its two safest years ever during her tenure. She was trained in the characteristics of safe operations during her 27-year career at DuPont, where she held corporate director positions in engineering, operations and safety. Grubbe is a member of the NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel and served as a consultant on safety culture to the Columbia Shuttle Accident Investigation Board. Grubbe currently serves on the Purdue University College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council, and is an Emeritus member of the Center for Chemical Process Safety. She has worked with the National Academies on the Demilitarization of the U.S. Chemical Weapons Stockpile and is a currently a trustee of the National Safety Council. She is Chair of the Institute for Sustainability, and is a retired Board Member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Grubbe obtained a bachelor's of science in chemical engineering with highest distinction from Purdue University and received a Winston Churchill Fellowship to study chemical engineering at Cambridge University in England. A native of Chicago, Ill., she received the Purdue Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award in 2002, and, in that same year, was named Engineer of the Year in the state of Delaware. In 2010, Grubbe received an honorary Ph.D. in engineering from Purdue University.

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Ronald Lee Cutshall Sr. R. L. Cutshall Sr., Consulting

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Steven J. Swanson


Michael T. Harris Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Michael “Mike” Harris, the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education and a professor of chemical engineering in the College of Engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette, was named a Fellow of AIChE and won the AIChE Minority Affairs Distinguished Service Award in 2009. He is also a Test Bed Leader and member of the Leadership Team of the NSF supported Engineering Research Center (ERC), “The Center for Structured Organic Particulates,” which won the 2010 Research Team Award in the College of Engineering at Purdue University. He is the author of 75 peer-reviewed publications and 10 patents. He received his B.S. in chemical engineering in 1981 from Mississippi State University, and both his M.S. (1987) and Ph.D. (1992) degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Tennessee while working full-time at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Harris's research is in the areas of nanomaterials, colloids and interfacial phenomena, transport phenomena, particle science and technology, and electrodispersion precipitation processes. He has collaborated on multidisciplinary and multi-institution efforts requiring a range of powerful direct probing methodologies including dynamic light scattering, x-ray scattering, high resolution electron microscopy, and NMR spectroscopy. He is recognized as an outstanding researcher, teacher, and citizen. He also excels at mentoring undergraduates, many (more than 100) of whom have benefited by conducting research in his laboratory. Harris brings a broad perspective in many areas important to Purdue’s College of Engineering's strategic plan, especially through his commitment to diversity and the creation of a climate which results in a the improved education and better community for students.

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Arvind Varma Purdue University, West Lafayette

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A pilot process safety management course (CHE 49700 – Process Safety Management) wasdeveloped in collaboration with industrial consultants and taught in 2011 and 2012 Springsemesters as a 3-credit hour elective in the School of Chemical Engineering. Beyond SP2011,the pilot course will be enhanced and expanded so that applicability will extend beyond chemicalengineering to other engineering disciplines. It is envisioned that students in chemical, civil,electrical, industrial, materials, mechanical and nuclear engineering will benefit from the course.The instructors for the course are working with the faculty in the School of ChemicalEngineering to develop a “Dynamic or Living” Process Safety Library. The electronic library isbeing populated with safety lecture material, homework and exam problems and multi-mediaresources that can be incorporated in core chemical engineering courses such asthermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, reaction engineering and design.Additionally, the process safety efforts in the College of Engineering are utilizing the existingresources and materials that are provided by the professional societies of the various engineeringdisciplines. The chemical engineering safety library will be accessible to the College ofEngineering (COE) and beyond S2012, with input and support from other disciplines, isenvisioned to become a college-wide resource. This presentation will focus on the philosophybehind the development of the course; the essential elements of the course, the benefit of thecollaboration between guest lecturers from the process industries, oil and gas, academia, NGOsand government regulatory authorities in the development of the course; and the results from theassessment of student learning outcomes.

Davis, L. S., & Grubbe, D. L., & Cutshall, R. L., & Swanson, S. J., & Harris, M. T., & Varma, A. (2012, June), Process Safety Management Course Development Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21827

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