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Safety Policies and Procedures for Engineering Design Courses

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Design Tools & Methodology I

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1269.1 - 22.1269.16



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Paper Authors


Junichi Kanai Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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After seven years with the Information Science Research Institute, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he was an Associate Research Professor, Dr. Kanai joined Panasonic Information and Networking Technologies Lab, Princeton, NJ in 1998. He was a senior scientist developing and transferring new technologies to product divisions. From 2002 to 2004, he was a manager at Matsushita Electric Corporation of America (Panasonic) Secaucus, NJ, providing system integration and software development for clients. Dr. Kanai joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, NY, in 2004. He is currently Associate Director of the O.T. Swanson Multidisciplinary Design Laboratory and Clinical Associate Professor of the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering at RPI. His responsibilities include managing the operation of the Design Laboratory and optimizing the experience for students working on engineering design projects.

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Samuel Chiappone Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Samuel G. Chiappone, Jr.
Manager, Fabrication & Prototyping, School of Engineering.

M.S., Management: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 1999.
B.S., Teacher of Technical Education Subjects, State University of NY, Oswego, NY, 1997,
A.A.S., Industrial Tech./Mfg. Option, Hudson Valley Community College, Troy, NY, 1991,
A.O.S., Machining Processes, Hudson Valley Community College, Troy, NY, 1980.

Professional Career:
12/01 – Present, Manager, Fabrication & Prototyping Resources, School of Engineering, Office of Academic Affairs, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY.
12/94 to 12/01, Manager/Instructor Advanced Manufacturing Lab and General Manufacturing.
Processes classes, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY.
8/93-12/94, Senior Manufacturing Program Engineer, New York State Manufacturing.
Extension Partnership, NYS Science & Technology Foundation, Albany, NY.
2/91-8/93, Manufacturing Systems Coordinator, Northeast Manufacturing Technology.
Center/National Institutes of Standards and Technology, Troy, NY.
8/83-2/91, CNC Programmer/Machinist, Research & Development Machine Shop.
Rensselaer, Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY.
7/80-8/83, Journeyman Machinist, Research & Development Machine Shop, Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY.
5/80 – 7/80, Journeyman Machinist, Mechanical Technology Incorporated, Latham, NY.

Teaching Activities:
Undergraduate courses include: Instructor-General Manufacturing Processes, Introduction to Computer Aided Manufacturing, and Course Manager -Advanced Manufacturing Lab I & II. All activities are under the direction of Prof. Linda Schadler, Associate Dean, Academic Student Affairs.

Professional Organizations:
Faculty Advisor, Rensselaer Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)-141, Senior Member, SME CH20, Chairman, SME CH20, March 2001 – January 2003, SME CH20 Executive Committee, 2000 – Present. University representative Haas Technical Education Council.

Awards, Conference Proceedings, Technical Papers, and Presentations:

11/09: Chiappone S., Kanai J., Fahey W., Sommer T, Integrating Safety into Academic Programs At Rensselaer: SEHSA Environmental Health and Safety Association of NY Annual Conference.

10/09: ASME Design and Manufacturing Student Challenge, Atlanta, GA. Advisor for second place team.

8/09: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Pillar Award.

6/05: Chiappone S., Smith R. A Discussion of Manufacturing Classes and Services Offered by Rensselaer’s School of Engineering’s Core Engineering Department in Support of Academic Programs, Looking Forward: Innovations in Manufacturing Engineering Education Conference, Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, poster session and conference proceedings.

4/04: Blum, A, Paedelt V, Rusak, Paster, A, Chiappone, S. Rapid prototyping of wind-tunnel models. SME Technical Paper TP04PUB87. (Second Quarter 2004).

1/00: Chiappone, S. Educating future engineers on rapid prototyping & tooling capabilities. Rapid Prototyping. SME. (First Quarter 2000 Vol 6, NO.1).

4/99: SME/Rapid Prototyping-99, Chicago, IL, proceedings and presentation on Rapid Prototyping in an Educational Laboratory; Educating Future Engineers on Rapid Prototyping.

10/99: SME Region 4 - Manufacturing Education Excellence Award for AML Activities.

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Safety Policies and Procedures for Engineering Design CoursesStudents taking engineering design courses face a variety of safety issues due to the diversenature of design projects undertaken each semester. To assist students in completing projectssafely, a comprehensive safety program is critical to the hands-on engineering educationalexperience. Our safety program, originally developed for the School of Engineering (SOE)fabrication shops, has grown and matured over the past ten years.Developing safety programs in an academic environment has its unique nature and challenges. Itwas clear that traditional safety program models that have relied on elaborate organizationalstructures would not work. Prior to developing written materials or procedures, the SOE safetycommittee invested considerable time and thoughts into conducting a risk analysis of theLaboratory and Fabrication areas that would be used. Faculty and Staff alike were consulted inthis process. The safety educational program developed was collaborative and distributesresponsibility for safety work practices equally among all of the SOE stakeholders. The firstsafety policy was established in 2001.The committee recognized that the academic environment required the program to be flexible.The development of innovative, unique and/or new materials and devices creates situations inwhich safety mechanisms and safety procedures must be designed in tandem. This requires thestudents and faculty advisors to be aware of a broad spectrum of safety considerations, especiallymultidisciplinary design projects. The Safety Committee meets prior to each semester to reviewpresent polices, revising to them as needed, and distributing them to course instructors andteaching assistants.The projects may include chemical, biological, mechanical or electrical aspects which needclarification. In these cases, students are required to research policies, draft standard operatingprocedures, review the information with an instructor, and request approval from the safetycommittee prior to beginning the project or prior to operating/testing a prototype system. Suchsupports are especially important for multidisciplinary design projects because both studentsand faculty advisors may not have all the expertise required to address safety issues sufficiently.The committee tries to make sure that following the afety guidelines does not become ahindrance to students’ project work. Furthermore, this evaluation causes the students to takepersonal responsibility for the safety in their design, safety in fabrication of a system in theshop areas, and in operation and testing of the system.To flexibly deliver the safety information to students, a web-based safety compliance system wasdeveloped. It insures that the material is presented in a consistent and reproducible manor.Moreover, instructors, shop staff, and TAs are now able to confirm that students have passed theonline policy review and test. The on-line grade book is used as a record keeping system. Thesystem is used to manage over 800 students every semester.Our approach focuses on enabling and empowering students to follow-through with their designsby providing the necessary supports. At the same, it assists the students to learn and follow safetypractices in their projects. This paper presents detailed implementation of our safety program.

Kanai, J., & Chiappone, S. (2011, June), Safety Policies and Procedures for Engineering Design Courses Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18475

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