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Work in Progress: Identifying Current Standards and Addressing the Need for Further Process Safety Education in Unit Operations Courses

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Works-in-Progress Postcard Session

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count

12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31290

Download Count

15

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Paper Authors

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Tracy L. Carter Northeastern University

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Tracy Carter is a PhD candidate in the Chemical Engineering department at Northeastern University and has been the instructor of record in the Unit Operations Laboratory for the past seven years. She earned the M.S. degree in 1998 and the B.S. degree in 1993 from Northeastern University. Her primary interest is in integrating chemical process safety into the chemical engineering curriculum.

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Samira M. Azarin University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

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Samira Azarin is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. She earned her B.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006 and went on to receive a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011.

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Janie Brennan Washington University in St. Louis

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Janie Brennan is a Lecturer of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. She earned her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University in 2015. Her primary focus is on the application of research-based teaching methods in engineering education.

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Elizabeth Hill University of Minnesota Duluth

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Dr. Hill is focused on active learning teaching methods and materials research. After receiving her Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr. Hill spent several years working industrially.

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Amy J. Karlsson University of Maryland - College Park

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Amy J. Karlsson is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Maryland - College Park. She received her BS in chemical engineering from Iowa State University and her PhD in chemical engineering from the University Wisconsin - Madison. At the University of Maryland, she has taught Separations, Unit Operations, and Protein Engineering and enjoys mentoring students of all levels in research focused on protein and peptide design.

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Abstract

In 2011, ABET included safety as part of their accreditation criteria based on the recommendations of the US Chemical Safety Board in response to the 2007 explosion at T2 Laboratories in St. Petersburg, Florida [1]. However, industry is still concerned about the lack of safety education in chemical engineering [2]. Since safety is a broad topic, in 2010 the Safety and Chemical Engineering Education (SAChE) program conducted an industry survey to determine the most pressing needs in chemical process safety content [3]. Some of the recommendations address an understanding of the concepts and the consequences of process safety. Others address identifying, eliminating or mitigating hazards. Another recommendation is to familiarize students with major safety regulations.

ABET requires that all chemical engineering students receive safety education, so, while elective environmental or special topics courses may address safety concepts, the concepts must be taught in the core courses [4]. Capstone courses are a natural fit for safety concepts, as are upper level courses such as Unit Operations (UO) that are often laboratory-based [5]. A core class that has design experience or experiments within it, UO is an optimal place for regulations to be covered. This placement encourages the students to consider the constraints of equipment design and experimental parameters in a hands-on environment.

The scope of the proposed work will be a baseline survey of four different institutions' current implementations of safety (process, lab, or other) within their own UO curriculum and a set of proposed curriculum improvements, along with a plan to assess the effect of such improvements.

[1] U. S. Chemical Safety Board, 2009. “T2 Laboratories, Inc. Runaway Reaction”. [Online]. Available: https://www.csb.gov/t2-laboratories-inc-reactive-chemical-explosion/ [Accessed Apr. 30, 2018]. [2] Y. Luo, P. R. Westmoreland, D. Alkaya, R. V. Alves da Cruz, I. E. Grossmann, W. D. Provine, D. L. Silverstein, R. J. Steininger II, J. B. Talbot, A. Varma, T. McCreight, K. Chin, D. Schuster, 2015. “Academia-Industry Alignment: Expectations about New Graduates, an NSF-Sponsored Study led by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers”. [Online]. Available: https://www.aiche.org/sites/default/files/docs/conferences/2015che_academicindustryalignmentstudy.compressed.pdf [Accessed Oct. 14, 2017]. [3] Safety and Chemical Engineering Education, 2010. “SAChE Recommendations for ABET Safety Content in Chemical Engineering”. [Online]. Available: http://www.sache.org/SACHEGuidelinesForABET.pdf [Accessed Oct. 14, 2017]. [4] S. J. Dee, B. L. Cox, R. A. Ogle, “Process Safety in the Classroom: The Current State of Chemical Engineering Programs at US Universities”, Process Safety Progress, vol. 34, pp. 316-319, 2015. [5] A. J. Pintar, 1999. “Teaching Chemical Process Safety: A Separate Course Versus Integration into Existing Courses”, Presented at 1999 ASEE Annual Conference, Charlotte, NC, June 1999. [Online]. Available: https://peer.asee.org/7963 [Accessed Sept. 14, 2017].

Carter, T. L., & Azarin, S. M., & Brennan, J., & Hill, E., & Karlsson, A. J. (2018, June), Work in Progress: Identifying Current Standards and Addressing the Need for Further Process Safety Education in Unit Operations Courses Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/31290

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