MIDLAND — A new emphasis on chemical and process safety
by The Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE:DOW) will now be part of
the curriculum for undergraduate chemical engineering
students in the United States, thanks to collaboration with the
American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Dow and AIChE have developed a program to better prepare
chemical engineering graduates for the workforce. The global
Undergraduate Process Safety Learning Initiative will
concentrate on upgrading curriculum materials, increasing
faculty competence in process safety, and conducting
process safety “boot camps” for undergraduates at
June Wispelwey, executive director of the AIChE, said the
initiative will be run by AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process
Peter Holicki, Dow senior vice president of manufacturing and
engineering and environment, health and safety operations,
said the company sees a clear link between the new safety
initiative and its own business and sustainability goals.
“Safety is core to everything we do at Dow, and we consider it
a priority and a responsibility to educate new generations of
chemical engineers on the role of safety in their everyday
work environment,” Holicki said. “This new partnership with
AIChE allows us to share our values about the vital
importance of safe operation, and do so in a long-term,
Wispelwey also thanked Dow for its long-standing support for
AIChE, from Willard H. Dow’s service as an AIChE director in
the 1930s to Dow’s decision to share its ground-breaking Fire
and Explosion and Chemical Exposure indices through AIChE
with chemical engineers everywhere. Today, Dow is
represented in AIChE’s current leadership, including the
organization’s president, Cheryl I. Teich, a reaction
engineering expert based at Dow’s Collegeville, Pa. plant.
Wispelwey noted that despite significant progress companies
and engineers have made in process safety, corporate
leaders and engineers say they need young engineers who
are better trained in process safety when they enter the
Additionally, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and
Technology recently enacted standards that require process
safety to be a part of the chemical engineering curriculum.
Universities, however, have not yet found a way to develop a
standardized curriculum to fulfill the new requirement.
“That needed training is why CCPS and AIChE created this
initiative and made it part of our ‘Doing a World of Good’
fundraising campaign,” Wispelwey said.