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CSChE-PSM Summer Institute--round two: a report on the 2005 Summer Institute for chemical engineering educators.

The second CSChE-PSM Summer Institute was held in Sarnia, ON, from May 29 to June 1, 2005. Building on a successful first Summer Institute in 2004, this year's event brought together 34 professors and industrial practitioners from Vancouver to St. John's, as well as the U.S. The group was composed of first-time attendees and returning professors (chemical engineering educators), observers, and organizing team members. Made possible by the generous financial support of key industrial and government partners, the Summer Institute was co-developed by the CSChE Process Safety Management Subject Division ( and Minerva Canada (

The Summer Institute program is aimed at expanding the knowledge base in academia concerning the fundamentals of process safety and loss management (PSLM). The basic premise of the Institute is that PSLM can and should be taught in the undergraduate chemical engineering curriculum. Just as topics such as process control, heat transfer, and separation processes form an integral part of a chemical engineer's education, so too should the principles of PSLM.

This year, the Institute was again hosted by NOVA Chemicals Corp. (Moore polyethylene site) and Imperial Oil Limited. The process of developing collegiality and collaboration was given a great head start on the first evening by Daneve McAffer of Freeborn and Associates Consulting, who facilitated a series of teambuilding exercises. Then it was full tilt into three days of a curriculum designed to meet the needs of both first-time attendees (10 professors) and returning professors (14 of the 24 who attended the 2004 Institute). The days were long and full of a variety of activities--lectures, videos, interactive workshops, discussion periods, and site visits (see below). New friendships were formed and acquaintances from last year renewed as attendees found time in the busy technical schedule for socializing during dinners and an environmentally focused evening cruise on the St. Clair River (see above).

The following highlights illustrate the richness and diversity of the 2005 Summer Institute curriculum:

* Site visits of NOVA Chemicals (polyethylene manufacture) and Imperial Oil (product and environmental testing, refinery processes, and polyethylene manufacture). This was a great opportunity for participants to reinforce their understanding of the scale and complexity of industrial process equipment;

* Sessions designed for specific audiences, e.g. the lecture on process safety management for first-time attendees developed and delivered by Graham Creedy, FCIC, of the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association, and the workshop on HAZOP studies for returning professors run by Phillipe Guillard of Dyadem International Ltd;

* A series of module development workshops for returning professors. Under the leadership of Aaron Phoenix, MCIC, of the University of Saskatchewan, returning participants were formed into four teams, each of which was assigned an industrial advisor. Each team was charged with developing a teaching package for integration into the undergraduate chemical engineering curriculum. The module topics had been identified during the 2004 Summer Institute as core elements of a PSLM body of knowledge--Pressure Relief Valves (led by John Shaw of the University of Alberta), HAZOP (led by Frank Collins of the University of New Brunswick), the Dow Fire and Explosion Index (led by Andre Tremblay of the University of Ottawa), and the Dow Chemical ,Exposure Index (led by Jerzy Jurewicz of the Universite de Sherbrooke and Faisal Khan of Memorial University of Newfoundland). Pre-Institute planning, long hours during the Institute, and post-Institute follow-up will ensure that the educational modules are in the hands of educators for use in the fall and winter terms of the upcoming academic year;

* Joint sessions for all Summer Institute attendees. This approach enabled an exchange of ideas and teaching tips among all participants. Particularly noteworthy was the involvement in this year's Institute of Paul Gallina, a business professor at Bishop's University. Gallina was attending as an observer on behalf of Minerva Canada, whose mandate with respect to health and safety management education extends into both engineering and business schools. David Halton and Renzo Dalla Via, Minerva president and treasurer, respectively, also participated in the joint sessions as well as serving on the Institute organizing committee;

* Coverage of a new subject area--reactive chemistry. Brenda Prine of Dow Chemical Canada Inc. was a most welcome addition to the Institute "faculty," as she guided her "students" through the world of reactive chemical hazards;

* An international flavour, with participants from the U.S. joining as both lecturers and observers. Ron Willey of Northeastern University attended and gave an insightful presentation on how he incorporates PSLM topics in his teaching activities. Willey is a leader in the Safety and Chemical Engineering Education (SACHE) organization of the AIChE and also brought that group's perspective to the Summer Institute. Additionally, Mei Li Lin of the U.S. National Safety Council and Mike Cadigan of Noble Corporation brought an exciting new dimension to the Institute with the presentation of the Noble Case Study. Noble Corporation is an offshore drilling company recently awarded the inaugural Robert W. Campbell Award ( by the National Safety Council as a result of the company's commitment to safety as a core business value. Institute participants engaged in a dynamic, interactive learning exercise led by business professor, Brooks Holtom, of Georgetown University.

The success of the 2005 Summer Institute is due to a multitude of people and organizations: industrial and government sponsors, host companies, participating universities, chemical engineering and business professors attending for the first or second time, lecturers and observers from industry and academia, members of the organizing committee, Minerva Canada, and the CSChE Process Safety Management Subject Division. There are also a handful of individuals who must be recognized for their unique and significant contributions to the success of not just this particular Summer Institute, but the entire Institute program:

* Steve Coe, MCIC, of Irving Oil Limited, for his role as SAChE liaison for the Institute and for his commitment to the development and delivery of several curriculum elements, including the educational modules on HAZOP and the Dow indices;

* Manny Marta of NOVA Chemicals Corp. for securing NOVA as one of the two Sarnia host companies and for his tireless efforts in the planning and delivery of just about every aspect of on-site programming, logistics, cost control, and financial tracking;

* Tony Pasteris, MCIC, of Imperial Oil Limited, and chair of the Board of Directors, Minerva Canada, for securing Imperial Oil as the other Sarnia host company and for his vision and implementation of a fruitful partnership between Minerva and the PSM Subject Division;

* Doug McCutcheon, MCIC, of the University of Alberta, for his leadership as chair of the Summer Institute and for accepting the challenge of turning an idea into reality. His dedication to the cause of PSLM education in Canada will serve the organizing committee well as plans begin to unfold for 2006 and beyond.

Paul R. Amyotte, FCIC

professor of" chemical engineering

Dalhousie University

chair of the education team of the CSChE PSM

Subject Division
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Title Annotation:CSChE BULLETIN SCGCh
Author:Amyotte, Paul R.
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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