Willey Delivers Keynote Address at the 11th International Symposium on Safety Science and Technology
Ron Willey, Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering, delivered the lead keynote presentation at the 11th International Symposium on Safety Science and Technology in Shanghai, China. Professor Willey presented results in paper entitled “Instruction of Hazard Analysis Methods for Chemical Process Safety at the University Level”. Co-authors of this paper included Northeastern University Drs. Tracy Carter (Part Time Instructor Chemical Engineering), Dr. Bo Zhang (Visiting Professor, Chemical Engineering), and John Price (EHS director).
Professor Willey’s message focused on the importance of having industrial or “client” mentors working with the students as they perform their hazard analysis. Considerable discussion and questions followed from the international audience. The most challenging question that came about during the discussions was the question: do all incidents trace back to human error? Professor Willey replied that this seemed to be similar to a Ph.D. oral defense; there is always a probability of an incident that is beyond human error. Another topic discussed was how to implement this approach when class size is beyond the average size of 20 or 30 students. Professor Willey suggested that alumni could be a consulted as mentors. Mentors can help students in a vast amount of ways and can be great resources for classroom help.