MRO Magazine

Dow Makes Leadership Gift to Launch Major Process Safety Education Initiative

October 29, 2015
By Business Wire News


An unwavering emphasis on chemical and process safety by The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) will now be part of the curriculum for undergraduate chemical engineering students in the U.S., thanks to collaboration with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

Dow and AIChE announced today 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 universities.

In announcing the gift, June Wispelwey, executive director of the AIChE thanked Dow for its generosity and foresight in boosting the initiative, which will be run by AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS). “This is just the latest—and largest—example of Dow’s commitment to advancing the safety of the chemical enterprise and the expertise of chemical engineers,” she said.

Peter Holicki, senior vice president of Manufacturing & Engineering and Environment, Health & 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,” said Holicki. “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, sustainable way,” he added.

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., facility.

In explaining the origins of the program, Wispelwey said, despite the 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 workforce. 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 concluded.

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from the intersection of chemical, physical and biological sciences to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, clean energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s integrated, marketdriven, industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 180 countries and in high-growth sectors such as packaging, electronics, water, coatings and agriculture. In 2014, Dow had annual sales of more than $58 billion and employed approximately 53,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 6,000 product families are manufactured at 201 sites in 35 countries across the globe. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at

About AIChE:

AIChE is a professional society of more than 50,000 chemical engineers in 100 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontiers of chemical engineering research in such areas as energy, sustainability, biological and environmental engineering, nanotechnology and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at

About CCPS:

CCPS is a not-for-profit corporate membership organization within AIChE that identifies and addresses process safety needs in the chemical, pharmaceutical and petroleum industries. CCPS brings together manufacturers, government agencies, consultants, academics and insurers to lead the way in improving process safety. Members, working in project subcommittees, define and develop useful, time-tested guidelines that have practical applications that run the gamut from human factors to qualitative and quantitative risk analysis to security vulnerability to inherently safety design. With more than 100 publications, CCPS is at the forefront of efforts to improve process safety performance. More information about CCPS is available at

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