Process Safety in Engineering and Industry Course

Pre-Conference Workshop

From the Center for Chemical Process Safety

Date: Sunday, October 31, 2021
Time: 8:00 a.m.
Location: Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown Hotel

This course offers the one-day overview of risk-based process safety from the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS). Participants will learn how process safety applies to all areas of engineering. The registration fee for this course is $199.

Program Agenda

Time Topic
8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Anatomy of an Incident
8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Identifying Hazards and Determining Risk
9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Risk-based Process Safety and Risk Decisions
9:45 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. BREAK
10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. What Keeps You Up at Night / What's Wrong with This Picture: Workshop/Discussion
10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
11:15 a.m. - Noon Mining Dam Failure – Brumadinho, Brazil: Case Study and Workshop
Noon - 12:45 p.m. LUNCH
12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Fukushima Nuclear Plant, Ōkuma, Japan and Hurricane Harvey: Case Study and Workshop
1:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Piper Alpha: Case Study and Workshop
3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. BREAK
3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. West, Texas and Port Warehouse Beirut, Lebanon: Case Study and Workshop
4:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Artificial Intelligence Applications

Course Details

A simple definition of process safety is the sustained absence of incidents. As engineers, we have a responsibility, and often a legal obligation, to ensure that we are designing, building and operating a structure, facility or operation in a safe and sustainable manner for the life cycle of that entity. Examples of these entities are a roadway, bridge, electrical conduit, piping system, transportation system, medical or diagnostic device, a manufacturing operation, a space shuttle, and a nuclear plant. The responsibility for safety goes beyond occupational or personal safety (slips, trips and falls) and focuses on the process safety of the entity during the evaluation, design, construction, operation, maintenance or dismantling.

Key points to ensure safety and sustainability are: understanding the risks associated with the entity for which we are responsible; knowledge and implementation expertise to manage those risks; controls and systems to prevent failures from occurring; and, controls and systems to mitigate failures if they do occur. Causes of failures can come from: technology; human performance (or lack of); management system failures; external circumstances or impacts; and, natural phenomena such as hurricanes, earthquakes and flooding.

This one-day course will include a review and discussion of the anatomy of an incident, examples, workshops and videos which will help the participants to understand how process safety applies to all areas of engineering.

Course Instructors

Louisa A. Nara, CCPSC
Global Technical Director, Chemical Process Safety Center (CCPS®)

As a global leader in process safety, Louisa A. Nara brings over 40 years of expertise in process engineering, process safety, crisis management, and emergency response. She joined AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) in 2010 as the technical director and in 2017, assumed her current role as global technical director. Nara began her work at the site level in operations and process engineering and continued, successively, in regional and global technical leadership roles. She gained hands-on experience preventing, investigating, and responding to significant incidents through on-site leadership roles, corporate oversight positions and consulting. Before joining CCPS, Nara was director, Risk Management and Compliance, for Bayer MaterialSciences NAFTA (now Covestro).

Nara is responsible for providing subject matter expertise relating to CCPS technical content and tools, including intellectual property, copyright and branding issues. She represents CCPS and AIChE globally with members, government and trade associations as part of CCPS’ Responsible Collaboration and outreach. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and meetings around the world sharing lessons learned.

Nara has a BSChE from West Virginia University (1981), a MS in Environmental Engineering at Villanova University (1989) and is presently pursuing a Ph.D. at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Safety Sciences (2021-). Nara is a Certified Process Safety Professional (CCPSC) and a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP). She was elected to the West Virginia University Chemical Engineering Academy (2011) for her outstanding professional accomplishments. To learn more about Louisa, go to

Venkat Venkatasubramanian
Samuel Ruben-Peter G. Viele Professor of Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering, professor of computer science (affiliate), and professor of industrial engineering and operations research (affiliate) at Columbia University

Venkat Venkatasubramanian is the Samuel Ruben-Peter G. Viele Professor of Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering, professor of computer science (affiliate), and professor of industrial engineering and operations research (affiliate) at Columbia University. He earned his doctoral degree in chemical engineering at Cornell University, master’s degree in physics at Vanderbilt, and bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Madras, India. He taught at Purdue University for 23 years, before returning to Columbia in 2011. Venkatasubramanian is a complex dynamical systems theorist interested in developing mathematical models of their structure, function, and behavior from fundamental conceptual principles. Venkatasubramanian's research interests are diverse, ranging from AI to systems engineering to theoretical physics to economics, but they are generally focused on the theme of understanding complexity and emergent behavior in different domains. His contributions have been in fault diagnosis, process safety, materials analytics, pharmaceutical engineering, and complex adaptive systems. He is a past president of the CACHE Corporation. He currently serves as an editor for Computers and Chemical Engineering. His book, How Much Inequality is Fair? Mathematical Principles of a Moral, Optimal, and Stable Capitalist Society, was published in 2017.