skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Anastasio, D."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  2. Every year new safety features and regulations are employed within the process industry to reduce risks associated with operations. Despite these advancements chemical plants remain hazardous places, and the role of the engineer will always involve risk mitigation through real time decision making. Results from a previous study by Kongsvik et al., 2015 indicated that there were three types of decisions in major chemical plants: strategic decisions, operational decisions, and instantaneous decisions. The study showed the importance for improving upon engineers’ operational and instantaneous choices when tasked with quick solutions in the workforce. In this research study, we dive deepermore »to understand how senior chemical engineering students’ prioritize components of decision making such as budget, productivity, relationships, safety, and time, and how this prioritization may change as a result of participation in a digital immersive training environment called Contents Under Pressure. More specifically, we seek to address the following two research questions: (1) How do senior chemical engineering students prioritize safety in comparison to criteria such as budget, personal relationships, plant productivity, and time in a process safety context, and (2) How does senior chemical engineering students’ prioritization of decision making criteria (budget, personal relationships, plant productivity, safety, and time) change after exposure to a virtual process safety decision making environment? As part of this study, 187 senior chemical engineering students from three separate institutions completed a pre- and post-reflection survey around their engagement with Contents Under Pressure and asked them to rank their prioritizations of budget, productivity, relationships, safety, and time. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, and Friedman and Wilcoxon-sign-rank post hoc analyses were completed to determine any statistical differences between the rankings of decision making factors before and after engagement with Contents Under Pressure. Simulating process safety decision making with interactive educational supports may increase students’ understanding of genuine workplace environments and factors that contribute to process safety, without the real world hazards that result from poor decision making. By understanding how students prioritize these factors, chemical engineering curricula can be adapted to focus on the areas of process safety decision making where students need the largest improvement, thereby better preparing them to enter the engineering workforce.« less
  3. Process safety incidents, ranging from the relatively minor to the catastrophic, are a major concern in the chemical engineering profession with impacts including lost time incidents, serious personal injury, fatalities, and negative public perception. These events can also have significant impacts on the environment and local infrastructure. However, many of these incidents could be avoided if better process safety management or risk mitigation was employed. For example, the fire and explosion that occurred at ExxonMobil in Baton Rouge was the result of operators manually opening a gearbox due to lack of familiarity with the equipment. This incident could have beenmore »avoided if better maintenance or training procedures had been in place, if the operators had recognized the old valve had a different design than the new ones, or if the old valves had been switched to a newer valve design. This accident indicates how process safety incidents can occur due to a series of decisions.« less
  4. This paper provides an overview of the general process and types of informal reasoning that undergraduate chemical engineering students use when approaching hypothetical process safety decisions.
  5. Engineering solutions typically involve weighing multiple competing and often conflicting variables in an attempt to come to an optimal solution. Since many engineered systems are used by or impact employees, customers, and the public, the safety and well being of those people must factor heavily into engineers’ decision making processes. Indeed, in the professional codes of numerous engineering societies, the safety, health and welfare of the public is at or near the top of the list in important and fundamental tenets of the profession. Given the importance of process safety in engineering, the American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE), themore »Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), and the engineering accrediting agency (ABET) have provided guidelines specifically for chemical engineering programs that require them to include explicit instruction in process safety and hazard identification. Since 2011, the accreditation criteria for chemical engineering programs has included language that addresses the study of process safety and hazards as a core element of a chemical engineer’s education.« less
  6. Despite process safety and ethical decision making being recognized priorities in many chemical companies, process safety incidents continue to occur with unfortunate regularity. In order to understand why such incidents keep occurring, and to prevent future accidents from happening, it is important to study the decision-making habits of people employed at chemical companies, and to inform students of the difference between the influences of ethics and behavioral ethics in process safety decision making. This study seeks to determine how senior chemical engineering students approach reasoning through process safety scenarios through the use of a mixed methods study. This study foundmore »that four out of the five students who participated in the study demonstrated post-conventional reasoning, and the remaining student showed conventional reasoning based on the quantitative analysis of their responses. Students showed mostly post-conventional reasoning in their responses based on a qualitative analysis; however, through comparison of these results it was found that the moral schema students were classified as was not always truly representative of their moral reasoning.« less