Dow Chemical Develops Upgraded Engineering Curriculum

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Midland-based Dow Chemical Co. today announced a partnership with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers to better prepare undergraduate chemical engineering students for the workforce through upgraded curriculum materials and safety trainings.

“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,” says Peter Holicki, senior vice president of manufacturing and engineering for Dow’s health and safety operations division. “This new partnership with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers allows us to share our values about the vital importance of safe operation, and do so in a long-term, sustainable way.”

Holicki says the global undergraduate process safety learning initiative will focus on increasing both undergraduate and faculty competence in process safety, or skills focused on preventing accidents such as explosions, fires, and toxic releases.

He says despite the progress companies and engineers have made in process safety, business leaders and engineers say they need young engineers who are better trained in process safety when they enter the workforce. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology has also enacted standards that require process safety to be a part of the chemical engineering curriculum. Holicki says universities have not yet found a way to develop a standardized curriculum to fulfill the new requirement. 

“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,” says June Wispelwey, executive director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, an association of more than 50,000 chemical engineers in 100 countries. 

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