Former Congressman Lee H. Hamilton to speak at annual Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center seminar

October 20, 2011
| By: Aubrey Bloom

Former Congressman Lee H. Hamilton, who served as vice chairman on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission, is scheduled to speak about energy-related issues and the protection of the nation's chemical infrastructure Tuesday, Oct. 25 as part of a three-day symposium aimed at making the process industry a safer place.

The annual symposium "Beyond Regulatory Compliance, Making Safety Second Nature" is scheduled for Oct. 25-27 at the Hilton Conference Center and is attracting authorities on safety from throughout the world.

Sponsored by The Texas A&M University System's Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center, the symposium will feature a wide variety of safety-related lectures and presentations, including issues related to inherent safety and chemical security, risk and hazard assessment, reactive chemicals as well as safety climate and culture. In addition, select companies will be on hand to demonstrate the latest products, technology and software related to process safety.

The Process Safety Center is a center within TEES.

Hamilton, who served for 34 years in Congress representing Indiana's Ninth District, headlines a distinguished list of presenters speaking throughout the three-day span. He is scheduled to deliver the annual Frank P. Lees Memorial Lecture at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

Establishing himself as a leading figure on foreign policy, intelligence and national security, Hamilton has continued to play a significant role in public affairs since leaving public office in 1999.

He is director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University, one of the nation's foremost experts on Congress and representative democracy. He also co-chaired the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel that assessed the situation in Iraq and in 2006 made recommendations on U.S. policy there. In addition, Hamilton served as chair of the Dow Independent Chemical Security Panel. He is co-chairman of the U.S. Department of Energy's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future.

Among his published works are two books on the legislative branch, "How Congress Works and Why You Should Care" and "Strengthening Congress." Hamilton also writes twice-monthly commentaries about Congress and what individuals can do to make representative democracy work better.

A leader in the growing national movement to expand and improve civic education, Hamilton also serves as a co-chairman of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools.

The following day, Edward J. Calabrese, professor of toxicology in the School of Public Health at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is scheduled to present the keynote lecture for Wednesday's session at 8 a.m.

Calabrese's research includes assessment of hormesis, a dose-response concept that is characterized by low-dose stimulation and a high-dose inhibition. He traces the historical foundations of hormesis, its quantitative features and mechanistic foundations, and its risk assessment implications. Hormesis, Calabrese says, provides a framework for the study and assessment of chemical mixtures, incorporating the concept of additivity and synergism. Because the hormetic biphasic dose response represents a general pattern of biological responsiveness, it is expected that it will become progressively more significant within toxicological evaluation and risk assessment practices as well as having numerous biomedical applications.

This symposium, organizers note, serves as the crossroads for process safety where industry, academia, government agencies and other stakeholders meet to discuss critical issues of research in process safety. It is co-sponsored by AVEVA, one of the leading engineering software providers to the plant, power and marine industries for more than 40 years.

For more information about the symposium, including a full schedule, visit http://psc.tamu.edu/ and click on "2011 Symposium," or contact Donna Startz at (979) 845-5981 or via email: donnas@tamu.edu.

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