Morton receives first distance learning master’s degree in safety engineering

February 18, 2015
| By: Tim Schnettler

Ryan Morton

Ryan Morton, a senior technical safety engineer with Anadarko Petroleum, became the first individual to receive the master’s degree in safety engineering through the distance learning program at Texas A&M University.

The degree is administered by Dr. Sam Mannan, director of the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center, a center housed within the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES).

“By pursuing the master’s in safety engineering degree, I’ve gained valuable technical knowledge through academia while being able to practice in the workplace,” said Morton.

The degree is offered via distance learning to professionals employed in industry who cannot enroll and complete their degree by attending on-campus classes. By offering this degree more widely, Texas A&M not only develops and trains the workforce needed to fill the demand for safety professionals over the next 10 years, but it is also ensuring an environment for national and public health security.

Engineers with their Bachelor’s of Science degree working on the master’s degree via distance learning will have the opportunity to integrate course work with real-time industry experience to enhance job performance, leadership skills, and classroom involvement.

“Realizing that my courses were covering the same content and challenges faced at work, I quickly gained confidence and credibility with how I approached problems and generated solutions,” said Morton. “I learned philosophical aspects of engineering safety to be better equipped to influence organizations toward safer, engineered products and operations.

“This type of learning is difficult to find on the job. Another benefit I found was most companies have been interested in supporting this effort financially while working, making the argument to pursue very strong. For anyone who is interested, I suggest starting today and you’ll be done before you realize it.”

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