Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center to hold 2019 International Symposium

October 7, 2019
| By: Dr. Joya Mannan

The Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center (MKOPSC) will host its 2019 International Symposium in memory of Dr. Sam Mannan Oct. 22-24. The symposium will take place at the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center, and registration is free for Texas A&M students, faculty and staff with a valid Universal Identification Number.

The conference will be held on the main Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas, and includes expert panels, student poster presentations, an exhibition of industry partners, an early career forum, industry tours, awards ceremony, a scavenger hunt and door prizes. Keynote speakers include Jerry Wascom, vice president of operational excellence—safety, health and environment at the Exxon Mobil Corporation; Dr. Elaine Oran, TEES Eminent Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M; and Dr. Andrew Hopkins, Emeritus Professor for the College of Arts and Social Science at Australian National University.

This symposium serves as the crossroads for process safety where industry, academia, government agencies and other stakeholders come together to discuss critical issues of research in process safety. More than 500 expert researchers and industry representatives from around the world will gather as a part of this two and a half-day symposium to share the latest information on important topics aimed at making the process industry safer.

The MKOPSC was established in 1995 in memory of Mary Kay O’Connor, an operations superintendent killed in an explosion on Oct. 23, 1989, at the Phillips Petroleum Complex in Pasadena, Texas. In 1997, Dr. Sam Mannan, because of his reputation as a world-renowned expert in process safety, was appointed director of the center. He served as director until his passing on Sept. 11, 2018. This year’s symposium theme, Beyond Regulatory Compliance: Making Safety Second Nature, is inspired by a quote from Dr. Mannan that captures his approach to teaching and practicing process safety: “Safety should not be a priority; priorities change. Safety should be a core value, a second nature.”

The MKOPSC mission is to promote safety as second nature in industry around the world with goals to prevent future incidents. In addition, the center develops safer processes, equipment, procedures and management strategies to minimize losses within the processing industry. Other functions of the center include serving all stakeholders, providing a common forum, and developing programs and activities that will forever change the paradigm of process safety.



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