Incorporating process safety into a Colombian chemical engineering curriculum: A perception study

Carlos Ocampo-López, Luis Forero-Gaviria, Piedad Gañán-Rojo, Jorge Martínez-Arboleda, Fabio Castrillón-Hernández

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in an indexed scientific journalpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Process safety is a fundamental part of chemical engineering education and a key learning outcome to prepare generations of responsible and well-rounded engineers for the industry. The lack of courses and methodologies to prepare students with essential process safety training limits their consciousness about accident causes and prevention. It potentially leads to catastrophic and financially devastating events during professional practice. In this work, it was carried out a proposal for teaching process safety embedded within the chemical engineering program at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana. The approach to teaching safety was defined as a disseminated curriculum, which consists of establishing a transversal axis of process safety, which includes different learning experiences distributed in key courses of the current curriculum, beginning from the first semester, and concluding in the capstone project as the major design experience. The teaching staff prepared a list of topics and detailed experiences to develop classroom activities and tasks on process safety. Therefore, the implementation was branded as “The moment of safety” to set a culture within the academic community and future engineers. In this work, two surveys were conducted to assess faculty members' perceptions. According to the survey findings, around 81.8 % of the students indicated a level of expectation between high and very high, and 93.9 % valued the methodology proposed for the program as correct. More than 88 % of faculty members evaluate the proposal as appropriate or very appropriate, and 70 % recommend the formulation of a new ABET student outcome for the program related to process safety. These findings emphasize the significance of continuing to work through curricula to build a long-term process safety culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalEducation for Chemical Engineers
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors


  • ABET
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Embedded Curriculum
  • Embedded learning
  • Learning Experiences
  • Process Safety
  • Transversal axis

Types Minciencias

  • Artículos de investigación con calidad A1 / Q1


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