A champion of process safety and a friend to Chemical Processing has died. Dr. M. Sam Mannan, executive director of the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center (MKOPSC), passed away on Sept. 11, 2018. Mannan’s work at the MKOPSC has influenced the entire chemical engineering industry in the U.S. and worldwide. Process safety, which was once seen as little more than wearing safety goggles or a lab coat, has become one of the most important areas of chemical engineering. Throughout Mannan’s more than 20 years with the center, the MKOPSC has been a driving force in industry’s adoption of more rigorous safety standards.
Mannan, Regents Professor and holder of the T. Michael O'Connor Chair I in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, was a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, fellow of the U.K. Institution of Chemical Engineers and a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers, International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration and National Fire Protection Association.
Mannan served as presenter for Chemical Processing’s Process Safety Series. He noted that the industrial revolution of the 1960s and 1970s led to the use of exotic chemicals, higher operating temperatures and pressures, and increasingly complex processes. These issues manifested themselves into catastrophic incidents with human casualties, loss of property and damage to the ecosystem. It was his mission to raise awareness and always ask the questions “Why do incidents keep happening?” and “What can we do to improve process safety performance?”
Mannan is survived by his wife Afroza Mannan and their two daughters, Joya and Rumki.
To read more about his many accomplishments, please view the release from Texas A&M.