In November of 2008 the American Institute of Chemical Engineers convened in Philadelphia to celebrate their 100th anniversary. During that celebration a special session was offered entitled “A Century of Process Safety.” The session was co-chaired by Dan Crowl of Michigan Tech University and Bruce Vaughen of Cabot Corporation. The session was sponsored by the AIChE Education Division, the AIChE Center for Chemical Process Safety, and the AIChE Safety and Health Division.

This session brought together noted AIChE process safety professionals to review the history of process safety at AIChE and to highlight the technical and educational accomplishments achieved. This included a history of (a) safety in industry, (b) the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, (c) the Safety and Health Division, (d) the Center for Chemical Process Safety, and (e) the Safety and Chemical Engineering Education (SACHE) Program. Two chemical companies, Dupont and Air Products, presented historical perspectives on their safety programs and provided perspectives on recent industrial progress.

This article provides an introduction to this unique series of papers and also presents additional historical detail. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2009