O'Connor safety center director Mannan dies

Sep 19, 2018

Dr. M. Sam Mannan, executive director of the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center (MKOPSC), died on Sept. 11.

In a statement, the center reported that, "Mannan’s work at MKOPSC 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, MKOPSC was a driving force in industry’s adoption of more rigorous safety standards."

Mannan was regents professor and holder of the T. Michael O'Connor Chair I in the Artie McFerrin Dept. 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. Earlier this year, Mannan was also appointed to serve on the Department of Energy's Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee.

"Dr. Mannan presided over the MKOPSC for two decades with intelligence, good humor and a steadfast commitment to protecting workers, the public and businesses from costly disasters," says Dr. Kristen Kulinowski, interim executive of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. "Dr. Mannan dedicated countless hours to understanding the causes of accidents, assembling vast troves of accident data and bringing together all the best minds in industry to unravel their significance."

Mannan was a prolific author and researcher. He co-authored Guidelines for Safe Process Operations and Maintenance published by the Center for Chemical Process Safety, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). He was editor of the 3rd and 4th edition of the three-volume authoritative reference for process safety and loss prevention, Lees’ Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, and co-authored a book, Multiscale Modeling for Process Safety Applications. He also published more than 300 peer-reviewed journal publications, more than 220 proceedings papers, and more than 270 technical meeting presentations.

Mannan is survived by his wife, Afroza Mannan, and their two daughters, Joya and Rumki.