Committee Membership Information

Study Title:

Inherently Safer Chemical Processes: The Use of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer Crop Science

Study Director:


Dr. Elsa Reichmanis - (Chair)
Georgia Institute of Technology

Elsa Reichmanis (NAE) is Professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is noted for the discovery, development, and engineering leadership of new families of lithographic materials and processes that enable VLSI manufacturing. Her research interests include the design and development of polymeric materials for electronic applications. Other interests include the chemistry and properties of radiation sensitive polymeric materials and the plasma chemistry of organic and organometallic systems. She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1995.


Dr. Jeffrey J. Siirola
Eastman Chemical Company

Dr. Jeffrey J. Siirola (NAE) is currently a Technology Fellow in the Eastman Research Division of Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport Tennessee. His areas of interest include chemical process synthesis, computer-aided conceptual process engineering, engineering design theory and methodology, chemical process development and technology assessment, resource conservation and recovery, sustainable development and growth, artificial intelligence, non-numeric computer programming, and chemical engineering education. Dr. Siirola is an international program evaluator and past engineering accreditation commissioner for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. He is also a trustee and past president of CACHE (Computer Aids for Chemical Engineering Education), and a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, and the American Society for Engineering Education. He has served on numerous National Science Foundation and National Research Council panels, and on the advisory boards of several journals and chemical engineering departments. Dr. Siirola is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and was the 2005 President of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He received a B.S. in chemical engineering from University of Utah in 1967 and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1970.


Mr. Dennis C. Hendershot
Chilworth Technology

Mr. Dennis C. Hendershot has been a staff consultant for the Center for Chemical Process Safety since 2005, and serves as editor of the monthly CCPS Process Safety Beacon. Mr. Hendershot spent 35 years working for Rohm and Haas Company, in process research and development for a variety of agricultural, chemical, acrylic monomer, and polymer processes. Since the late 1970s he worked in development and implementation of process safety management programs, including HAZOP, fault tree analysis, quantitative risk analysis, incident investigation, and process risk management systems. From 2005 through 2008, Mr. Hendershot worked with Chilworth Technology as a principal process safety specialist. Mr. Hendershot is a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), a Fellow of the Center for Chemical Process Safety, and a member of the American Chemical Society. Mr. Hendershot was Chair of the Safety and Health Division of AIChE, and a member of the AIChE Board of Directors. He has chaired a number of subcommittees of the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), including inherently safer design, risk assessment, hazard evaluation procedures, reactive chemistry, risk tolerance criteria, and undergraduate education. Mr. Hendershot has received the AIChE Doyle Award for the best paper presented at the annual Loss Prevention Symposium twice (1989 and 2002), and received AIChE???s Walton-Miller Award for contributions to process safety in 2006. In 2000, the Mary Kay O???Connor Process Safety Center at Texas A&M University presented Mr. Hendershot with its Merit Award for contributions to Process Safety.


Dr. John H. Sorenson
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Dr. John H. Sorenson is a distinguished researcher in the Environmental Science Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Sorenson???s research is in the assessment of the manner in which societies plan for and respond to risk from natural and human-induced hazards, with an emphasis on the social consequences and associated implications for public policy and emergency planning; social and behavioral science issues in environmental and resource management; and in policy issues concerning development and management of energy resources with a special emphasis on environmental and social impacts. Among other things, he has published numerous books, journal articles, papers, and videos. He has also participated in numerous professional activities and received many awards, most recently, the 2008 Aurora Gold Film Awards for Animals in Emergencies and Operations Level Training. He received his bachelor???s degree from Clark University, and masters and doctorate from the University of Colorado in geography.


Mrs. Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She conducts interdisciplinary research on the quantification of risks due to environmental contamination and on the quantitative comparison policy options for controlling environmental risks. As an example, she is the principal investigator for a study to assess public health risks due to environmental contamination in the United Arab Emirates and to develop a national strategy to reduce those risks. Dr. MacDonald Gibson earned a dual Ph.D. degree from the Department of Engineering and Public Policy and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 2007. Prior to returning to school in 2003 to study for her Ph.D., she was a senior engineer at The RAND Corp. While at RAND, she served as liaison to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She also previously was associate director of the Water Science and Technology Board, a unit of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. In these previous positions, she led a range of studies including assessment of options for improving potable water service to small U.S. communities, evaluation of regulatory requirements for the remediation of contaminated groundwater, assessment of research priorities for new environmental remediation technologies, evaluation of research on alternative methods for detecting and cleaning up landmines, and evaluation of risk assessment methods for sites contaminated with unexploded military ordnance. She has given briefings on these and other topics to a variety of federal officials, members of Congress and their staffs, and institutional advisory boards. Dr. MacDonald Gibson earned an M.S. degree from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. in mathematics from Bryn Mawr College.


Dr. Michael L. Elliott
Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. Michael L. P. Elliott has worked in community engagement, environmental dispute management, risk perception and management, and environmental planning and policy for 25 years. His particular expertise lies in the design and evaluation of environmental dispute resolution and public participation processes, and in the mediation of public policy disputes, especially as they relate to toxics and their management. His positions at Georgia Tech include Associate Director, Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (2010 ??? present), and Associate Professor with joint appointments to the Schools of City and Regional Planning and Public Policy (1984 ??? present). In these capacities, Michael works both as a public policy mediator and in the design and evaluation of environmental dispute management systems. He has worked regionally on issues ranging from specific conflicts over solid and hazardous waste and the siting and managing of locally unwanted facilities to the design of policies for managing environmental risk, natural resources and the quality of growth. Nationally, he has worked with agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park Service, the Army Environmental Policy Institute, the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality and the President???s Conference on Cooperative Conservation. Internationally, he has provided consultations and training for resolving environmental and land disputes in Estonia, Israel and Palestine, Nicaragua, Kazakhstan, and Germany. Dr. Elliott received his BS and PhD from MIT and his MCP from the University of California, Berkeley.


Dr. Peter Beak
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Peter Beak (NAS) holds the James R. Eiszner Distinguished Chair in Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Beak's research interests are in synthetic, structural and mechanistic organic chemistry, new reaction processes, synthetic methodology, and reactive intermediates, and his work has clarified the effect of molecular environment on structure-stability relationships, provided new reactions that are widely used for chemical synthesis, and identified novel reactive intermediates. His current research involves the determination of reaction trajectories in atom-transfer reactions and asymmetric synthesis. Dr. Beak has held editorships, lectureships, and leadership positions in professional organizations. He has received a number of awards, lectured around the world, and served as research advisor for more than 100 graduate and postdoctoral students. Dr. Beak served on the NRC committee that authored the 1995 edition of Prudent Practices in the Laboratory. Dr. Beak is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (elected 2003) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1957 and his Ph.D. from Iowa State University in 1961 and then joined the faculty at Illinois.


Dr. Andrea Kidd-Taylor
Morgan State University

Dr. Andrea Kidd-Taylor is an assistant professor at the Morgan State University (MSU) School of Community Health and Policy (SCHP) in Baltimore, Maryland. She has more than 20 years experience in occupational and environmental health and safety. Before joining the MSU faculty, Dr. Kidd-Taylor served a five year term on the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), a board established under the Clean Air Act Amendment of 1990 to investigate chemical accidents at fixed facilities, an appointment that she received from President Clinton with confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Prior to the CSB, she worked as an industrial hygienist and occupational health policy consultant for the United Auto Workers in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Kidd-Taylor serves as a member of the Beyond Pesticides/National Coalition against the Misuse of Pesticides Advisory Board; and she has formerly served as a member of the U.S. Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, and as a health representative on the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH). She has authored many publications, including articles that highlight minority workers, chemical safety, and disease and injury prevention. Dr. Kidd-Taylor was recently selected by the MSU-SCHP students to receive the Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching and advising. Her research interests are occupational and environmental health and safety interventions and policies, indoor air quality in public schools, minority workers, and the prevention of environmental exposure to pests and pesticides.


Dr. Paul Amyotte
Dalhousie University

Dr. Paul Amyotte is a Professor of Chemical Engineering in the Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science, and the C.D. Howe Chair in Engineering, at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. He holds a Bachelor???s degree from the Royal Military College of Canada, a Master???s from Queen???s University, and a PhD from the Technical University of Nova Scotia, all in chemical engineering. He is a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada, the Engineering Institute of Canada, and Engineers Canada. He is a Past-President of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering and of the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia, and is a Past-Chair of the Canadian Engineering Qualifications Board. He is the Editor of the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, and has recently served as Chair of the Safety and Security strategic projects panel of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Dr. Amyotte???s teaching, research and practice interests are in the areas of process safety, inherently safer design and dust explosion risk reduction. He has consulted to industry, government and academia in these and related areas, and has published or presented approximately 180 papers in the field of industrial safety. Recent research accomplishments and professional engagements include the delivery of keynote lectures at the 2010 Mary Kay O???Connor Process Safety Center Annual Symposium and Nanosafe 2010 (International Conference on Safe Production and Use of Nanomaterials), expert testimony at the United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board public hearing on the Kleen Energy natural gas explosion (June 2010), and co-authorship with Professor Trevor Kletz of the second edition of Process Plants: A Handbook for Inherently Safer Design published by the Taylor & Francis Group in 2010.


Dr. Wayne B. Gray
Clark University

Dr. Wayne B. Gray holds the John T. Croteau Chair in Economics at Clark University, where he has taught since 1984, when he received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. Dr Gray is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the director of the Boston Census Research Data Center. He has served as a member of EPA???s Advisory Council for Clean Air Compliance Analysis, the Science Advisory Board for Massachusetts??? Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, and a National Research Council committee examining proposed changes in EPA???s New Source Review program. Dr. Gray's research focuses on the effectiveness and economic impact of government regulation of environmental and workplace hazards, including studies on productivity, investment, and plant location, working with plant-level data for steel mills, oil refineries and pulp and paper mills. He has examined regulation of air and water pollution, and measured the effects of enforcement on compliance status and pollution emissions. He has also written several papers on the effectiveness of OSHA enforcement activity, examining impacts on regulatory compliance, workplace injuries, and exposures to hazardous substances.


Dr. Michael K. Lindell
Texas A&M University-College Station

Dr. Michael K. Lindell has a graduate degree in Social Psychology from the University of Colorado (1975) with a specialty in disaster research and has completed hazardous materials emergency responder training through the Hazardous Materials Specialist level. Dr. Lindell has nearly 40 years of experience in the field of emergency management, during which time he has conducted 47 major research projects, many funded by the National Science Foundation, on the processes by which individuals and organizations respond to natural and technological hazards. In addition, he has had extensive experience in providing technical assistance to government agencies, industry groups, and private corporations in development of emergency plans and procedures. Professor Lindell organized and chaired an American Society of Civil Engineers Specialty Conference on Hazardous Facilities and served twice as Secretary of the Executive Committee for the ASCE Council on Natural Disaster Reduction. He co-chaired the organizing committee for a conference on protective action decision making in nuclear power plant accidents and was a member of the steering committee for a similar conference on protective action decision making in chemical emergencies. He recently participated in the NSF Assessment of Research and Applications on Natural Hazards, serving as a member of the committee on Preparedness and Response, and chairing the committee on Adoption, Implementation, and Evaluation of Hazard Adjustments. He has served on eight consultant panels for the International Atomic Energy Agency in developing planning guidance for response to nuclear and radiological incidents, has made presentations to five National Research Council panels, and served as a member of two National Research Council panels?Disasters Research in Social Sciences and Assessing Vulnerabilities Related to the Nation?s Chemical Infrastructure. Professor Lindell has made nearly 200 presentations before scientific societies and short courses for emergency planners, as well as being an invited participant in workshops on risk communication and emergency management in the United States and internationally. He has written extensively on emergency management and is the author of more than 80 technical reports, 100 journal articles and book chapters, and ten books/monographs. The latter include a book on risk communication in multiethnic communities (Sage, 2004) and a textbook on community emergency planning (Wiley, 2007). Professor Lindell is currently a member of the federal Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction and is completing his term as editor of the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters.