Contemporary Approaches to Safety in High Performing Companies and National Labs
Professors Chip Blankenship & Tao Sun
Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
Date: 2 November 2020 (Monday)
Time: 4pm Eastern Time
Abstract:Tao Sun and Chip Blankenship are co-chairing the MSE Safety Committee. They will each share their experience with transformational approaches to workplace safety.
One of the most successful workplace safety programs is known as Human Performance, with the underlying principal that humans are prone to error. Boiled down to its simplest description, Human Performance requires us to understand the daily risks inherent in the work, identify how to mitigate these risks, reduce variation in operations, and most importantly, engage the people doing the work to achieve the best outcomes for the people and the organization. Examples of Human Performance implementation at two companies will be discussed.
Government labs are places where some of the nation’s most sophisticated and risky research are carried out. These research projects often involve ionizing and non-ionizing radiation exposure (e.g. nuclear, x-ray, laser), chemical hazards, high voltage and current, high magnetic fields, mechanical actuators, and pressurized gas and water systems. Exposure to these hazards is minimized by a combination of engineered controls, administrative systems, routine training, and safety culture. In Argonne National Laboratory, the Integrated Safety Management System (ISM) is the foundation of the lab’s continuous effort to provide a safe and productive environment for employees, users, other site personnel, visitors, and the public. In this seminar, topics will be discussed on how this approach integrates safety into all aspects of the work process that enables the lab to perform cutting edge research, while protecting the irreplaceable intellectual capital.
Charles (Chip) Blankenship is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Virginia. Most recently, Blankenship was the Chief Executive Officer of Arconic, Inc., a $13B Engineered Materials company focused on Aluminum, Titanium and Ni-Base Superalloy materials and products. Prior to that role, he spent 25 years at the General Electric Company, concluding his tenure there as CEO of GE Appliances. While CEO of GE Appliances, Blankenship led a reshoring of manufacturing coupled with rebuilding of technical capability and finally concluded a strategic sale of this business for $5.4B in 2016. Blankenship began his career with GE in 1992 after earning a B.S. degree in Materials Engineering from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Virginia. His first position was that of staff scientist at GE’s Corporate Research and Development facility in Schenectady, New York. His technical work resulted in 23 papers published in refereed journals and eight U.S. and European patents. As a program manager, he led a team of scientists and engineers developing alloys and processes for aircraft engine, land-based gas turbine, lighting systems, medical systems and diesel engine applications. Blankenship joined GE Aviation’s Commercial Engines Operation in 1996 as the leader of the CF6 Airline Support Engineering team. He was then appointed manager of Embraer CF34 programs, and subsequently was named General Manager of GE Aviation’s Small Commercial Engine Operation. In 2005 he was named general manager for Aero Energy, a division of GE Energy in Houston, Texas, that supplies aeroderivative gas turbines and packaged generator sets for industrial and marine applications. He returned to GE Aviation in 2008 as VP and General Manager of the Commercial Engines Operation, a $5 billion business and the world’s leading producer of large and small jet engines for commercial aircraft. Blankenship is a licensed pilot, a licensed professional engineer and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is married and has 4 sons.
Tao Sun is an associate professor in Department of Materials Science and Engineering of UVA. He got his bachelor and master degrees in MSE from Tsinghua University, and PhD degree in MSE from Northwestern University. Before joining UVA in 2019, Dr. Sun worked at the X-ray Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory as a staff scientist for seven years. His team studies additive manufacturing processes and materials using synchrotron x-ray and other in situ/ex situ characterization tools.