Carnegie Mellon University

Gary Powers wins 2005 AIChE Walton-Miller Award

The Safety and Health Division of AIChE presents the Norton H. Walton / Russell L. Miller award in recognition of outstanding chemical engineering contributions and achievements in the areas of Loss Prevention, Safety, and Health. Dr. Gary J. Powers is this year's recipient of this prestigious award. Dr. Powers is especially known for his pioneering research in process risk assessment and process synthesis. His contributions to safety analysis include new methods for rapidly and efficiently generating detailed fault trees for quantitative risk assessment. He has developed and tested strategies to assess process hazards and diagnose faults using real-time data, using fault trees and digraph models to develop causal and probabilistic relationships between sensed variables and process hazards. Dr. Powers is considered an outstanding educator and has supervised more than forty Masters and Doctoral Theses. He is the author of numerous papers and books on process synthesis and risk assessment.

Dr. Powers received his Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and his Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. His career includes industrial positions with Ethyl Corporation and Dow Chemical Company. His academic career includes positions in the Chemical Engineering Departments of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Powers has developed new theories and models for synthesis and evaluation of high integrity operating procedures. More recently, he has also worked on the synthesis of operating procedures for continuous and batch processing facilities and has created software with his Ph.D. students to test such models and assist designers in generating high-integrity procedures and flowsheets. In addition, for chemical process risk and reliability assessment, Dr. Powers has been developing a theory for the verification of real-time control systems developed by combining chemical engineering process models with software engineering techniques. In particular, he has developed efficient symbolic verification tests for stages in the control system that range from the initial specification of the user's requirements to final control code and hardware. The theory has been tested on discrete event controllers. His work on the formal verification of control systems and operating procedures has also extended his contributions in process safety to systems that involve human operations as well as computer control.

The Safety and Health Division and the entire engineering community recognizes and appreciates Dr. Powers' contributions to chemical process safety and his dedication to our profession.