On June 20, 2017, Katie Dritsas, Andrew Kostruba, Kayla Musalem and Kenny Wei – all recent ChemE grads – were awarded first place in the 2017 CSA Academic Challenge. The competition engages students in the world of standards, as well as highlights the benefits, challenges and opportunities of their application in the workplace and in everyday life. Each year, finalists are selected from the submissions received. This year, 15 submissions were entered with three teams selected to present at the CSA Annual Conference in Halifax.
The project presented by the ChemE team was designed to support the roll-out of the CSA Z767 Process Safety Management Standard in hopes of reducing the number of workplace incidents and fatalities in small businesses. Their project demonstrated that a simple, organized, framework provides small business with a starting point to tackle standard compliance. By encouraging companies to analyze their current structure, small businesses can identify points of improvement in their current processes, which may prevent workplace injuries, fatalities and devastating financial losses. By demonstrating explicit compliance and CSA certification, a company can also improve its reputation and attract additional customers. Their project also highlighted how all this can be achieved without additional time, resources or support.
The ChemE team – supported by Professor Graeme Norval, their Academic Advisor – competed at the CSA Annual Conference against teams from the University of Waterloo and Western University. The final standing was determined through the combined scores of the judging panel and voting results from conference participants. Congratulations to the ChemE team on their first place win!