Statement from CSB Interim Executive Dr. Kristen Kulinowski on the Recent Passing of Dr. M. Sam Mannan


All of us at the CSB are saddened by the recent death of Dr. M. Sam Mannan, Regents Professor of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, and the founding director of the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center.  On behalf of the entire agency, I offer our deepest condolences to his family and our colleagues at the center. 

Dr. Mannan presided over this large enterprise for two decades with intelligence, good humor, and a steadfast commitment to protecting workers, the public, and businesses from costly disasters.  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. The Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center was established to honor the memory of Mary Kay O’Connor who died in 1989 in a petrochemical explosion in Pasadena, Texas. Throughout his leadership, Dr. Mannan was committed to improving chemical safety because of people like Ms. O’Connor and the countless others that have died or been injured by preventable process safety incidents.  We shared a common belief that safety was everyone’s responsibility.  He saw the Center as way to bring collaboration and innovation to making the petrochemical industry safer for all – for employees, for communities, for the nation. 

More than a decade ago, under Dr. Mannan’s leadership, industry managers who participated in the Center committed to an ambitious future goal of “zero incidents.”  While that goal remains elusive, on the day we finally reach it, Dr. M. Sam Mannan and the generations of students he educated and inspired will deserve a great share of the credit.  Let us honor his memory by renewing our commitment to that goal. 

End statement 

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