NEW YORK and KINGSPORT, Tenn., Nov. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- An unwavering emphasis on safety by Eastman (NYSE: EMN) will help transform the curriculum of undergraduate chemical engineering students around the globe, through a collaboration with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and its Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS). Eastman's support of AIChE's Undergraduate Process Safety Learning Initiative reinforces its established partnership with AIChE. The initiative, which is being led by CCPS, seeks to ensure that all chemical engineering graduates possess a working knowledge of process safety principles — an area of instruction currently underdeveloped in most university undergraduate chemical engineering curricula. The Undergraduate Process Safety Learning Initiative is a major global effort and a core priority of the AIChE Foundation's "Doing a World of Good" campaign, which focuses on projects that bring chemical engineering expertise to bear for the good of society. In announcing the news, AIChE Executive Director June Wispelwey thanked Eastman for its generosity and early leadership commitment to the process safety initiative. "Eastman, with its strong, historical commitment to the safe and responsible practice of engineering, is a natural partner in this effort," said Wispelwey, who added, "Eastman's distinguished, global achievements in environmental, health, safety and security performance, along with the company's recognized corporate culture of safety, are evidence of the company's dedication to process safety." Wispelwey also acknowledged Eastman — a large employer of chemical engineers — for its long-standing representation among AIChE's and CCPS' leadership and programming activities, including Eastman's role as a founding corporate member of CCPS. In reflecting on the partnership with AIChE, Mark Cox, senior vice president and chief manufacturing, supply chain and engineering officer for Eastman, said, "At Eastman, safety is a core value. We focus on the safety of our people, processes and products, not because we want to reach certain targets or goals, but because we care about the safety and well-being of our employees and the people that we touch through our products." He added, "We are committed to continual assessment and improvement of our processes, and that involves educating our future workforce. We are pleased to be working with AIChE to advance the Undergraduate Process Safety Learning Initiative, and I look forward to the great outcomes of this collaboration." In explaining the origins of the Undergraduate Process Safety Learning Initiative, AIChE's Wispelwey noted that, despite the progress companies and engineers have made in process safety, corporate leaders and engineers say that they need young engineers who are better trained in process safety when they enter the workforce. Additionally, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology recently enacted standards that require process safety to be a part of the chemical engineering curriculum. Universities, however, have not yet found a way to develop a standardized curriculum to fulfill the new requirement. "That needed training is why CCPS, its industry member companies and AIChE created this initiative and made it part of our 'Doing a World of Good' campaign," Wispelwey concluded.