Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center International Symposium

Beyond Regulatory Compliance, Making Safety Second Nature

In Association with IChemE

October 27-29, 2015

Hilton Conference Center
801 University Drive East
College Station, Texas

Thank You Sponsors! Our Sponsors
Sponsorship Opportunities Available! Sponsorship Options
Exhibit Space Available! View 2015 Exhibitors
Future Symposium Dates
October 25-27, 2016
October 24-26, 2017

This symposium serves as the crossroads for process safety where industry, academia, government agencies and other stakeholders come together to discuss critical issues of research in process safety. Experts from around the world will gather as part of this two and a half-day symposium, to share the latest information on the hottest topics aimed at making the process industry a safer place. The 2015 International Symposium of the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center will be held at the College Station Hilton Conference Center on October 27-29, 2015.


Vanessa Sutherland

Vanessa Allen Sutherland was nominated by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation in March of 2015 and confirmed by the Senate in August of 2015. Prior to her appointment Ms. Sutherland served as the Chief Counsel for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation, whose mission is to protect people and the environment from the risks associated with hazardous materials transportation.
Prior to PHMSA, Ms. Sutherland spent seven years at Fortune 25 Philip Morris/ Altria Client Services in Richmond, Virginia. She managed technology transactions, procurement matters, data security and privacy, competitive intelligence, U.S. Customs issues, state and federal audits, and issues related to re-organization, dissolution and spin-off of international entities. Prior to her role at Altria, Ms. Sutherland spent six years in various legal roles at MCI/WorldCom, including Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for its webhosting and outsourcing subsidiary, eventually helping the subsidiary through legal matters that followed WorldCom’s admission of accounting fraud and irregularities and bankruptcy. During that time, Sutherland was profiled in the Legal Times for being a top, senior, minority, in-house lawyer. She also has worked briefly for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the U.S. Department of Energy – Office of Inspector General and a law firm.
In 2012, she was the Recipient of a U.S. Secretary of Transportation Award at the 45th Annual Secretary’s Awards after only a year in her new position, and two Secretary’s awards in 2014. In 2010, she was the only in-house counsel recipient of thirty-one lawyers honored as “Leaders in the Law – 2010” for advancing the law, serving the community and improving the justice system in Virginia. She has been selected as a Fellow in both the Maryland State Bar (2005) and the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (2011). She has been on the board or advisory committees of legal associations such as the Washington Metropolitan – Association of Corporate Counsel, Corporate Counsel Women of Color, Maryland State Bar, and the Virginia Bar Association.
Her non-legal contributions include having been the Vice Chairman of the Board for Peter Paul Development Center, whose mission is to help kids 7-18 by building a community of learners by engaging and challenging children, families and seniors in Richmond, Virginia’s East End neighborhood. She has been Vice President, President and a regional chair in Jack and Jill of America, Inc. – James River Chapter, Mid-Atlantic Region, has been top fundraiser annually for the March of Dimes–Central Virginia and has been a member of the fundraising arm of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra.
After graduating high school at 16, Sutherland went on to obtain a B.A. from Drew University in New Jersey in Political Science and Art History after studying in London, England, to a J.D. and an M.B.A. from American University and a Certified Information Privacy Professional standing from the IAPP. She speaks French and is proficient in Spanish.


Ian Cameron

Ian Cameron is a professor at the School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland. He is a director and principal consultant at Daesim Technologies, Brisbane as well as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). He completed Chemical Engineering degrees at the University of NSW, and the University of Washington. He spent 10 years with the CSR Group in diverse industry sectors such as sugar, building materials and industrial chemicals, having roles in process and control system design, plant construction and commissioning, production management and environmental protection.
Having obtained his PhD and DIC from Imperial College London in the area of Process Systems Engineering (PSE), he worked full-time for 3 years as a United Nations (UNIDO) process engineering consultant in Argentina and a further 6 years in Turkey on a part-time basis. For the past 25 years at The University of Queensland he has carried out research, consulting and learning innovation, having received numerous awards including the J.A. Brodie Medal of the Institution of Engineers Australia.
He is a joint author of the book “Process Systems Risk Management” (PSE Series, Elsevier) and has applied systems thinking to a range of risk management areas, particularly the application of intelligent, knowledge based approaches to understanding function and failure in socio-technical systems. His recent work is focused on innovation in process hazard identification and the role of human factors in engineered systems. He consults widely to industry and government in areas of quantified risk assessment and land use planning.
Over the years he has held visiting appointments at Imperial College London, University College London, the Technical University of Denmark, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the University of Edinburgh.