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"Safety First" not just a motto for Ozkan lab

Process safety and the safe handling of materials in the laboratory are an important but sometimes overlooked aspect of a chemical engineer's early and continuing education. Unlike other research areas, learning by trial and error is not an option when mistakes could have dangerous or even catastrophic outcomes.

Members of the Ozkan Group, 2016-2017Members of the Ozkan Group, 2016-2017Each year, The Ohio State University's Office of Environmental Health and Safety conducts site visits to all laboratories that work with chemicals or biological materials to assess each lab's facilities, protocols, and the training of personnel. Principal Investigators and their staff who pass a site inspection with no noted items of concern are included in the Laboratory Safety Dean's List and are presented with a certificate of achievement.

This year, Professor Umit Ozkan's laboratory - the Heterogeneous Catalysis Research Group - was selected for inclusion in the Laboratory Safety Dean's List -- but this wasn't the first time. The group also received the honor in 2016 and 2017 as well, marking three consecutive years of recognition.

In addition, in early 2017, the University Laboratory Safety Committee (ULSC), a joint effort of the Office of Research and the Office of Environmental Health & Safety, announced two new laboratory Excellence in Safety Awards for annual presentation. 

One award recognizes an individual faculty or staff member, and the other recognizes a laboratory research group who has made a considerable contribution to improving laboratory safety on the Ohio State campus.

ULSC Excellence in Safety Award, Ozkan Group 2017ULSC Excellence in Safety Award, Ozkan Group 2017

In the program's inaugural year, Professor Umit Ozkan's group was selected as the first group recipient of the ULSC Excellence in Safety Award. Dr. Ozkan and her students have led the effort to create a culture of safety, both within their laboratory and the chemical engineering department at large. The group received a commemorative plaque and $500 to be used for safety-related purchases.

Congratulations, Ozkan Group, and thank you for making The Ohio State University a safe place to work and learn!



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