Bryan Murphy Thesis Portfolio

Murphy, Bryan, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Murphy, Bryan, Engineering Undergraduate, University of Virginia

While seemingly not related, the Ohio train derailment and canned cocktail production relate on
the front of chemical engineering safety. Both my research and technical paper explored their
specific subjects while stressing the importance of high safety standards. Chemical engineering
safety is one of the most important aspects of engineering, as it pertains to physical, mechanical,
and chemical safety. Where these two papers differ is in the scale of the outcome of an accident.
The research paper on the Ohio train derailment explored an accident with outcomes that
affected hundreds of thousands of people, while an accident that relates to the technical paper
would only affect a handful of people. Despite their different effect scales, both the derailment
research and cocktail technical project provide useful lenses for chemical engineering safety.
My technical report encompassed the construction of a canned cocktail production plant while
also maintaining safety within the facility. The capstone team analyzed current market shares of
alcoholic beverages and generated a market goal. From this goal, we were able to calculate
parameters and specifications for the entire process, including the safety factors involved. Each
piece of equipment was specified while keeping safety in mind, as if the business was pursued
high safety standards would need to be kept. The chemicals to be used were also analyzed for
their chemical properties and the dangers they could pose to the workers and local community.
Overall, this project produced a profitable and safe business plan to open and operate a canned
cocktail production business.
The STS paper I wrote investigated the morality of the Ohio train derailment, which was affected
by a lack of chemical engineering safety. An important aspect of this is that the accident had
already occurred, and I examined where responsible chemical engineering safety was not
followed. Due to the facts involved in the accident, as well as the behavior of the offending
company after the derailment, I argued that the company was morally liable for the chemical
spill that occurred. Their violation of safe chemical engineering safety standards was explored in
the paper and provides a relevant case that can applied to chemical engineering safety overall.
My simultaneous work on both the research paper and technical project allowed me to greatly
expand my knowledge of chemical engineering safety. The STS research gave me a perspective
on chemical engineering safety when applied to large scale accidents and processes that can
result in large health effects. My technical project allowed me to implement the chemical
engineering safety principles I had learned to an actual project plan. Together, these projects will
allow me to carry this new knowledge forward into my career, so that I may apply it in a way to
better my community and industry.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Chemical Engineering Safety
Issued Date: