2019 Keynote Speakers
Vice President, Operational Excellence – Safety, Security, Health & Environment, Exxon Mobil Corporation.
BSME LSU 1978.
Mr. D. G. (Jerry) Wascom graduated from LSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering (1978).
He joined Exxon Co., U.S.A. as an employee at the Baton Rouge Refinery in 1979 progressing through various engineering and supervisory positions. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Wascom held staff positions in Exxon Co., U.S.A.’s HQ in Houston. He transferred to the Baytown Refinery (1990) as head of routine maintenance and turnarounds and subsequently was assigned as Technical Manager and then Process Manager there.
In 1996, he transferred to Exxon Corporate HQ in Dallas to serve as a Sr. Environmental and Safety Advisor and then as Corporate Planning Consultant. After serving as Asia Pacific Refining Executive in Singapore, he returned as Beaumont Refinery Manager (2000).
In 2004, he relocated to Fairfax, VA where he served as the Global Logistics and Optimization Manager in the Supply organization. A year later, he became Vice President of the Industrial and Wholesale organization in the Fuels Marketing business.
In 2006, Mr. Wascom moved to Tokyo as President and CEO of ExxonMobil Japanese companies and Refining Director of Asia Pacific with responsibility for managing refining operations in Asia Pacific.
In April 2009, he returned to Fairfax as Director, Refining Americas, ExxonMobil Refining & Supply, overseeing refining operations in North and Central/South America.
In July 2013, he was appointed Director, Refining North America, ExxonMobil Refining & Supply, overseeing 10 refineries in the USA and Canada.
In August 2014, Mr. Wascom was appointed President, Refining and Supply, and in January of 2018, he transitioned to his current position.
Jerry and his wife Debbie, both natives of Baton Rouge, started dating while attending LSU together. They have two children. Lauren, who also graduated from LSU in 2015, is pursuing her Master’s degree at George Mason University. Michael is a senior in Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M. The entire family has a great love for the outdoors cherishing their time together pursuing photography, wildlife management, hunting, and fishing on recreational properties in Montana and South Texas.
Dr. Elaine Oran
TEES Eminent Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering Texas A&M University, Member of National Academy of Engineering
Elaine S. Oran is TEES Eminent Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University.
She also is a Visiting Professor at the University of Maryland, where she is affiliated with Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, the Institute for Physical Sciences and Technology, and the Department of Fire Protection Engineering.
She is also emerita Senior Scientist for Reactive Flow Physics at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL).
She is currently an adjunct professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan and a visiting scientist at the Institute for Advanced Study at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Dr. Oran received an A.B. in chemistry and physics from Bryn Mawr College and both a M.Ph. in Physics and a Ph.D. in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale University.
She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an Honorary Fellow of the AIAA, and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the AIAA, APS, SIAM, ASME, and the Combustion Institute. She has received honorary doctorates from Leeds University, Ecole Central de Lyon, and the Institut National des Sciences Appliques Rouen.
She has also received awards from professional societies, including the Zeldovich Gold Medal of the Combustion Institute, the Fluid Dynamics Prize of the APS, and given the Dryden Research Lecture at the AIAA. Her recent research interests have included basic and applied problems in chemically reactive flows, turbulence, numerical analysis, high-performance computing, shocks and shock interactions, and rarefied gases, with applications to combustion, propulsion, and astrophysical explosions.
Her particular interest is in the fundamental physics and applications of natural, accidental, and controlled explosions.
Dr. Andrew Hopkins
Emeritus Professor, College of Arts and Social Science, Australian National University
Andrew Hopkins is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the Australian National University in Canberra.
He was an expert witness at the Royal Commission into the 1998 Exxon gas plant explosion near Melbourne.
He was a consultant to the US Chemical Safety Board in its investigation of the BP Texas City Refinery disaster of 2005, and also for its investigation into the .BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010.
He has written books about all these accidents. More than 90,000 copies of his books have been sold. He has been involved in various government reviews of Work Health and Safety legislation and has done consultancy work for major companies in the mining, petroleum, chemical and electrical industries, as well as for Defence.
He speaks regularly to audiences around the world about the human and organisational causes of major accidents. He has a BSc and an MA from the Australian National University, a PhD from the University of Connecticut and is a Fellow of the Safety Institute of Australia.
He was the winner of the 2008 European Process Safety Centre safety award, the first in time it was awarded to someone outside Europe.
He is an honorary fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers in recognition of his “outstanding contributions to process safety and to the analysis of process safety related incidents”.
He is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition of his “distinguished service to industrial safety and accident analysis”
Books by Professor Hopkins:
Making Safety Work (Allen & Unwin, 1995)
Managing Major Hazards: The Moura Mine Disaster, (Allen & Unwin, 1999)
Lessons from Longford: The Esso Gas Plant Explosion (CCH, 2000)
Lessons from Longford: The Trial. (CCH, 2002)
Safety, Culture and Risk (CCH, 2005)
Lessons from Gretley: Mindful Leadership and the Law, (CCH, 2007)
Learning from High Reliability Organisations (CCH, 2009). Edited
Failure to Learn: the BP Texas City Refinery Disaster (CCH, 2008)
Disastrous Decisions: The Human and Organisational Causes of the Gulf of
Mexico Blowout (CCH, 2012)
Nightmare Pipeline Failures: Fantasy planning, black swans and integrity
management. (CCH 2014) With Jan Hayes
Risky Rewards: The Effect of Company Bonuses on Safety (Ashgate, London,
2015). With Sarah Maslen
Quiet Outrage: The Way of a Sociologist (CCH: Sydney, 2016)
Organising for Safety: How Structure Creates Culture. (CCH Sydney, 2019)