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Faculty Profile

Ronald J. Willey

Professor & Vice Chair of Chemical Engineering, Chemical Engineering
445 Snell Engineering Center
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115


Joined the Chemical Engineering Department in Fall 1983.

Prof. Willey interests centers on process safety and the integration of it into the education of chemical engineers. He is a contributor to the SACHE (Safety and Chemical Engineering Education) committee having provided over 10 teaching modules and case histories including the accident in Bhopal. He serves on a number of national committees including NFPA 45, Commonwealth Board of Registration of Engineers and Land Surveyors, and the NCEES fundamentals examination committee.


  • B.S. (Chemical Engineering) University of New Hampshire, 1974
  • Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering) University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1984

Research & Scholarship Interests

Process safety and catalysis (industrial)
Affiliated With

Department Research Areas

Professional Affiliations

  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Fellow

Selected Publications

  • R.J. Willey, West Fertilizer Company Fire and Explosion: A Summary of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board Report, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 49,   2017, 132-138
  • P.R. Amyotte, S. Berger, D.W. Edwards, J.P. Gupta, D.C. Hendershot, F.I. Khan, M.S. Mannan, R.J. Willey, Why Major Accidents are Still Occurring, Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering, 14, 2016, 1-8
  • J. Murphy, D. Hendershot, S. Berger, A.E. Summers, R.J. Willey, Bhopal Revisited, Process Safety Progress, 33(4), 2014, 310-313
  • R.J. Willey, Consider the Role of Safety Layers in the Bhopal Disaster, Chemical Engineering Progress, 110(12), 2014, 22-27
  • R. J. Willey, Layer of Protection Analysis, Procedia Engineering, 84, 2014, 12–22
  • R. J. Willey, Novel ways to Present Process Safety Concepts, Process Safety Progress, 33(3), 2014, 207-207
  • R. Willey, J. H.-C. Hsiao, R. E. Sanders, A. Kossoy, C.-M. Shu, A Focus on Fire Fundamentals Including Emergency Response Training at the National Fire Agency in Taiwan, Process Safety Progress, 32(1), 2013, 2-7
  • R. Willey, J. Murphy, Process Safety Progress, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 32(3), 2013, 229-229
  • T.O. Spicer, R. J. Willey, D.A. Crowl, W. Smades, The Safety and Chemical Engineering Education Committee—Broadening the Reach of Chemical Engineering Process Safety Education, Process Safety Progress, 32(2), 2013, 113-118

Related News

November 22, 2017

This past summer I traveled to Tarragona, Spain, with Prof. Ronald Willey and 22 other students on a Chemical Engineering dialogue to study Thermodynamics and Process Safety. Going on dialogue has...

October 30, 2017

Chemical Engineering Professor Ron Willey delivered a keynote presentation for the Third Workshop and Symposium on Safety and Integrity Management of Operations in Harsh Environments hosted by the...

April 24, 2017

Deb Pano is a 4th year Chemical Engineering student pursuing her BS and MS degrees concurrently. She first became interested in process safety after traveling on Professor Ron Willey’s Dialogue...