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MASTER of ENGINEERING

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Program Details


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Prospective Students

Safety professionals who are working full time and want to distinguish themselves among their peers.



Complete the ASEM program and you will be trained to:

  • Implement Best Practice and “Prevention through Design” concepts in their workplace
  • Lead confidently through change and/or crisis
  • Bring their ideas to the engineering design table


Can I afford this degree?

The program can be completed in 18 months (5 semesters), and the total current cost is approximately $23,000 (plus the cost of books and standards). According to the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) 2009 Salary Survey, any advanced degree can increase a safety professional's salary by $18,000 or more, depending on the field. The Survey also shows that a Master’s degree in the field of Safety Engineering results in a higher average salary ($122,917) than a Master’s degree in the fields of Industrial Engineering ($113,723); Industrial Hygiene ($103,889); and Industrial Safety, Occupational Safety, Safety Management, and Safety Science ($102,684).

How long will this take?

Students will be able to earn their MEng in 18 months (5 semesters). All 11 program courses will be offered each term, according to student demand. For more information, see Curriculum.

Current Students

ASEM students are enrolling from across the United States and around the world. Most have more than 10 years professional experience in the safety field in sectors ranging from the aeronautics and space sector (e.g., NASA) to the utilities sector (e.g., Energen).

Admission Eligibility

  • One of the recommendations must be from a current, direct supervisor.
  • One of the recommendations must be a self-recommendation essay.
  • Applicants must have a minimum of 5 years of professional work experience in the safety field, as evidenced by their resume, 2 recommendations and 1 self-recommendation. If you nearly meet the required years of experiencee and want to discuss eligiblity prior to applying, please contact our Program Manager at asem@uab.edu This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree with at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • A degree in engineering is not required.
  • Students not satisfying the grade point average requirement may receive admission on a provisional basis, subject to assessment and recommendation by the program director.
  • No GRE score is required.
  • No Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score is required.

Enrollment Requirement

Advanced Safety Engineering and Management (ASEM) requires students to enroll for the term of their admission. A student who is unable to enroll for the admitted term may request a deferral of up to two semesters. Requests to Defer Enrollment must be submitted to the ASEM program director prior to the start of the term of admission. If a request is not submitted and approved, a student's acceptance will be rescinded. He or she will be eligible to reapply for admission one year after the original date of acceptance.

Getting Advice

Going back to school can be both exhilarating and daunting. You are not alone. All of your questions and concerns can be answered by experienced adult education professionals:

UAB Graduate School

UAB Financial Aid Office

 asem@uab.edu

Curriculum

The curriculum is comprised of 11 courses (33 hrs). ASEM 610 is a prerequisite for all other ASEM courses. ASEM 610 must be taken during the first term. ASEM 614 is no longer a prerequisite but students are strongly encouraged to take ASEM 614 with or immediately after ASEM 610.

The following course sequence is strongly recommended: ASEM 610, ASEM 614, ASEM 611, ASEM 615, ASEM 612, ASEM 616, ASEM 613, ASEM 617 and EGR 690. ASEM 619 must be taken during the final or penultimate term. ASEM 620 must be taken during the final term.

Live Classrooms

Online participation in a minimum number of 1-1.5 hour forums (Live Classrooms) is required for many of the courses. These Live Classrooms are typically held on Sundays from 3:00-4:30 PM U.S. Central Time.  This format is similar to a virtual seminar presentation, where students within the ASEM program can meet together to listen to guest presenters and participate in engaging discussions on topics related to safety engineering. Educational experience levels of attendees within these Live Classrooms can range from new students in their first semester all the way to students who are nearing program completion, which facilitates an enriching learning experience. Dates and times are subject to change. Students are given some flexibility regarding the number of Live Classes they attend.

In addition to these flexible Live Classrooms, conducted as seminar presentations, certain courses may require online attendance on specific dates (such as a Live Class at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester). These small number of required Live Class sessions are used for instructors to communicate course-specific information to students, and are typically held between 1:30-3:00 PM U.S. Central Time.

Recommended Course Sequence

Semester 1:

ASEM 610 Introduction to System Safety - Prevention through Design (3 hrs.)
Note: This course must be taken during the first semester.
ASEM 614 Cross Road: Engineering Ethics and Acceptable Risk (3 hrs.)
Prerequisite: ASEM 610.

Semester 2:

ASEM 611 Hazard Analysis and Waste Elimination (3 hrs.)
Prerequisite: ASEM 610.

ASEM 615 Leading through Climates of Change (3 hrs.)
Prerequisite: ASEM 610.

Semester 3:

ASEM 612 Engineering Risk: Assessment, Reduction and Liability (3 hrs.)
Prerequisites: ASEM 610.

ASEM 616 Policy Issues in Prevention through Design (3 hrs.)
Prerequisite: ASEM 610.

Semester 4:

ASEM 613 Human Performance and Engineering Design (3 hrs.)
Prerequisite: ASEM 610.

ASEM 617 Crisis Leadership and Safety-Critical Design (3 hrs.)
Prerequisite: ASEM 610.

Semester 5:

EGR 690 Electrical Systems Safety (3 hrs.)
Prerequisite: ASEM 610.

ASEM 619 Capstone Project: Development of an Advanced Safety Engineering and Management Plan, Part 1 (3 hrs.)
Note: This course must be taken during the final or penultimate semester.

ASEM 620 Capstone Project: Development of an Advanced Safety Engineering and Management Plan, Part 2 (3 hrs.)
Note: This course must be taken during the final semester.

Course Descriptions

All courses are for 3 semester hours of credit.

ASEM 610 Introduction to System Safety – Prevention through Design

Best practice in any business sector requires the pursuit of a triple bottom line – protecting people, planet, and profit. This course provides an overview of system safety, in general, and Prevention through Design, in particular and explores their efficacy in helping companies achieve a bottom line that is socially, environmentally, and financially rewarding. Topics of inquiry include:

  • Basics of hazard analysis and risk assessment
  • Design strategies for life cycles and acceptable, residual risk hierarchy
  • Introduction to probabilistic risk analysis and the safety decision hierarchy
  • Techniques for safety audits, gap analyses, and root cause investigation
  • Management’s roles and responsibilities in system safety management plans

Course content is presented within the framework of real-world case studies from a variety of industry sectors, including, but not limited to, manufacturing, utilities, and health care and includes several guest lectures by leaders in the profession. Students apply course content to their own business environment. EGR 610 must be taken during the first semester.

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ASEM 611 Hazard Analysis and Waste Elimination

Hazards have the potential to cause harm to people, planet, and profits. Hazard analysis is a process that begins with the identification of a hazard and proceeds into an estimate of the severity of harm or damage that could result if the potential is realized and a hazard-related incident occurs (ASSE TR-Z790.001 – 2009). This course examines engineering techniques utilized to systematically and logically identify and analyze hazards in the workplace. These techniques include:

  • Preliminary Hazard List (PHL)
  • Operations and Support Hazard Analysis (O&SHA)
  • Human Design Hazard Analysis (HHA)
  • Software Safety Assessment (SSA)
  • Introduction to Fault Tree Analysis (FTA)

Students work in teams to use these techniques to retrospectively analyze a real-world disaster. Prerequisites: ASEM 610.

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ASEM 612 Engineering Risk: Assessment, Reduction, and Liability

Engineering risk is defined both quantitatively and qualitatively as an estimate of the probability that a hazard-related incident will occur and of the severity of harm or damage that could result. This course provides students with tools to assess and reduce safety risks in their own company.
These tools include:

  • Decision Trees
  • Event Tree Analysis & Influence Diagrams (utilizing statistical probabilities)
  • Business Impact Analysis (cost-benefit calculations)
  • Sneak Circuit Analysis
  • Hazard and Operability Analysis

Students engage in a risk mitigation decision analysis project, which is specific to their company and/or business sector.  Guest lecturers from diverse industries discuss their experiences in assessing and managing risk. Prerequisites: ASEM 610, ASEM 611.

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ASEM 613 Human Performance and Engineering Design

Companies can miss important opportunities to eliminate waste if they rely primarily on training to prevent human error. This course explores the historical perspective on human error and serious injury. The course material will provide a solid understanding of:

  • Solid Mechanics (quantitative, with basic calculus concepts) - Newton's Laws, Vector Resolution and Equilibrium Equations
  • Functional anatomy – structure, function and mechanical tolerance
  • Mechanical work capacity
  • Bioinstrumentation for occupational biomechanics
  • Static and dynamic models in occupational biomechanics

In semester projects, students perform incident investigations using biomechanical and other data. After gathering and analyzing data to determine injury causation, they will identify and re-design error-provocative environments in their own workplaces. Prerequisites: ASEM 610.

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ASEM 614 Cross Road: Engineering Ethics and Acceptable Risk

This course explores the economic, social, and political consequences of safety risk and considers provocative real world dilemmas: What is acceptable risk? Are the fundamental canons of engineering ethics contrary to the concept of acceptable risk? What is the worth of human life? Students will conduct critical reviews of corporate safety and ethics policies from market leaders in all major industries as well as their own company. Real-world case studies provide the framework for exercises in resolving conflicts of interest and avoiding the dilemma of “whistle blowing.” Prerequisite: ASEM 610.

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ASEM 615 Leading through Climates of Change

All progressive companies are moving toward greater sustainability – protecting people, planet, and profits. To guide their companies through these changes and integrate safety into the priorities at the executive level, safety engineers and professionals must have strong leadership skills. This course explores leadership best practices, including the eight steps of transformational leadership, change management strategies and the characteristics of High Reliability Organizations. The concept of “resilience engineering” is also explored. Guest lecturers from diverse industries discuss their experiences in managing change in today's global business environment. Prerequisites: ASEM 610.

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ASEM 616 Policy Issues in Prevention through Design

This course provides an overview of best practices in four major policy areas: (1) cost-benefit analysis; (2) corporate culture and the “HR Department”; (3) standards, codes, and regulations; and (4) strategic alliance development. Case studies are used to illuminate both the role of engineers and other safety professionals in shaping public policy on the local, national and international levels and the ethical challenges they encounter. The significance of an organization’s corporate culture in developing and implementing advanced safety management plans is also explored. Students conduct "gap analyses" of their company's policies by comparing them to best practices and identifying unintended consequences of poor safety policy in their own business and industry sector. Students will engage in discussion board posts on contemporary policy issues and participate in exercises related to federal rulemaking.  Prerequisites: ASEM 610.

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ASEM 617 Crisis Leadership and Safety-Critical Design

Unique technical and leadership skills are required to avert or manage a crisis. This course teaches students those skills in an experiential learning environment. Case studies of real-world industrial and environmental disasters provide the framework for exploring critical human-machine interfaces; crisis communication; coping with people in recovery and developing and implementing a business continuity response. Guest lecturers from diverse backgrounds will discuss their experiences in managing crisis events. Students will engage in discussion board posts and develop a Business Impact Analysis report for their work environment or business unit. Prerequisites: ASEM 610.

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EGR 690 Electrical Systems Safety

We live in an electrical world, with electrical hazards embedded in nearly every aspect of daily living - at home, at work, in public places, and in recreational activities.  This course explores hazards, risks, and context of electrical mishaps coupled with a systems safety engineering approach to manage the risks.  Course content is presented within the framework of real world case studies from a variety of industry sectors, including, but not limited to, manufacturing, utilities, and health care and includes several guest lectures by leaders in the profession. Students apply course content to their own business environment.  Prerequisites: ASEM 610.

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ASEM 619 Capstone Project: Development of an Advanced Safety Engineering and Management Plan, Part 1

Bringing to bear the competencies acquired through the program, students develop a proposal, outline, schedule and rough draft of a comprehensive, advanced safety engineering and management plan for their business unit/specialty area that is consistent with the ANSI/AIHA Z10-2005, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems standard. Judicious selection of the Capstone topic and of projects throughout the ASEM curriculum allows students to build on and use earlier course products to support their Capstone report. Prerequisites: ASEM 610. ASEM 619 must be taken during the penultimate or final semester.

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ASEM 620 Capstone Project: Development of an Advanced Safety Engineering and Management Plan, Part 2

Students complete the development of their comprehensive, advanced safety engineering and management (ASEM) plan that was begun in ASEM 619, including background information of the project, an ASEM plan (management and employee participation, planning, implementation and operation, evaluation and corrective action and management review), and rollout strategy. Students must submit completed report with detailed attachments, and orally present project highlights to the class in a live online classroom setting. Prerequisites: ASEM 610. ASEM 620 must be taken during the final semester.

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