I was born, raised, and remained in the great city of Houston, Texas. Growing up, if I was not playing sports outside, I was likely inside watching one of our hometown teams play. With both parents working in the energy industry – once they saw my interest in puzzles, problem solving, math, and science – it did not take long for my career path to become clear.
My introduction to my process safety career started before I joined Cognascents. While a student at Rice University, John Perez, a founding director of Cognascents, taught a course on process safety. Among many lessons learned during that class, one stood out to me. It was John’s belief that a strong process safety professional needed a way to keep themselves grounded in their work. For John, his experiences growing up in various third world countries as well as living through near misses at the facilities where he had worked are what kept him focused and made him successful. For me, it was not until I began my career in process safety that I fully understood the wisdom.
In May 2013, I was offered the opportunity to intern for Cognascents. I was excited to apply the information I had just learned to real world applications. In May of 2014, I graduated from Rice University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a Minor in Business. Shortly thereafter, in August, I started full-time with Cognascents. I pride myself on developing into a well-rounded process safety specialist. Most of my clients, across the industry on offshore platforms, or in onshore terminals, gas plants, chemical faculties and refineries, know me as a PHA Facilitator. I have performed HAZOP/LOPAs, HAZIDs, Design Reviews, What-Ifs, Checklists, Alarm Rationalizations for efforts ranging from small MoCs, to large CapEx projects, to facility-wide risk assessments. Additionally, I have supported clients directly in the field as well as in the office managing full-scale PSM program development projects. In 2019, I married Courtney Crooks, a licensed R.N. and B.M.T.C.N, and in March 2020, I became a licensed PE in the State of Texas.
In thinking about John’s challenge from that process safety class at Rice, I have determined what keeps me dedicated to my work. My father was an operator. Two of my brother-in-laws are operators. I have cousins and uncles that were operators. When I take on clients, I remind myself that I am working for people like my family, and I dedicate myself to getting them home safely. For me, process safety is personal.