Prevention Through Design in Collaborative Research Environments

By John Weaver

Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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Prevention through Design (PtD) is a major initiative of the National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH). Defined as “Addressing occupational safety and health needs in the design process to prevent or minimize the work-related hazards and risks associated with the construction, manufacture, use, maintenance, and disposal of facilities, materials, and equipment,” it can be applied to facilities, processes, products, equipment and materials. When safety is addressed in the design stages, it becomes more effective and more cost efficient. This seminar will introduce the PtD initiative and provide real-world examples of PtD implementation.


John Weaver John Weaver is a member of the steering committee for the NIOSH Prevention through Design national initiative. He has given seminars, papers, and workshops on the application of PtD to various groups, including the American Society of Safety Engineers at their annual meeting, Safety 2009. His efforts in designing engineering controls into the Birck Nanotechnology Center at Purdue University are considered prime examples of the implementation of PtD, some of which are featured on the NIOSH web site.

John serves as the Facility Manager for the Birck Nanotechnology Center at Purdue University. He is responsible for the clean room and laboratory operations, facility infrastructure, training activities, and safety. John led the design, construction, equipment installation, and startup of the BNC, and is heavily involved in the development of best practices in nanotechnology facility design, construction, and operation.

John received his BS from Adrian College and spent 35 years in the semiconductor industry with RCA, Hughes Aircraft Company and Delphi Corporation (formerly Delco Electronics). John has been involved in a variety of roles in semiconductor process design and development, support, and facilities development. John has published numerous papers in both process development and contamination control, has two patents in process development, and authored a book and two book chapters in contamination control technology and nanotechnology facility safety. He has taught a wide variety of industry short-courses, and is the recipient of the Willis J. Whitfield Award for contributions to the field of contamination control.

John is a Fellow of the Institute for Environmental Sciences and Technology, a Technical Editor for the Journal of the IEST, Vice-Chair of SPC-7: Nanotechnology, chair of WG205: Nanotechnology Safety, and is a Principal Member of the NFPA 318 committee, which writes fire standards for cleanrooms.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • John Weaver (2010), "Prevention Through Design in Collaborative Research Environments,"

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Birck Nanotechnology Center, Room 2001, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN