Syngenta, N.C. A&T, Greensboro DOT Collaborate for Risk Management Boot Camp

GREENSBORO, N.C. (Feb. 26, 2018) – The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University recently hosted the inaugural Industrial Risk Management Boot Camp and Case Competition sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection. More than 10 teams of undergraduate students took a deep dive into the principles of industrial safety and risk management.

Held prior to the start of National Engineers Week, or “E-week” in collaboration with the engineering division of the Greensboro Department of Transportation (GDOT), the innovative boot camp provided an opportunity for students to utilize their talents, classroom theory and hands-on interdisciplinary active learning tactics to develop ideas to reduce or eliminate the real-world problem of distracted driving. The competition aligned with the North Carolina Vision ZERO initiative that strives to eliminate injuries and fatalities associated with distracted driving.

First place went to a North Carolina A&T team of three – Maximilien Deleon, Daniel Yankey and Rayshaun Bennett – for the “ArriveAlive” mobile phone app.

“Our commitment to the university’s strategic plan drives our efforts to provide every opportunity to our students to make the world safer, efficient, comfortable and sustainable for all,” said Jacqueline Chestnut, Ph.D., co-organizer and a N.C. A&T adjunct professor in the departments of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Applied Engineering Technology. “This workshop complements our current curricula to prepare students to be competitive in the 21st century global arena.

In addition to the case competition, the boot camp included workshops and group exercises facilitated by Syngenta representatives, GDOT engineers and risk management officials from various corporations, as well as federal government officials from the Department of Transportation. Topics included, “The Science of Risk,” “Randomness and Chance,” “Human Information Processing,” “Cognitive Bias and Groupthink” and “Risk Analysis and Risk Management.”

The motto of the boot camp was “Connect, Inspire and Succeed.” Students “connected” with classmates, faculty, industry professionals and officials from local and federal government; were “inspired” to learn more about daily risks and how to apply principles to make decisions that improve society; and succeeded by developing ideas and solutions to global challenges through an interdisciplinary problem‐solving approach.

“I can’t think of a better way to solve real societal issues than bringing together great student minds and future leaders from A&T, government organizations and local businesses,” said Elliot Wolf, regional safety manager for Syngenta and adjunct professor of chemical and bioengineering at A&T. “I am fortunate to work for a company committed to excellence in safety, health, and the environment that supports innovation and this type of external collaboration.”

The idea for the workshop and case competition originated from a desire to engage science, technology, and engineering students through an interactive short course. Students who participated in the competition gained knowledge of safety and risk principles to enhance their competitiveness when applying for jobs.

Syngenta’s collaboration with A&T is aligned with its Good Growth Plan, which helps farmers grow more food with fewer resources, while protecting nature and improving life for people in rural communities.

“We all want family and friends to come home from their workplaces injury free,” said Ana Davis, head of Health, Safety, and Environment for the North America Crop Protection business at Syngenta. She believes the competition provided valuable insight on safety and risk management in order to bring that vision to life.

All students who participated in the full two‐day boot camp and case competition received a Certificate of Completion in Industrial Risk Management.

Syngenta is a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. Through world-class science and innovative crop solutions, its 28,000 people in over 90 countries are working to transform how crops are grown. Syngenta is committed to rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. To learn more, visit and Follow Syngenta on Twitter at and