Georgi Popov and Sathy Rajendran, highly regarded educators within the occupational safety and health profession and members of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), have each been selected to receive ASSE's 2017 William E. Tarrants Outstanding Safety Educator Award.

ASSEPopov, Ph.D., QEP, CMC, is a professor in the safety sciences program at the University of Central Missouri (UCM). He teaches a variety of safety-related undergraduate and graduate level courses while providing leadership in curriculum development, creating new courses and modifying existing ones. Due to his depth of knowledge and innovative teaching style, Popov is a sought-after speaker both nationally and internationally.

“Without question, Dr. Popov is the role model for educators in the field of occupational safety and health,” said Bruce Lyon, advisory board chair to UCM’s safety sciences program. “I am continually amazed by his expertise in risk assessment, prevention through design, business concepts and overall critical thinking. He is highly regarded by his peers and students, and a thought leader for our profession.”

Popov is a consultant and advisor to committees and researchers at ASSE, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). His expert safety insights have been published in dozens of academic papers and journals over the past two decades.

“I have observed his teaching and reviewed student evaluations for all of his classes, and he is consistently rated among the top faculty in the school,” said Dr. Leigh Ann Blunt, chair of UCM’s School of Environmental, Physical and Applied Sciences. “Students identify him as a mentor and seek his guidance.”

ASSERajendran, Ph.D., ARM, CSP, CRIS, is an associate professor and program director of the safety and health management program at Central Washington University (CWU). His research has been cited more than 500 times in leading scientific journals around the world. Before joining the university in 2011, he worked for five years as a safety engineer, safety manager and program manager at Hoffman Construction Company in Oregon.

“He’s truly one of the few gems that one will encounter in a 40-year safety career,” said Michael Fallon, chair of the Industry Advisory Council for CWU’s safety and health management program. “He’s inspirational and nurturing to his students while setting high expectations for performance. I’m hard pressed to think of better traits for someone who is educating the safety professionals of tomorrow.”

Rajendran’s average score from student evaluations is 4.8 on a 5.0 scale. He has developed three new safety and health courses at CWU and created an internship program that has expanded the education of 113 students. During his tenure, the number of employers recruiting students has tripled.

“Dr. Rajendran exemplifies the best of what a scholar educator should be,” said Katherine Frank, provost and vice president for academic and student life at CWU. “He distinguishes himself as a colleague and as a mentor to his students. He has worked successfully to improve the program and position it for even greater success.”

The two educators will be honored during ASSE’s Safety 2017 Professional Development Conference & Exposition, held June 19-22 in Denver. The global event will have more than 4,000 safety professionals from 40 countries learning about a wide range of best practices, industry trends and the latest product innovations in the occupational safety and health field.

The Outstanding Safety Educator Award, sponsored by ProcessMAP, is presented annually to occupational safety and health professionals who demonstrate outstanding achievement in safety education. These top instructors help students reach their full potential and help safety professionals advance their careers. The award is named after Dr. William E. Tarrants, a pioneer in safety education who was an ASSE president (1977-78) and Fellow.

About ASSE – Working together for a safer, stronger future

For more than 100 years, the American Society of Safety Engineers has been at the forefront of helping occupational safety and health professionals protect people and property. The nonprofit society is based in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. Its global membership of over 37,000 professionals covers every industry, developing safety and health management plans that prevent deaths, injuries and illnesses. ASSE advances its members and the safety profession through education, advocacy, standards development and a professional community. Its flagship publication, Professional Safety, is a longtime leader in the field. Visit and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.