press release
Published: 27 March 2018

Surrey helping to train tomorrow's professionals to promote peaceful chemistry

This summer, the University of Surrey will once again play an integral part in the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’(OPCW) associate programme – a course that helps to develop the skills and experience required to operate effectively in the context of the modern chemical industry.

Person in laboratory

Associates from 121 OPCW Member States with developing and transition economies have been represented in the Programme. They spend three of their nine weeks at the University of Surrey, including time at the Fluor Pilot Plant– a state-of-the-art facility that is used to teach the University’s Chemical and Process Engineering students.

At Surrey, a team of experts will give delegates hands-on experience of how a chemical production plant operates, what to look out for when on an inspection, and how to process and prepare paperwork that will be vital to future work as a representative under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Rex Thorpe, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Surrey, said: “With the worrying news of the Salisbury nerve agent attack and sustained volatility in the Syrian region, it is ever more important that the international community continues to develop the skills and capabilities of the next generation of chemist and chemical engineers in promoting the peaceful uses of chemistry.

“Here at the University of Surrey, we have played a role in the development of individuals and some of them have developed their professional career as chemical weapons inspectors.  We are most proud and honoured to have supported the OPCW in this manner since 1999.”

Dr David Faraday, Director of Evolve LEADTEAM Ltd, delivering the course, said: “Our fantastic facility here at the Fluor Pilot Plant allows delegates to take part in maintenance training, solids handling, chemical management systems, chemical security as well as recycling, plant-based problem solving, financial management and business skills. By the end of their time with us, participants will have an understanding of how to run and be a part of a successful chemical engineering plant.

“It’s a great honour to be working with the OPCW, an organisation which has won the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts.”

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