A Growing OPCW Family: OPCW Associate Programme Launches

In September 2000, a group of hand-picked scientists, chemical engineers and technological specialists embark on a three month long capacity-building project to enhance their knowledge of the Chemical Weapons Convention and to develop the skills necessary to operate in a modern chemistry environment.

Now in its 18th year, the OPCW Associate Programme has evolved into a major international training project conducted over 9-10 weeks in Asia, Europe, and Latin America to foster the economic and technological development of OPCW Member States. More than 400 Alumni from 118 developing countries support national implementation of the Convention and engage in outreach activities worldwide.

Read more at opcw.org.

USC Chem Hosts Security and Safety Workshop

By Patrick John Y. Lim

In an effort to engage universities to adopt flexible best practices in campus emergency preparedness, sixteen chemistry practitioners from the Mindanao higher educational institutions along with eight University of San Carlos participants attended the Workshop on Security and Safety in Universities from January 17–20, 2017 held at the Josef Baumgartner Learning Resource Center-Virtual Training Room (JB LRC-VTR) in Talamban Campus, Nasipit, Cebu City.

Under the leadership of chair Eugene T. Bacolod, Ph.D., the USC Department of Chemistry hosted the workshop, which was jointly organized with the International Biological and Chemical Threat Reduction (IBCTR) program of Sandia National Laboratories based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. The International Biological and Chemical Threat Reduction program (IBCTR) enhances national and international security by developing and executing innovative solutions for countering biological and chemical threats worldwide.

Former American Chemical Society president Nancy B. Jackson, Ph.D., from Sandia’s IBCTR program, and USC chemistry professor Patrick John Y. Lim, Ph.D. served as trainers for the three-and-a-half day workshop. Sandia logistical analyst Bernadette Garcia de Rodriguez accompanied Dr. Jackson and handled the arrangements for the Mindanao participants.

Participants and organizers of the security and safety workshop pose outside the JB LRC-VTR.

Workshop participants included a dean and four department chairpersons from seven HEIs in Mindanao, including Agnes T. Aranas (Ateneo de Davao University), Cellyn A. Verallo (Ateneo de Zamboanga University), Julius O. Campecino, Maria Cristina A. Dancel, Ellen dV. Inutan, Joel H. Jorolan, Rachel Anne E. Lagunay, Myrna S. Mahinay, Joanna Kristine E. Pancho, Lunesa C. Pinzon (all from Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology), Grace Prado (MSU-Naawan), Maria Cleofe N. Badang (University of Immaculate Conception), Girlie D. Leopoldo and Rengel Cane E. Sia (University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines), and Heide R. Rabanes and Aileen B. Angcajas (Xavier University).

Carolinian participants included Rolly Viesca (Biology), Leonila N. Adarna, Jinky Y. Derla, Sharajen A. Julasiri, Gail Jeremias B. Posas (all from Chemistry), Nikki Marie O. Marquez and Marie Kristie B. Reyes (Water Laboratory), and Talamban Campus Pollution Control Officer Esmeralda S. Cuizon.

The workshop covered security and safety issues including international and national regulations, dual-use chemicals, risk assessment, physical security of chemicals, chemical management and inventory, formulation of standard operating procedures, personal protective equipment, fire protection and prevention, and a security by design module which featured a laboratory design exercise.