Cristhian Almeida-Rivera is an inspection team leader at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He obtained his engineering degree in Chemical Engineering at the Escuela Politecnica Nacional (Quito, Ecuador) in 1997, and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Delft University of Technology (Delft, The Netherlands) in 1998 and 2005, respectively. His areas of interest included the multilevel modelling of fundamental mass, heat and momentum transfer phenomena of hybrid processes. In 2005, Cristhian started to work as R&D engineer and global supply chain manager at Unilever R&D in Vlaardingen, The Netherlands. In that capacity he was
responsible for the synthesis and development of new manufacturing process in global innovation projects. His activities included the development of computational models, proof of principle testing, prototyping, scale-up and global roll-out. Cristhian has several industrial patents under his name. As supply chain manager, Cristhian was responsible for the supply chain delivery of global innovation projects, including supply chain support to regional teams during later stages of innovation roll-out, execution of medium and long term capacity planning activities for key technologies and being the contributor and lead contact to regional and global sourcing studies.
Since 2014, Cristhian has joined the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (The Hague and 2013 Nobel Peace Prize Winner) as chemical process technology inspector and inspection team leader. In his current capacity, Cristhian is responsible for leading inspections of industrial and military sites to verify the compliance to the Chemical Weapons Convention by member States. Specific activities
include the evaluation of engineering features and production methods of chemical plant sites to gauge the feasibility of chemical weapons production, factual findings reporting and debriefing to management regarding conduct of inspections.
Cristhian has been continuously involved in teaching and continuous learning activities, resulting in more than 50 scientific publications in peer-review journals and conference proceedings. Some of Cristhian’s awards and distinctions include: Unilever author award (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), Unilever grant award (2008), Unilever patent award (2013), dean’s list (Escuela Politécnica Nacional (1992-1997)), UFP-Nuffic fellowship holder (1998- 2000), runner-up in the Dow Dissertation Award (2007), cum-laude graduate (Delft University of Technology, 2000), class valedictorian of the MSc International Programme (Delft University of Technology, 2000), best graduate student and best grade average (Escuela Politécnica Nacional, 1997), cum-laude graduate (Escuela Politécnica Nacional, 1997), best graduate student in Physics and Mathematics (Colegio Alemán de Quito, 1990); award of Outstanding Achievement (Colegio Alemán de Quito, 1990) Cristhian’s hobbies range from amateur photography, acoustic guitar to long distance running.
OPCW and the extensive effort to eliminate chemical weapons
The development and use of chemical weapons first began during World War I. Even though the use of chemical weapons were prohibited in 1925 chemical weapons have since been used a number of times by both nations and terrorists. An international convention that also prohibited the manufacture and storage of chemical weapons came into effect in 1997. That same year, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was formed for international cooperation to ensure that the convention is honored through inspections and the destruction of chemical weapons.
In this lectures the activities related to the key focal areas for OPCW in the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention will be addressed. In particular, those daily activities aiming at preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons by monitoring the production and trade of chemical that could be used to make chemical weapons. The skills and competencies required to become an OPCW inspector will be discussed together with the role that an inspector has in this honourable quest of making this world free of chemical weapons. The OPCW was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.