The regional research consortium VeSPoTecVerification in a complex and unpredictable world: social, political and technical processes is a cooperation between the RWTH Aachen University, the Forschungszentrum Jülich and the University of Duisburg-Essen.
Associated partners include the University of Vienna and the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP).
VeSPoTec is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

VeSPoTec Team Members at SPS23 in Darmstadt.

Our Mission

VeSPoTec’s mission is to build bridges between the natural and social sciences to strengthen and advance the knowledge on verification in the context of peace and conflict research. 

What is Verification?

Verification is the process of gathering and analysing information to assess whether other parties comply with their commitments. This way, it allows to build confidence and ensures an effective implementation of international agreements.

Why an interdisciplinary approach?

Given the complexity and dynamics of the challenge of nuclear verification, the interaction of different disciplinary perspectives is indispensable for understanding the phenomenon and for developing sustainable and applicable solutions.
The specificity of the project therefore lies in the synergy of inter- and transdisciplinary work among the partners with their complementary foci on natural, social, political and cultural sciences as well as practice.

Blog

Nuclear Safeguards under Crisis Conditions: The VeSPoTec Table Top Exercise I

By Andreas Dürholt and Lukas Rademacher. On December 13 and 14, the VeSPoTec-Team welcomed nine technical experts from six different countries for a tabletop exercise on nuclear safeguards in Aachen. The

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Team

Principal Investigators

Dr. Irmgard Niemeyer
Nuclear Waste Management (IEK-6)
Forschungszentrum Jülich
i.niemeyer@fz-juelich.de

Prof. Dr. Ralph Rotte
International Relations
RWTH Aachen

rotte@ipw.rwth-aachen.de

Dr. Carmen Wunderlich
Institute of Political Science
University Duisburg-Essen
carmen.wunderlich@uni-due.de

Managing Director

Administrative Assistant

Melanie Baumann
Human Technology Center
RWTH Aachen
melanie.baumann@humtec.rwth-aachen.de

Scientific Staff

Student Assistants

Lena Herholz, B.A.
Institute of Political Science
University Duisburg-Essen

Pia Stickeler, B.A.
Nuclear Verification and Disarmament
RWTH Aachen

Further Partners

Dr. Anna Weichselbraun
Scientific Partner
University Vienna

Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
Practical Partner
Contact: Elena Sokova

Advisory Board

Dr. Hassan Elbahtimy
Centre for Science and Security Studies, King’s College

Dr. Angela Kane
Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP)

Dr. Marco Marzo
Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC)

Dr. Pavel Podvig
UN Institute for Disarmament Research

Laura Rockwood
Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-proliferation (VCDNP)

Amy Woolf
Royal United Services Institute

Contact

Feel free to contact us at vespotec@rwth-aachen.de for questions and further information about the project.

Living with the Bomb: Nuclear Order in Crisis - Panel Discussion

Duisburg/Essen, Germany

18.01.2024

The global nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime has long been in crisis. Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has dealt a fatal blow to many of its fundamental norms. The lecture series concludes with a panel discussion on the future of the nuclear order, featuring both pessimistic and optimistic voices from academia, politics and civil society.

First VeSPotec Table Top Exercise

Aachen, Germany

The Participants of the first VeSPoTec Table Top Exercise

13.12.2023. – 14.12.2023

On December 13 and 14, the VeSPoTec-Team welcomed nine technical experts from six different countries for a tabletop exercise on nuclear safeguards in Aachen. The exercise focused on the role that different types of safeguards-relevant information play for evaluating a State in the context of their safeguards obligations through a series of role-played discussions. 

 

Living with the Bomb: The Bomb and Germany - Panel Discussion

Duisburg/Essen, Germany

07.12.2023

The second event focuses on the individual perspective on nuclear weapons. On one hand, it considers the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that the use of nuclear weapons would entail. Additionally, we will explore how nuclear threats are currently Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, nuclear armament and the need for defence policy autonomy have been increasingly debated in Europe. The third event focuses on Germany and brings together experts from academia and civil society for a dialogue. The debate aims to highlight the diversity of opinions on nuclear non-proliferation, deterrence and disarmament in Germany and bring together people from different parts of society.

Living with the Bomb: Putin and the Bomb in our Heads

Duisburg/Essen, Germany

23.11.2023

The second event focuses on the individual perspective on nuclear weapons. On one hand, it considers the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that the use of nuclear weapons would entail. Additionally, we will explore how nuclear threats are currently being used as a means of psychological warfare and the resulting consequences. It is important to avoid using language that is biased or emotional, and to maintain a formal register throughout the text. The text should also adhere to conventional structure and formatting, with clear and concise sentences that create a logical flow of information.

VeSPoTec at RWTH science night

Aachen, Germany

10.11.2023

 
Members of VeSPoTec participated in the RWTH science night. Besides discussing the interdisciplinary approach to nuclear verification research, the members invited the visitors to participate in a nuclear dismantlement exercise (“Delicious Dismantlement Exercise”) to try a cookie dismantlement themselves and learn about the processes behind nuclear disarmament verification. 

For previous news, please click here.