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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Chamber Blog: A Night at the Museum

By Emma Antrobus, Transport Policy Manager at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

After working really closely with Alstom as a Chamber patron over the last two years, I was delighted to be invited to their annual dinner, being held at the Natural History Museum in London. It was my first visit to the museum and I was rendered speechless as I arrived. The architecture is stunning – designed by Alfred Waterhouse who also designed Manchester Town Hall – and beautifully lit against a clear winter’s evening.

More than 300 guests from the energy and transport sectors were gathered to celebrate Alstom’s partnerships and successes over the last year and to look forward to evolving over the coming year as the power business transfers to General Electric, and the high levels of investment in the transport industry start to offer increasing opportunities for engineering companies.

Dinner was held in the main hall of the museum, overseen by the Diplodocus who is soon to go on his travels. Compered by Alstom’s Communications Director, Mike Scott, there was a short introduction from Terence Watson, the UK President and Transport Managing Director. This was followed by an inspiring and humorous speech from Patrick Kron, Alstom’s Chairman and Chief Executive (Président-Directeur Général).

The keynote speaker was Maggie Aderin-Pocock, scientist and co-presenter of the BBC’s The Sky at Night. She spoke movingly about how visits to the Natural History and Science museums inspired her to want to work in space and that the logic of engineering helped her to overcome her dyslexia. As well as her enormous enthusiasm for engineering, she is passionate about inspiring the next generation to want to follow in her footsteps - a theme which resonates with so many of the Chamber’s activities.

Overall my night at the museum was entertaining and fascinating, and I can’t wait to visit again.

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