Monday, September 27, 2010

'Rock Star Physicist' to shine at annual conference

‘Why We Need Explorers’ keynote at National Instruments UK & Ireland Annual Conference & Exhibition

National Instruments UK & Ireland has announced that Professor Brian Cox OBE, the ‘Rock Star Physicist’, will deliver the keynote address at NIDays 2010. Cox is Professor of Particle Physics at the University of Manchester (GB) and one of the leaders on the ATLAS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC), as well as a hugely popular TV presenter, author and media figure. NIDays is the UK and Ireland’s largest graphical system design conference and exhibition, held at the London home of Institution of Engineering & Technology, Savoy Place, on Tuesday 9th November 2010.

Professor Cox will explain ‘Why We Need Explorers’. In tough economic times, our exploratory science programmes - from space probes to the LHC - are first to suffer budget cuts. But Professor Cox will explain how curiosity-driven science pays for itself, powering innovation, fostering a profound appreciation of our existence, and inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.
“We are excited to welcome Professor Brian Cox to NIDays as this year's guest keynote speaker” said Robert Morton, UK & Ireland Managing Director at National Instruments. "As well as his work with the LHC at CERN, Professor Cox is an inspirational and passionate voice for science and technology. His high profile role as a STEM advocate has been influential in popularising and explaining big science to the general public. I'm positive the hundreds of NIDays attendees who are continually innovating and pushing the boundaries of science and engineering will enjoy his perspective on the importance of scientific exploration and discovery."

Brian obtained a first class degree and a PhD in High Energy Particle Physics, at the same time as playing keyboards with the Irish rock band, D’Ream (whose song, ‘Things Can Only Get Better’, was famously used as the Labour Party election song in 1997). He is now Professor of Particle Physics at the University of Manchester and one of the leaders on the ATLAS experiment at the LHC at CERN in Geneva (CH). He has also become a hugely popular TV presenter, author and media advocate for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). Brian’s television credits include the BBC blockbuster, Wonders of the Solar System, which will be followed by a new series on the Universe; he has also fronted Space Hoppers, The Big Bang and numerous specials for Horizon. His book Why Does E=mc2? quickly became a bestseller.

Brian’s talks inspire audiences around the globe, from TED in America to the World Economic Forum in Davos and China. With staggering images, his presentations show that science breaks down barriers and can both shock and excite. He also describes the breathtaking work at CERN, where scientists are recreating conditions a billionth of a second after Big Bang “in the hope of revealing the underlying simplicity of the universe.”

An International Fellow of the Explorers Club, a Royal Society University Research Fellow and winner of the prestigious British Association Lord Kelvin Award for his work promoting science, Brian was awarded an OBE in 2010. When he isn’t filming in far away places, he writes both for tabloids and broadsheets, and co-presents BBC Radio 4’s Infinite Monkey Cage with his friend, the comedian Robin Ince.

Engineers, scientists and educators involved in test, control and design are invited to attend NIDays 2010 and watch Cox’s Keynote speech. NIDays is a multi-track conference and exhibition exploring the latest innovations, tools and technologies from National Instruments and its partners, offering more than 50 hours of in-depth technical sessions, including 30 hours of hands-on training.

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