Tuesday, 3 April 2012

All aboard at Titanic Belfast for Annual Conference

Few of us can forget the epic 1997 film 'Titanic' by director James Cameron with its haunting music and poignant story of young lovers Rose and Jack played by Hollywood stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo diCapico respectively. (http://www.blogger.com/www.titanicbelfast.com)

The film brought the 1912 human tragedy very much alive - of the then 'state of the art unsinkable ship' built in Belfast which hit a giant iceberg during its maiden voyage across the Atlantic and sunk with a tragic loss of life of some 1500 human souls. There were some 725 survivors saved in lifeboats and indeed all of the lifeboats were not full of people when the ship went down.

High-definition photo of Titanic wreckage, taken by Dr Robert Ballard (1985)
and can now be viewed as part of the "Titanic Beneath" exhibition at the Titanic Experience
Courtesy of http://www.titanicbelfast.com/
One might ask why such a human tragedy should now be 'celebrated' 100 years later and celebrated by Engineers Ireland in particular? Well the story of the Titanic is the story of a resurgent Belfast and indeed of a new now peaceful and greatly invigorated Northern Ireland! So that's what we are meeting to celebrate at our Annual Conference in Belfast starting on the evening on April 25th with the main presentations on April 26th and 27th!

Finished model of  the Titanic Quarter
The two main themes of the conference will be manufacturing and marine energy - both very relevant to the traditions of Belfast in linen manufacturing, ship building and seafaring.

The Titanic story is one of epic drama of romance and tragedy. There is enormous global interest in the story which made the film the highest sold film of all time for 12 years until the same director James Cameron produced Avatar which surpassed its revenue! It won a number of Hollywood Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing. It was the first film in the world to exceed the billion dollar mark and the most expensive film made at the time by 20th Century Fox.

The rebirth of Titanic is replicated by the rebirth of the Harland & Wolff Shipyard - as the now new Titanic Quarter of commercial and residential development rises like a Phoenix from the ashes of a once troubled Belfast. Central to the new Titanic Quarter vision is the Titanic Signature Building - an iconic 6 storey Visitor Centre that celebrates 100 years of the site since the launching of the Titanic and which opened to the public last weekend.
The Iconic Titanic Building courtesy of www.titanicbelfast.com
Apart from a guaranteed visit to the new Titanic Signature Building we have an exciting line up of speakers at our Annual Conference (http://www.blogger.com/www.engineersirelandconference.ie). The conference theme is 'Engineering Enterprise in Times of Change' and will address the role that engineers will play in the drive to create new jobs and indigenous enterprise as well as our importance in continuing to attract foreign direct investment onto the island of Ireland.

The Engineers Ireland Annual Conference 2012 Logo

The conference will feature speakers like Dr Stephen Myers Director of Technology at CERN Physics Laboratory in Switzerland, Bob Hanna Chief Energy Adviser to the Irish Government, Liam Nellis CEO of InterTradeIreland, Eddie O'Connor Chief Executive of Mainstream Renewables, John Barry MD of Bord Gáis Networks, James Cox Principal Consultant with Poyry Management Consulting and Tanya Wishart Northern Ireland Energy Regulator.

Most of all - come to Belfast not only to relive the Titanic Story but to see the new energetic and beautiful Northern Ireland which is now at peace.


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