From Formula 1 to zero-emission sailing – Northern Ireland event hears of a high-speed career

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Attendees at EI Northern Ireland branch’s 58th annual dinner were left inspired by the high-speed, innovative career of keynote speaker Professor Mark Gillan, Project Lead of the Autonomous Sailing Vessel at Artemis Technologies, in Belfast earlier this month. Professor Gillan reflected on his wide-ranging career including CEO of Wavepower and roles in Formula 1 such as Head of Vehicle Performance at Red Bull Racing and Head of Aerodynamics at Toyota. This cumulative experience, he said, is now helping Artemis Technologies in pursuit for new green technologies and zero-emission vessels.

The dinner also heard from EI Chief Executive Louise Kingham OBE FEI who discussed some of the uncertainties around Brexit, not least the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. But she struck a positive note on the industry’s ability to overcome the challenges - ‘Our industry is smart, adaptable and resilient. I don’t doubt your ability to ride out choppy political waters, and I hope the Energy Institute, and it’s emphasis on collaboration, provides a valuable safe space for mutual support and discussion around these issues.’ 

Entertainment for the night was given by Irish stand-up comedian Andy Ryan who has performed on BBC3’s Russell Howard’s Good News and the Blame Game on BBC1. The night also raised valuable funds for the Public Initiative for Prevention of Suicide and Self Harm (PIPS) Charity.

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