Industrial Fire Journal - Fire & Rescue - Hemming Group Ltd
Keynote speakers for IFSEC and Firex 2017
Published:  07 April, 2017

Professor Brian Cox OBE, Dame Kelly Holmes and Simon Weston CBE have been confirmed as keynote speakers.

Securing the services of Professor Cox is quite a coup for the P&M (Protection & Management) Series, which co-locates IFSEC, Firex, the Safety & Health Show, Field Service Management Expo, Facilities Show and Professional Clothing Show. The eminent physicist, presenter of the BBC’s The Wonders Of… series and prolific scientific writer topped a recent poll of preferred keynote speakers among the P&M audience by a wide margin. The Inspirational Speakers Series will take place in the Keynote Theatre, sponsored by Honeywell.

As well as presenting numerous TV and radio programmes (like Radio 4’s Infinite Monkey Cage) Cox is a professor of particle physics at the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester.

He is also the author of bestsellers Why Does E=mc²? and The Quantum Universe, while 950 scientific publications bear his name.

A far cry from the archetypal, elbow-patch wearing physicist, Cox was, incongruously, also a keyboard player for bands D:Ream and Dare in the 1990s and has become something of a pin-up.

Dame Kelly Holmes won Gold for Great Britain in the 800 metres and 1500 metres at the 2004 Athens Olympics. She still holds the British records for the 600, 800 and 1,000-metre distances.

Holmes, who for several years combined athletics with being a Serjeant Class 1 PTI in the army, has admitted to suffering from depression.

In 2008, Holmes founded the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, to ‘support and develop athletes beyond sport, who then deliver on every single one of their transformational mentoring programmes for young people facing disadvantage.’

Dame Kelly has agreed to share her struggles on a mental health discussion panel following her keynote speech. This will take place at Safety & Health Expo, co-located with IFSEC International, and is included with the free IFSEC visitor’s pass.

Simon Weston CBE is a British army veteran who rose to prominence after suffering severe burn injuries in 1982 during the Falklands War. Weston, who survived an attack on the warship on which he was stationed with 46% burns, has undergone countless operations in the years since.

Weston was awarded an OBE in 1992 in recognition of charity work, notably in founding ‘The Weston Spirit’, a Liverpool-based young people’s charity.

He was also voted as one of the ‘Top 100 Welsh Heroes’ in a 2004 online poll and in 2014 was voted the UK’s most heroic figure.

All three speakers will present in the Keynote Theatre, which is sponsored by Honeywell.

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