Progress Network North West hosted a fiery night of networking held at Mowgli street food. The evening event, sponsored by Freyssinet and Reinforced Earth Co, attracted 40 built environment professionals to enjoy a curry while networking with peers.
Attendees enjoyed Mowgli’s street chat appetisers and their signature tiffin boxes which included not only some classic Indian dishes such as Bhel Puri but also some innovative fusions such as Himalayan Cheese Toast and Yoghurt Chat Bombs.
The evening began with a short presentation from the ACE Progress Network's north-west regional chair, Hamish Dunlop who highlighted the importance of coming and getting involved with networking events for emerging professionals looking to develop soft skills, as well as business relationships.
The appetisers were followed by a presentation by John Kennils and Graham Stanford of Freyssinet. John presented some of the innovative construction methods Freyssinet has developed, including the ElevArch, an innovative masonry arch jacking process to provide increased headroom for overhead line equipment and gauge clearance. The technology developed remains close to John’s heart and he continues to push for it to become common practice across the railway network. A Q&A followed with a question from the national ACE Progress Network chair, Athena Livesey who asked what was key in moving the masonry arch jacking proposal forward, and what would be your advice for other engineers trying to push for innovation? Stanford responded that resilience is most important as ideas are never accepted into practice straight away.
The seated meal format of the evening was well received as it allowed attendees to network in a relaxed environment with short but engaging presentations throughout the evening. This also gave an excellent opportunity to discuss Freyssinet’s Post Tension Slab and other capabilities with Kevin Bennett (Freyssinet Rail Director) and Sam Cleobury in attendance. The event was thoroughly enjoyed by all, particularly Martin Lucass, Principal Hydrogeologist at WSP who said the event was, "The best networking event I have been to".
Progress Network would like to convey its special thanks to Freyssinet, Reinforced Earth Co and the fantastic staff at Mowgli, as the event would not be possible without their help.
William Holly is an Assistant Engineer with WSP UK and a committee Member of the ACE Progress Network north west.