From CERN to finance, the media, airports and outer space: CERN alumni return for the first official gathering

Famous for colliding particles, CERN can also facilitate “human collisions”. CERN’s first official alumni event, First Collisions, will take place in Geneva on 2 and 3 February 2018. The event will feature inspiring talks, panel discussions and networking opportunities for members of CERN personnel, past and present.

After leaving CERN, people pursue a variety of different career paths: some stay in science, while others move to the tech industry, IT, finance, or other, less conventional sectors. Former members of CERN personnel of all ages will be back in Geneva to share their experience of working all over the world.

The First Collisions programme includes more than twenty speakers, all of whom have worked at CERN and some of whom will be available for interviews on Friday, 2 February. Please contact the CERN Press Office ( for more information and accreditation.

The speakers include:  

  • Christer Fuglesang experienced outer space as an ESA astronaut on board the STS-116 Space Shuttle. He will reveal why he left preparations for underground labs at the LHC for preparations for space missions.
  • Professor of particle physics and science documentary presenter Brian Cox is the holder of the Guinness World Record for “Most tickets sold for a science tour”. He presented the popular BBC TV documentary series ‘Wonders of the Universe’, ‘Wonders of the Solar System’ and ‘Wonders of Life’. He also collaborated on the ATLAS experiment from 2002 to 2008 and will present “Astronomy, cosmology, particle physics and the media”.
  • Former CERN Scientific Associate André Schneider is the current CEO of Geneva Airport. At First Collisions, André will explain what CERN and Geneva Airport have in common in terms of connectivity, innovation and creativity.
  • Current Chief Executive at M&G Investments Anne Richards will reflect on the value of time in different sectors: “The long-term – how and why scientists, politicians and investors interpret the term so very differently”.
  • Omer Khalid (Google) and Richard Mudd (Facebook) will talk about the business side of computer science and Paolo Berra (Italian Angels for Growth) will talk about entrepreneurship from an angel investor's perspective. A PhD physicist and former nuclear engineer, he is now a manager in the mechanical engineering industry, a business angel investor in high-tech start-ups and a columnist on science and innovation.

Type of event


Event Date

2 Feb 2018, 12.00 - 3 Feb 2018, 18.00



PDF icon alumni_event_programme.pdf865.39 KB

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