In an exposition of engineering on a grand scale, Dr Lyn Evans CBE FRS, Project Director for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, gave the Academy’s annual Hinton Lecture on the challenges involved in building this unique machine.

Our universe is thought to have started with a singularity about 13.5 billion years ago. Optical astronomy can take us back to the earliest star formation about 1 billion years after the event. Observation of the cosmic microwave background reveals details at around 300,000 years. The Large Hadron Collider is designed to recreate the conditions that existed one picosecond after the Big Bang.

The construction of the Large Hadron Collider has been a massive engineering challenge spanning almost 15 years. Dr Evans discussed some of the fundamental questions in science that the LHC will address as well as the novel features in the design of this colossal scientific instrument.

Born in 1945, Lyn Evans has spent his whole career in the field of high energy physics and particle accelerators, participating in all CERN’s projects in this field. Since 1993 he has led the team that designed, built and commissioned the Large Hadron Collider. He is presently a visiting professor at Imperial College London. Among his many honours, he is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was awarded a CBE in 2001 for services to particle physics.

Read Dr Evans’ article on the construction of the Hadron Collider on Ingenia website

See the video of Dr Evans’ Hinton Lecture on

Notes for editors

  1. The Hinton Lecture was generously supported this year by Arup, BAE Systems, Bosch, BP, EON, Shell and Thales.
  2. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Jane Sutton at The Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel. 020 7766 0636; email: Jane Sutton