Lyndon Rees Evans, CBE, FRS

(ABGS 1956 - 1963)

Lyn Evans
Lyn Evans (October 2007)
Photo: CERN copyright

Lyn was born in Aberdare in 1945, the son of Sidney Evans and his wife Megan, née Pugh. He lived at 29, Bro Deg in Cwmbach and attended primary school there, transferring to the grammar school in 1956. In the sixth form he took Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry and obtained top grades in all three subjects.

He went to University College, Swansea in 1963 and three years later gained a first class degree in Physics. He remained there to do a higher degree and in 1970 was awarded a PhD in Physics, for a combined theoretical and experimental study of the interaction of intense laser radiation with gases.

He then went to CERN in Switzerland as a Research Fellow where he worked on the development of linear accelerators. The following year he joined CERN in a permanent position, and he has remained there ever since†. His activities have been in the field of the design, team management and commissioning of particle accelerators and colliders. These projects require the co-operation of the scientists and governments of many countries due to the spectacular budgets that are required. Consequently Lyn’s work has taken him all over the world and he is a physicist of truly international repute. His brilliant career has been one of continuous progression and he is currently Leader of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Project with 2500 staff. The machine that he is responsible for has a 28-mile circumference, and was originally due to start experimentation in May 2008. It will generate vast amounts of data for which enormous computing power has been developed. The LHC will enable groundbreaking experiments to be performed that are of the utmost importance in the field of particle physics.
Lyn’s achievements have been recognised internationally. Most significantly, he was a elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in May 2010. Previously, he was made a Fellow of the American Physical Society (1991), awarded the CBE (2001), made a Fellow of the University of Wales (2002), and in 2008, was awarded the Robert R. Wilson Prize for Achievement in the Physics of Particle Accelerators. Most recently in the summer of 2013 he was awarded the 2013 Glazebrook Medal of the Institute of Physics for his outstanding leadership of the Large Hadron Collider Project.

As Lyn remarked: “Recently, I met the President of China and thought to myself, ‘Not bad for a bloke from Aberdare!’ ”
Hear, hear.

Lyn married Lynda Mear, originally from Trecynon in the summer of 1967. They live in Geneva and have two grown-up children, Siân and Ian.


Listen to Lyn talking in 2007 to Professor Brian Cox about the LHC by clicking here .
In the sixth form, Lyn is No.37 back row here.


Aberdare Visit 2009

Lyn was guest speaker at the Boys School Prize Evening on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009. He returned the following morning to visit a physics lesson. This was covered by BBC Wales, and you can see their report by clicking here. Additional photos of the visit are here.

Aberdare Visit 2011

In November 2011, Lyn visited the school again. He delivered a seminar about particle physics. Click here to see pictures of the visit.

Honorary Degrees

Lyn has received three honorary degrees recently: one from from The University of Geneva on 5 June, 2009 at a ceremony to celebrate the university’s 450th anniversary (details below); at another on July 14th, 2009 he received a doctorate from The University of Glamorgan, click here for details; and in May 2010 he received an honorary D.Sc. degree from the University of Wales, click here, here and here for details.

At Geneva, Lyn was one of four renowned figures who received the degree which recognises international endeavours across the breadth of human activity, highlighting the fields of human rights, church affairs, business and scientific research. Desmond Tutu; Mary Robinson, Chancellor of Dublin University; and Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organisation were also honoured at the ceremony.

The ceremony took place in St Peter’s Cathedral, Geneva. Dr Evans decided to wear the Swansea University Fellows’ gown in a procession, in full academic regalia, which included rectors from Europe’s 50 oldest universities. “I am very honoured to receive this degree on such an historic occasion and in such esteemed company”, said Lyn. “The honour extends to the whole team in all corners of the world, who have brought this amazing project to fruition.”

interior

South Africa’s Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Desmond Tutu, left, former Irish President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, second from left, Rector of University of Geneva, Jean-Dominique Vassalli, centre, World Trade Organisation director general Pascal Lamy of France, second from right, and LHC project leader Lyn Evans of Great Britain.

outside

After the ceremony

Lyn and Desmond

Sharing a joke

More photos of the event appear here.

There are numerous external links about Lyn Evans, easily found using any search engine, here’s just a few of them:
BBC, BBC video, Swansea University, Mail on Sunday, Western Mail, Milner Foundation Fundamental Physics lecture

† Lyn retired from his post at CERN in April 2010. However in June 2012, it was announced that he is to become the Director of the Linear Collider Project, an international effort to design the world’s next major particle collider. He will be based at CERN. He makes occasional contributions to his blog in the Linear Collider Community Newsletter.