Today (Wednesday the 26th of September) is a big day for students of Coleg Morgannwg, where I have recently become head of Physics. It is the official opening of the brand new building that has been built in Nantgarw. To mark the occasion, the College has invited Dr. Lyn Evans, who is lead scientist of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, to be part of the opening. Dr. Evans, known by the press as “Evans the atom“, grew up in Aberdare, which is up the valley from Nantgarw. He studied Physics at Swansea University, and then went on to also study for his PhD at Swansea. He has gone on to work at CERN and become leader of the Large Hadron Collider, the biggest and most expensive scientific experiment ever built.
Coleg Morgannwg primarily serves the Rhondda Cynon Taf area of South Wales, an area which has seen huge social deprivation since the collapse of the mining industry in the 1980s. I only hope that the students who get to see and meet Dr. Evans today will be inspired to work hard and achieve their goals, as he is testimony that, with a good education, anything is possible for the young people of the South Wales valleys.
[Before you assume that Dr. Lyn Evans and this Dr. Evans are related, I should point out that Evans is an incredibly common last name in Wales. Why this is so will have to be explained in a future blog.]