Meggitt Aerospace Avica (GB) has won a £3.6 million contract to supply large-sleeve expansion joints for a state-of-the-art atom smashing experiment to CERN (the European Particle Physics Laboratory), on the French/Swiss border.

Meggitt will commence delivery in 2002, providing 1700, 1-metre diameter, stainless steel expansion joints, specifically designed for this experiment. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), being built deep beneath the ground in a 27-kilometre tunnel, will be the most advanced particle physics experiment in the world when it is switched on in 2005.

The experiment will expand our knowledge on how the Universe came to exist by recreating the state of matter as it existed moments after the ‘big bang’. Scientists at CERN explore this by smashing tiny particles together at great speed. The expansion joints will assist in the warm-up and cool-down phases of the experiment, having to compensate for displacements including lateral movement and torsion that may result from geometrical defects or misalignment of structural components.

John Stobie, Managing Director of Meggitt, said: “We are delighted to be contributing to such a cutting edge scientific experiment after being involved in earlier experiments at CERN in the 1980s. “

Professor Ian Halliday, Chief Executive of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, which funds the UK’s national contribution to CERN, said: “The Large Hadron Collider experiment demands the most sophisticated technology. The UK makes a major contribution towards CERN, providing both funds and scientists and it’s extremely encouraging to see British companies such as Meggitt, winning contracts for high technology equipment.”

UK companies wishing to explore general contract and business opportunities at CERN should contact PPARC’s Industrial Liaison Officer, Mr Ian Stagg, telephone/fax: 01208 851 581, email: .

Notes for Editors

For more information about LHC and CERN:

Karen Davies, PPARC Press Office
Tel: 01793 44 2094
Mob: 07901 514980

For more information about Meggitt Aerospace Avica (GB):

Alison Chambers, Emerald Media
Tel: 01276 855070


High-resolution images of CERN and the LHC experiment are at:

The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) is the UK’s strategic science investment agency. It funds research, education and public understanding in four areas of science – particle physics, astronomy, cosmology and space science.

PPARC is government funded and provides research grants and studentships to scientists in British universities, gives researchers access to world-class facilities and funds the UK membership of international bodies such as the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), and the European Space Agency. It also contributes money for the UK telescopes overseas on La Palma, Hawaii, Australia and in Chile, the UK Astronomy Technology Centre at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh and the MERLIN/VLBI National Facility, which includes the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank observatory.

PPARC’s Public Understanding of Science and Technology Awards Scheme funds both small local projects and national initiatives aimed at improving public understanding of its areas of science.

Meggitt Aerospace Avica (GB) specialises in controls and safety systems. Its headquarters are in Hemel Hempstead, Herts, and Simi Valley, California. Meggitt Aerospace Avica (GB) is part of Meggitt PLC’s Aerospace Equipment Division which manufactures rigid and flexible ducting systems and components for aerospace, space vehicle, marine, nuclear and industrial applications.   

Meggitt PLC is an international group of companies operating in North America, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe and the Far East. Recognised for its specialist engineering skills, Meggitt PLC is a world leader in aerospace, defence and electronics.