A family firm from the West Midlands is helping to unravel the secrets of the universe – by supplying £750,000 worth of key parts for research into the Big Bang.
Kingswinford-based TM Engineers, which employs 55 staff, won an order to manufacture and supply crucial mechanical components for the world-famous Large Hadron Collider based in Geneva, home of the long-running scientific study project.
The Black Country engineering company, which was founded more than 60 years ago, is one of only 10 firms worldwide to be awarded special gold plaques from Geneva for Exceptional Engineering work on the Hadron Collider.
The firm was also recently invited by the Science and Technology Facilities Council as part of a delegation to London to hear about the discovery of the Higgs Boson, hailed as a major breakthrough in the 45-year hunt for what is known as the “God particle”.
The Higgs Boson is theoretically responsible for mass, without which there would be no gravity and no universe.
Richard Holland, sales manager at TM Engineers, said: “We are a family-run engineering company involved with many different prestigious projects over the years and we are very proud of our achievements. The E-Cal Aluminium End plates we manufactured were four metres in diameter and we supplied two sets. The manufacturing process was incredibly challenging as we had to machine them in a temperature-controlled environment to attain the very tight tolerances that had to be achieved.
“It took six months of manufacturing to get the components to the required specification. We understand the function of the E-Cal End Plates have a critical part to play in capturing the broken atoms.”
TM Engineers became involved with the Hadron Collider through Rutherford Appleton Laboratories based in Oxfordshire, which is part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
The collider enables scientists to probe deeper into the heart of matter and probe the origins of the universe.
Researchers believe the universe was formed following a Big Bang, an unimaginably violent explosion, and since then has been cooling down and became less energetic.
The collider produces tiny patches of high energy by colliding together atomic particles travelling at very high speed.
TM Engineers is not the only West Midlands interest in the Large Hadron Collider – scientists from both the University of Birmingham and Warwick University are among the 3,000-strong team tasked with locating the elusive God particle.
The Post has also reported that Birmingham engineering firm Brandauer supplied 2,500 specially made pressure relief springs to CERN (The European Organisation for Nuclear Research), which is organising the experiment.